~Sharing (21) in the Progression Into Beauty project~

dancing shoesI have danced since I was a little girl. In fact, my mom used to tell me that I danced before I could walk. Any time there was music, my little body would start moving and expressing in movement, so my parents put me in dance to increase my natural tendency. Around age four or five, I was in my first official ballet class and thus began my love affair with the world of dance.

Throughout my life, I’ve danced in all kinds of shoes – ballet shoes, pointe shoes, jazz shoes, tap shoes, character shoes and even my bare feet. This semester in school, I’ve started Zumba and my dancing shoes are actually work out shoes – not quite as substantial as running shoes, but definitely more solid than jazz shoes. When I slid my feet into them for the first time, laced them up and tied them tight, I felt my body light up in anticipation of the dance. My body knew.

My instructor is a tiny fireball of a woman with more energy packed into her than the biggest Independence Day firecracker. This is my first experience with Zumba, so I have no comparison but I can tell you that this class was unlike any other dance or exercise class I’ve ever attended. For one thing, I couldn’t do it right. This instructor leads class with a eclectic collection of samba, jazz and hip hop. She starts class by saying, “Just follow me. It may be frustrating now but by the end of the semester you’ll have all the dances down.” And then, she began.

That was it on the instruction and for a moment, I stood there, jaw gaping and trying to wrap my brain around the fact that class had started and I had NO idea what I was doing. If you’ve been here to my website frequently, then you know that one of my “things” is to do it once and do it right. When it comes to dance, I’m the same way so to find myself tripping over my feet, turning the opposite direction and, essentially, feeling lost for the entire 50 minutes was an uncomfortable feeling, indeed.

But, it felt so good to be actively moving my body and dancing, even though I wasn’t following her very well. I also realized that, my body intuitively could predict her next move, although it couldn’t quite do the move – a sign that, in a couple weeks, I’ll be a Zumba queen! LOL

The biggest thing for me in this experience – aside from having absolutely no idea what I was doing or how to do it right – was watching me in the mirror. No matter which way I turned in this classroom, the walls were mirrors. The truth of me was there at every angle and I had the opportunity to feel the sadness of myself and to realize that a lot of the reason why I wasn’t as graceful as I once was is because I’m still carrying around two of me. I felt tears in my eyes, but they didn’t spill over my lashes. They just hovered there on the brink and I kept moving and reminding myself that I was making a choice to move me in the direction of grace. And then I tenderly reminded myself of the love I’ve created in my life and poured it into me.

I can do this.

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