One of the classes I'm taking this semester is Ballroom Dancing. OK, before you start your laughing fit or give me a strange look, let me explain a few things. One, I wanted to try yoga, because I believed it would help me with strengthen my muscles in a different way and it would also help me with my anxiety and stress levels with learning to calm myself. Two, the yoga class closed right as I registered for classes. So I had to rearrange my schedule yet again, and the others options seemed too intense for me. My thoughts were that if I couldn't get into that class, why not do something that will pay for itself later; answer: Ballroom dancing.
I will be honest that I didn't take the class as seriously as I usually take my classes. Yesterday, I had my first taste of actual formal dancing. And it was way more intricate and complicated and serious than I thought.
We started with the dance that is most known: the Waltz. If you don't know, this dance is between someone who leads and someone who follows. Makes sense so far? Good. Stay with me; I'll make my points soon enough.
So, my professor asks who will be which role, I immediately volunteer to be the follower. In unfamiliar territory such as formal dancing, Melissa was like, "Play it safe! Yes! I can be a follower!" So I did. But the thing about following? You have to be willing to have someone lead you. My partner literarily told me those exact words, "You have to let me lead." It didn't strike me until later what that meant. I'm so used to being the leader, consciously or unconsciously, and therefore, in control, and when I am forced to let someone have control, or share it, it's so very hard for me. This is one of the three lessons, so far, and reasons why this class will be beneficial to me: Letting someone lead me for a change and/or let go of some control.
Then in the middle of class, my professor threw me for a loop when she said we couldn't look at our feet anymore. I was like, "WHAT?! But how will I know when to step and where to step?" It didn't occur to me until later what this meant. I had to just go with what my gut told me and hope that it will be right. Instead of thinking and worrying if I got the steps right, I need to just feel and let things happen as they do. It shouldn't be a surprise, knowing my anxiety and stress and OCD-tendencies, but it was hard and it will continue to be hard for me. Lesson/reason number two: Forcing me to learn how to just do something by feeling instead of always thinking.
The third lesson I realized during class combines reason number one and two: A good dance partner is like someone who you are in love with and intend to marry someday. Why? You need someone will take the lead when you are scared, but you need to be willing to let that person to take control. Sometimes the roles are reversed and you need to be the leader.