In elementary school I wanted to dance, but I was afraid to go to the school dances. I was afraid of what others would think if I moved to the music. So I danced here and there… alone, in my room or when no one else was home. Much of middle school was the same way. I didn’t go to any dances.
In 8th grade I decided to go to my first school dance. It took a bit of courage. I was nervous, so I asked my Mom’s friend to show me a couple dance steps. She did. That made me feel a lot better – but still nervous. I had a date… that is… I had a guaranteed dance partner. This meant I did not have to ask anyone to dance except the one girl I knew would say “yes”.
I spent most of the night dancing with her. We did the “slow” dance. One step left… one step right… nothing to it. As the night went on, something came over me… perhaps it was dance fever… maybe it was just me starting to have fun dancing… or maybe I was becoming more comfortable with who I was.
Then… the song came on! I remember it like yesterday… “under the board walk… out of the sun… under the board walk… we’ll be havin’ some fun…” My grove was on. And so was the grove of my 8th grade history teacher! So we danced something like the twist… together! Everyone was watching and I didn’t care. In fact, I enjoyed the attention. I was having fun, and that’s what mattered. Let them watch me have fun… and who cares that it’s with my 8th grade history teacher.
My life was forever changed!
I went to every school dance I could after that. My grove came and went. But I knew it was there even when it wasn’t on. My grove still comes and goes… and that fear of dancing – it comes and goes, too. That’s right, even today as I type, I have a fear of dancing that comes and goes. But now, I have something else: I have knowledge. I know I can build the courage to act when that fear is present, and I know the fear will go and my grove will come. In that moment, I experience life in a whole new way: free from fear, in the moment, having pure fun!
Come join me!