Follow the dance of your dreams. Then, when everything seems to block your path, take a deep breath and strengthen your resolve.
Follow the Dance of Your Dreams
Allow your path to flow around obstacles, thanking them for helping you see the importance of your desire to follow through to the next crossroad.
My path includes dipping my toe into my community. So when a new friend told me about contra dances, it was an obvious inroad to meeting people while enjoying a fun evening.
What is a Contra Dance?
First, I wanted to know the answer to this question. A search for “contra dances near me” returned the Boone Country Dancers. It’s almost impossible to describe the experience. The most important fact is that genuine joy permeates the dance hall.
A contra dance is uniquely simple yet deeply complicated. All dances in my area offer a minimum of thirty-minute pre-dance instruction. The caller led us through the basic moves without music, gradually added some live music, and by the end, we flawlessly executed a contra dance.
Perhaps This was a Test
After understanding the concept of contra dancing, it was time to find one. The next dance was the following Saturday night at the Blowing Rock American Legion, 30 minutes from home. As you may have read last week, I was overdoing so much that Spirit stepped in to help. With my energy so scattered, it wasn’t surprising that I experienced a severe, short bout of dizziness on Thursday afternoon as I started to step into the shower. As my week calmed down, there was more room to consider adding something fun to my life.
Perhaps the dizziness contributed to the next stumbling block to attending my first contra dance.
As I sat waiting for my hairdresser Friday afternoon, I searched for a funkier short hairstyle. The results included a photo of Jaime Lee Curtis. I’d admired her bold short style for years but pointed out a less severe option to my hair stylist.
We talked as she snipped, and before I knew it, the floor was thick with my hair! Was this another reason to chicken out of the contra dance?
The Theme is Fun
A bout with dizziness and an unexpected pixie haircut would not keep me from my plan.
I put a raincoat on, left 10 minutes early, and parked close to the front doors with an umbrella poised above me. It had been raining for over two days. But I wasn’t going to let the weather stop me now.
I paused undercover before the front door, shaking the rain out of my umbrella. As I hung up my coat and stashed my umbrella, I reached into my pocket for the ten-dollar bill, my final requirement for admission.
One of the Volunteer hosts welcomed newcomers and first-time contra dancers (like me) with smiles, encouragement, and a special button to wear. In addition to friendly faces, the button guaranteed helpful tips from experienced people while I danced. There were no mistakes. Instead, those experienced partners helped me catch up quickly as we flowed back into the moves.
My first partner during the pre-dance instruction was an experienced contra dancer in her late thirties. Many more experienced dancers came early to help the newbies. After a few dances, people filled the hall, and I sat down for a breather. Soon, a young man asked me to dance. I was back on the floor, remembering more and more moves.
The dances became more complicated as the night wore on. Then, taking a break, I filmed the feet of the dancers in this short video of the dance. The violinist had switched to a recorder, which he delivered beautifully.
Even though I was one of the oldest women in the dance hall, three men asked me to be their partner. Two were young enough to be my sons. The smiles on their faces added to the joy radiating from both my face and my heart. My last partner was George, who was near my age. He has been contra-dancing since 1980 and calls dances in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Their first dance is next Tuesday night. So I’m spreading my wings next week too.
Many small steps brought me to my first contra dance. You can do this too.
- Reach out to a new friend
- Listen to their suggestions to meet new people
- Find an event near you
- Step over each hurdle placed in your path
- Follow through to the event
- Walk through the door
How did I manage this when I’ve not followed through so many other times?
Going with the flow allowed my natural inclinations and strengths to ease me down the road to joy.
- Connectedness – realizing the synchronicity throughout
- Harmony – taking the time to listen to my friend
- Input – the more information I gather, the easier it is to understand
- Responsibility – showing up and walking through the door
- Positivity – I saw the haircut as fun
It’s rewarding to look at my top five strengths from my CliftonStrengths assessment and see how they show up when I follow the dance of my dreams.