Monday, September 15, 2008

Dance Like You Mean It

You may have noticed that I have a link in the sidebar to No, it isn't yet another Apple "i" related bit of marketing ploy. It's actually a website where you can download instructional videos for dance moves, most of them Lindy. I'm not really promoting them, or anything, I just think its a good place to find dance moves. The truth is, I suck at Lindy. I wish I didn't, but it's a very hard dance to get into if your town doesn't have a large Lindy community. Raleigh has a somewhat reasonable dance community at large, but the Lindy subgroup is quite small. It doesn't help that all of the Lindy dancers have been doing it for years and have become a bit jaded toward dancing with beginners.

I started dancing Jitterbug swing, a dumbed down cousin of Lindy, about two and a half years ago. To be honest, I began literally the week after my girlfriend left me. She had been dancing various styles of dance since she was a child and, shortly before we broke up, thought it might be fun to go swing dancing with me since I had shown her the movie Swingers and mentioned that I had always wanted to learn how to dance like they did in the movie. If you haven't seen Swingers you MUST rent it. The best way to describe it is to say that it is a chick flick for guys. And if you are a male Generation Xer like me you have been one of the characters in the movie at some point in your life. I'd love to sit here and brag that I have been Trent, but let's face it... I've always been Mike. Now I'm just waiting for Heather Graham to start showing up at the Elk's Lodge so I can ask her to dance!

It seems pretty pathetic to admit now, but initially I wanted to learn how to Jitterbug not as part of my quest to change my life around, but rather to see if I could impress my girlfriend and maybe win back her affections. Since I haven't seen or heard from her in at least a year I'd have to say that the plan didn't go as I'd hoped. Somewhere along the way, however, swing dancing taught me that I could live my life alone again and not have to subject myself to the self-imposed prison of work, sleep, eat, work, sleep, eat that I had created for many of the last 10 years of my "life". Swing dancing gave me an outlet to at least be around other people and not have to stand on the sidelines, staring enviously at others as they lived and enjoyed life. No longer did I have to wish that I was good enough to be around other people, or blame myself for being a "failure" at something which I had never had the nerve to even attempt.

I think that's probably one of the big keys to being a Lifer: Working up the nerve to scream aloud, in the words of Peter Finch in Network, "I'M A HUMAN BEING, GODDAMNIT! MY LIFE HAS VALUE!" And don't just say it. Mean it. Believe it. Feel it. And then at least try to do something about it. It doesn't matter if you end up moving in the wrong direction, but you've got to start moving in a direction.

Have fun, and keep living life... or some approximation thereof!

1 comment:

patrick said...

Very inspiring phrase "dance like you mean it" what about hip hop dance lessons

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