Dancing out of my comfort zone

It's so easy to get stuck in a middle aged rut.  Doing the same things, going to the same places, wondering why you seem to be bumping along the bottom of life, while your brain gets slow and sludgy.

Do crosswords.  That's what everyone says, and I always have good intentions, but somehow they just don't make me want to jump up and down with excitement.

I thought that blogging was enough.  I've learned to code and argue with Google and write blog posts that people want to read.  I can do it now.  It's a hobby, but it's no longer a challenge.

But am I looking for a challenge?  Surely I have enough of those in my everyday life already!

Then a friend of mine encouraged me to join her at a 'shape up and dance' class.  I was expecting it to be a bit of exercise and a bit of fun.  Which of course it is.

But then a week or two in, as I was trying to learn all the names of the steps, and coordinate arms, legs and music without causing a pile-up by the fireplace, our lovely instructor casually dropped in a new word.  That word was 'show'.

Well that was news to me!  But apparently the Christmas show is an annual tradition.  Of course I wasn't going to do it.  The last time I danced in front of an audience was on a girls weekend away in the 1990s, and the less said about that, the better.  As a middle aged mum, I felt like lumbering elephant with two left feet and I planned to stay at the back of the class and enjoy myself and hope no-one noticed me.

But dancing is not like that, one day the back of the class stopped being the back of the class, when we were all turned sideways with lots of confusing talk about numbered walls.  And instead of my safe place at the back I found myself at the front on my own.  And I had no-one to watch.  This was not what I had signed up for!

Then something else happened.  One of those dangerous little thoughts popped into my head.  This one put me in my place by telling me that really, if a friend of mine could try his hand at stand up comedy, then surely, surely I could join in with two short dances in front of audience?

And once the decision had been made, I threw myself into it all and tried to block out all those silly little voices that were holding me back.

Letting go of embarrassment.

Letting go of being an obsessive carer and and letting someone else mind Smiley so I could sneak off and practice with my partner at the Arch Club.

Letting go of all the crap and the worry about disability adult services, water charges and everything else.

And then I sprained my ankle, followed almost immediately by a very public meltdown on Facebook, but without explaining why as I still didn't want any of my friends turning up for the performance!

Luckily none of them did.  But I didn't go wrong, my ankle held up, the audience cheered and clapped, and I swear I haven't smiled so hard since my wedding day.

They say that one of the biggest regrets of the dying is that they didn't dance more.  So I've made a decision.  That's not going to happen to me.


As this is the absolute best news this week I'm going to add it to the weekly reasons to be cheerful linky over at Ojo's World.


24 comments:

  1. Oh wow, WOW!!! Fair play to you!!! Looking at the photos lumbering would not come easy to you but definitely dancing does. Love, love, love this post. x

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    1. What a gorgeous comment, so glad you enjoyed it x

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  2. Oh I LOVE it! Just fabulous. Huge well done and keep dancing!

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  3. Oh this made my day!!! I'm so very glad you crossed this off the list of things you never would do but triumphed over!

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  4. Well done !! I know how you feel, being afraid to dance in front of an audience (I was in a musical society for years and the dancing parts were always my biggest fear!), but you would have regretted if you didn't do it, you should be very proud of yourself. I'm sure you can't wait do it again ;-)

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    1. That's what our dance teacher said too, and she was absolutely right --- we all wanted to show it all off again :)

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  5. Well done you. I love to dance but only do it at home for giggles, if I'm in public I need several drinks to get me moving. I wish I was as brave as you and could achieve such a fantastic thing x

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    1. Thanks Louisa! Looking back I don't think that I've ever danced in public with no alcohol involved before either :)

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  6. Fantastic. Just getting on and doing things despite the crap: brilliant.

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  7. Oh well done! You amazing lady. I would love to dance more, but I couldn't go alone xx

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  8. Well done that's fab, love the photos!

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    1. I had no idea that second one was being taken at all!

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  9. Yay!! I am so delighted for you. Very well done! Your hooked now, aren't you? You've got the stage bug... go on, admit it!!
    Welcome to my world and keep on dancing :-) xxx

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  10. well done you! not sure I'd be brave enough ;-)

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  11. Wow, what fun. I am THRILLED that you are doing something for YOU! Absolutely awesome post. xx

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  12. Fantastic, what a wonderful post and you remind us all to step outside our comfort zone more often. I am so glad it went for you and I vow to dance more after reading this, it was always something I loved to do but now only dance around my kitchen periodically to amuse/embarrass my kids!

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