They are ill discoverers that think there is no land, when they can
see nothing but sea.
— Francis Bacon (1561-1626) English Philosopher, Lawyer and Politician
As a studio manager, I have the privilege of enrolling most of our new students. Some have told me that they have thought of taking dancing lessons for many, many years. New students will tell me that they have dreamed of becoming a dancer, and now was the right time for them to begin. Some have “been at sea” for so very long that they just can’t see themselves dancing, even though they just tried it. Others are so happy that they will continue dancing for the rest of their lives.
Who would have ever heard of Theodore Roosevelt outside of his
immediate community if he had only half committed himself to what he
had undertaken, if he had brought only a part of himself to his task?
The great secret of his career has been that he has flung his whole
life, not a part of it, with all the determination and energy and
power he could muster, into everything he has undertaken. No
dillydallying, no faint-hearted efforts, no lukewarm purpose for him!
— Orison Sweet Marden (1850-1924) American Editor and Speaker
When you begin to dance, it will take some courage and a commitment of time and energy. The more you put into it, the quicker it becomes a more natural endeavor.
The four stages of learning:
The Initial Stage: when everything is new
The Awkward Stage: when everything feels uncomfortable
The Conscious Stage: when you know what it should be
The Natural Stage: You now have muscle memory and it’s easy to dance!
As you grow in your dancing, as you say YES to your dancing, you will always be going through some stage of learning with each of your favorite dances. It is a natural part of learning and part of the curve of learning that we all experience.
Say YES to your dancing. Is it taking the first lesson? Is it dancing your first competition or solo routine? Is it attending your first group class and dance party? Or, is it all the above? No matter which it is, take action, step on the floor and begin to move your body!
Women: become the best dancer, partner, and follower possible. Gentlemen: learn to be the best lead possible and become an expert in asking a lady to dance, holding a lady, giving a great lead and mastering the art of floor craft on the dance floor.
In my life, I am saying YES to my dancing. Even after 38+ years of dancing with Arthur Murray, I am still learning. The exercise I get from dance is so much more important to me now. The benefits of good posture, stamina, good breath and circulation are worth all the work. Also, my happiest times of the day are the times I am dancing with a partner. It seems that time stands still and I am whole in mind, body and spirit while moving with my partner to the music.
Let’s start planning out the rest of the year and planning your dancing through the next months. Stay tuned!
David Earl Woodbury
Next Week: Getting Ready to Dance in the Fall and Winter!