Swing Dancing And What I Learned From It


I’ve improved a great deal in swing dancing. Ok, so I’m not Fred Astaire quite yet (aside from maybe in my own mind occasionally), but I’m definitely more confident in my own abilities than I was even two weeks ago. The Waltz? Not so much.

I’ve learned a few life lessons from my grand total of two times swing dancing.

1) Don’t give up. At first, I felt hopelessly lost and like I would never get it, but I found someone who knew what she was doing to talk me down from the ledge and help me figure out what I was doing wrong. It takes time and effort to learn anything worthwhile. At least anything that’s worth learning.

2) Step boldly. I discovered a secret. Even if you mess up, you can still keep going and pretend like it didn’t happen. The worst thing to do is to stop or become hesitant. You will mess up, so you might as well mess up royally by taking a chance and trying.

3) You never know unless you ask. I’m learning that I have to be the one to step up and ask the girl to dance. And that won’t happen with me standing across the room sending telepathic messages. My ESP isn’t all that good. I have to be willing to walk across the room and go up to her and ask. I might try and fail but I am guaranteed a 100% failure rate if I don’t try.

4) Don’t take yourself too seriously. I have a tendency to overthink and make things more complicated than they need to be. I’m learning with swing dancing to relax and have fun with it. It’s not like I’m in a competition getting marked off for every little mistake I make. It’s all about having a good time.

5) Fake confidence. A friend told me once that sometimes when you’re not sure of yourself and what you’re doing, to fake like you are. That way you can fool yourself into doing more than you think you can. It works. Trust me.

6) Give grace. You have to allow yourself and others the freedom to fail if you want to learn anything new. You won’t get it 100% right on the first try, no matter what you’re trying to learn. Plus, you will learn far more from your mistakes and failures than you ever will from success. So be kind to yourself and others. Practice forgiveness and second chances. You will inevitably need it yourself one day.

Wow. All that came from two lessons? Who knows what will happen after I’ve been at this swing dancing thing for a while? I don’t know yet, but you’ll be the first ones to find out.

Lucky you.

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