Never Miss A Chance To Dance!
After spontaneously celebrating my birthday night (see post here) in the midst of Texas two-stepping, I knew one thing was for sure, I wanted to learn to dance! It was the day after my friend and I had spent the night at a local two-step bar called The White Horse, that I had this realization. Suddenly it hit me like a ton of bricks. I remembered a dance instructor that I had met a year prior at the ABGB, and decided it was time to reach out to him and get this ball rolling.
A year ago, still fairly new to Austin and immersing myself in the culture, I was mesmerized by his dancing skills and the entire dance scene that I had walked into at the ABGB. We had exchanged phone numbers so that I could arrange Two Step Lessons. I had called him, and he returned my call, but as things go, life got in the way and I never actually did schedule that dance lesson. Although I didn’t immediately make the time for it in my busy schedule, I never deleted his voicemail as I had hoped that maybe eventually when the time was right I would someday go back and schedule that lesson.
So now let’s circle back to the end of March, exactly a month after my birthday this year. I woke up and decided to go back to that old voicemail message. I made the phone call and it went something like this; “Hi, I met you a while ago and I want to come in for lessons– like tomorrow.” So there I was, the next day, taking my first Two Step lesson. This is incredible I thought, that dancing is so much a part of the culture here in Texas, and I had gone an entire lifetime without really knowing how.
If you know me, you know that I have always been obsessed with music, and I love dancing. I just haven’t ever danced with the purpose of knowing the steps. But immediately, I was in my element. I loved every minute of my first lesson and couldn’t wait until the next time. Which was the next day, and the day after that, and as often as I was able to fit into my schedule. Since then, I have filled my days and nights with not only lessons, but nights out various dancing spots (such as The White Horse, Barracuda on Tuesday nights, The Broken Spoke, Ginny’s, Luckenbach Dance Hall, Coupland Dance Hall and so on) practicing in an authentic setting. Even though it has only been a short time since I started, I can already say that I’m thoroughly obsessed with dancing!
Throughout the past three months, I can’t even describe how much value dancing has added to my life. In fact, it has made such a big impact on me that I have already incorporated dancing into my business through team building exercises and even getting my friends involved in group dance lessons. (My Ali Specialties team has yet to stop talking about the team-building dance lesson they experienced in Austin, it was blast) I’ve even gone so far as extending dance lessons to some of my clients through socials and to my personal friends through group lessons (followed by nights out on the town dancing.) I love it SO much that I am even planning a Two Step social with my Leadership Austin class and M2M in NYC in the very near future. Hopefully, I will be able to bring this new passion of mine to Tampa soon too. I’ve had the opportunity to experience something so fun and entertaining, so it’s only natural that I want to share it with everyone that I love. If I haven’t gotten to you yet, trust me, I will! One might say, I am officially hooked.
Aside from the pure joy that dancing has brought me, I have learned so much about life throughout this learning process.
Here are three crucial life lessons that I have already learned through dancing (and my instructor Jaime)
Learn To Trust Your Lead. During my first couple of lessons, I found myself constantly asking, what the next moves were going to be. As someone who likes to be in control, I bombarded Jaime with questions such as, “How many times are you going to spin me?” and “What move are you going to do next?” I had to know. I had to have control. I didn’t want any surprises. However, I quickly learned that sometimes you just have to trust the lead and go with the flow. I learned to just let go, relax and to enjoy the experience! Sometimes you have to take life by the horns, and sometimes you have to learn to let go and enjoy the ride. This is a lesson that I needed to learn, and I am so thankful that I finally did.
Live in the Moment. Another lesson that I have learned as a result of my new hobby is that real, human connections are made when we do not allow distractions to get in our way. When I walk into my dance lessons, I put my phone on silent and I don’t look at it at all until I am done with my lesson. I have found that there is no better feeling in the world than truly being present in the moment that you are in. All of the amazing people that we surround ourselves with are deserving of our full attention while we are with them. I believe this is something we all need to make a conscious effort to improve upon if we are guilty of living on our phones like I was and so many others are as well. I have taken this lesson that I have learned and applied it outside of my dance lessons as well. Now, when I am out with my friends, I will (occasionally) check my phone for texts or important calls, but I make an effort to keep it tucked in my purse for the most part. Doing so, I have learned how much more memorable these days of our lives can be and how much fun can truly be had! I want to be present. I have made it a goal in life to live in the moment with as few distractions as possible.
Happiness Requires Nothing Material. I believe in hard work, I always will. However, I’ve said it before and i’ll say it again: True happiness requires nothing material. Our motive behind hard work should always be to create more experiences and opportunities for ourselves and those that we care about and less on material things. I believe that we should never work just to work or we will waste away our entire lives. The absolute best moments of your life are just that-moments. They are the unique experiences we have when we feel so happy that we wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world. Real connections and real moments can be found all around us-whether in the smallest acts of kindness, twirling on the dance floor or even while sharing a simple, home cooked meal with those we love. Let’s all try not to ever take these simple moments for granted. In fact, we should all strive to make these meaningful memories count every day.
Last but certainly not least, I believe in the power of trusting your own journey. Always remember every time it feels as though there may be obstacles standing in your way, to count your blessings and follow your passions. Your heart will ultimately lead you in the right direction. Don’t be afraid to try new things, and make sure to take the time to dance through life.