I have done my husband a great disservice. I have been critical on the dance floor instead of accepting. And in my very vows to that man, I said I would accept, not expect. What can I say - the dance instructor in me dies hard. May this serve as my apology.
As many of you witnessed, last Thursday we got a rare Dance Night Out. I was absolutely giddy with anticipation to dance with the man I love most in this world! My knee didn't protest, my energy was palpable, and the dance instructor in me finally shut the heck up! The only thing that faltered was my husband's desire to dance with me. He kept trying to get off the floor after each song. When I finally asked him why, he confessed: he feared I was bored. Bored?! Dancing Salsa with (no offense to any of my readers) the sexiest man on the dance floor!? How is that even possible? It's not! I wasn't bored for a single minute.
I told him as much, but he didn't believe me. He thought I must be tired of the same 13 moves - anyone who read my blog last week knows I had my feet full! I reassured him I was having a great time. He still
didn't buy it. I told him I didn't need lots of combinations - I'd rather be led well. I've told him
(and many other students) this very thing multiple times. Yet guys insist the woman needs lots of moves to impress her/keep her interested.
Guys! The dances I remember for a lifetime aren't the fancy ones where I have to work my ass off! Go back and read my blogs! The truth... the sexiness... the sensuality... it's in the good leads. It's never in the fancy combos. Are those fun when lead correctly? Yes. Will I remember them in a month, a week, or even the next day? Nope. Will I remember how it felt dancing with you? You better believe it.
So, to my dearest love, I say this: I'm sorry if I ever gave you the impression you weren't enough for me. You are far more than I deserve. I fell in love with you on the dance floor while you were learning the basics. And if basics are all we ever dance - I will love you all the more - as long as you guide me gently through them.
See you on the hardwood:)
...otherwise you'll forget how dang hard it is! Tonight was my first time dancing Salsa with my husband in a long time. It was a blast! But when I told myself to do ALL the things I tell my students to do... Sheesh! It was surprisingly exhausting?! So hats off to my hard core troopers! (And believe me when I say only pick one thing a night to work on:)
Now I could use the excuse that I'm still recovering from surgery - but that would be a lie - and my readers deserve better (though, truly, Bachata hurt the knee quite a bit). The first shock came to me during the first dance, because for the first time in a very long time I was in heels. Let me confess something: you can get away with murder in flats! It's a lot easier to feel grounded in heavy dance sneakers than it is in 2.5" heels. On the first song, I was so nervous to put my high heel down I felt like a prancing cheerleader.
It's also a lot simpler to push into the floor with a rubber-soled shoe than one with suede that might slip out from underneath you. I was like a baby giraffe taking his first, unsteady steps?! Imagine my surprise. Didn't I, back in the day, spend more time in high heels than any other kind of shoe? Hadn't I, in the not-so-distant past, danced in even higher heels for 6-8 hrs per day? Aren't I supposed to be a damn professional?!;) What is the hardwood coming to?
Eureka!! I had an idea! I'll brush the dirt off my shoes - that will help:) And it did. I started feeling my feet underneath me again and could then focus on other things... like my arms. I'm going to be completely honest here (so don't throw it in my face later;) there are times I want to keep my hand on my belly during a right turn! Sad, but true - I don't want to do arm styling all the time. Sometimes, I just want to chill. The hilarious part for me is, I've taught ladies to keep moving their arms for so long, I'm scared to do it any other way for fear droves of angry women will come at me from all angles saying, "Aha!" But there it is girls, for better or worse, I sometimes don't want to move my arms either.
Last but not least, the old "push harder into the floor when the song is faster" advice. This does work, when you remember to do it. The problem is, you spend the first third of the song freaking out b/c it's so fast. The second third, you remember me harping on you to "Push into the floor!" so you try it. It works... until your legs start burning. By the last bit of the song, you're so tired you're praying for a Merengue to come on next so you can take a break. (By the way, I really like Merengue, I just know a lot of people are Salsa snobs;).
Why tell you all this, you ask? So you know we're all still figuring it out. No one believes there's no room for improvement - or at least, I hope they don't. We can all get better. We can all learn something. And we can all relax and remember the reason we dance is to have fun! Tune in next week when I try to convince my husband of that very fact. See you on the hardwood!:)
There are very few "always" and/or "never"s in dancing. But I realized a big one on the way home tonight and felt compelled to share. I NEVER dance with someone who has tense arms and think afterwards, "Gosh, that was fun." In fact, I Always think, "Ow! I'm glad I survived that. Watch out for that guy in the future."
Tension does not serve you! On the dance floor or in life! RELAX your arms!! Please! All you need is a teensy bit of tone so you're not a complete noodle. You'll move more freely, communicate better, and have a heck of a good time. Promise.
Tonight I danced one dance, after teaching, with Zane. Zane: to know him is to love him. Ladies want to dance with him, guys want to dance like him. He's soooooo relaxed! Did we make our mistakes? Yes. Did we laugh them off? You better believe it!
I tell you all this because I think part of this tension epidemic stems from the desire to be perfect. I know - I have it. Like I said last week: we're never going to be perfect. (It's no easier to say it this week). As for me, I'm going to try to remind myself of that crappy fact before I dance with any great dancers. (Yes, I sometimes still get nervous and into my head while following. There, I said it.) But reminding myself I don't have to be perfect might help me remember I just have to be present.
I'll see you on the hardwood:)
It’s a New Year! Time for a new You, right? Wrong! There’s nothing wrong with the old you. OK, so you’re not perfect. Newsflash: you never will be. And believe me, I’m as pathetic a perfectionist as the next guy, so that hurts me to say more than it hurts you to hear. But cheer up! Obviously you’ve made it this far (and hopefully haven’t severely hurt anyone – the unintentional heartbreak(s) aside) so you just might be doing something right.
What’s that you say? Allison actually said I might be doing something right? Yes. Keep this blog forever. Reread it when you’re feeling down. You are doing lots of things right. How often do we tell ourselves that? I’ll bet – not very! So this year, instead of making trumped up resolutions (while hungover;), start with what you’re doing that you actually like. That way, you can see where the gaps are and work to fill them. It might look something like this:
1) I like that I’m Salsa dancing – but would like to go more than once a week.
2) I’m in decent shape – but would like to look better in my Salsa dresses. (Hint: doing #1 will help #2 come true:).
3) I had a great time at the Salsa party (notice a theme?) – but would like to avoid feeling like the walking dead the day after, therefore I’ll stop at three drinks next time. (This wasn’t my new year’s celebration [sadly], I just know my readers;).
I could go on and on (as most of you know:). My point is, to quote a very wise man, “Life’s a Great Balancing Act”. [Yes, I’m quoting Dr. Seuss again. What can I say? The man’s a genius and I have two young kids.] Heading into the new year demanding some huge reform is unrealistic. And you feel crappy when half way through the first month, you’ve already given up. What if you just tried to achieve balance in your everyday life?
For example, I’m going to try dividing the day in three equal parts: 8 hrs sleep, 8 hrs work, and 8 hrs play. Eight hours of play!?! Can you imagine that? How happy would we all be if we could pull that off?! Maybe it means I have to find a way to make doing the dishes feel like a game? I don't know yet, but thinking about it makes me positively giddy:) I’m not expecting to be able to do it down to the minute, but being aware that I need to include playtime in my day restores balance and flat out makes me a happier person.
There’s so much to get done all the time it’s easy to forget how to play. The proverb is true: all work and no play makes Jack a boring dancer. OK, I may have taken some artistic license there - go with it. I’ll see you on the hardwood. It’s damn good to be back!
Allison loves to write almost as much as she loves to dance, so no one had to twist her arm to get her to write about dancing!