I’ve always fancied the idea of learning how to ballroom dance – like Salsa and such. I never did get around to taking lessons but would try to learn a few steps here and there (and no, I do not watch Dancing with the Stars). I’ve always been a good student in any undertaking I’ve pursued. But when it comes to dancing, I find myself trying to take the lead vs. following. I step on toes, the whole nine yards. This of course, throws off the whole balance of things.
So, of course, I try to analyze this. Not so much the why, but more the why not? Why can’t I just let go?
Then something happened. Recently a friend of mine and I were watching a colleague seriously ballroom dance, he could cut up the carpet. There were others on the floor doing the usual small circle dance, but this guy was all over the place. Could he move! We were laughing, saying how we couldn’t POSSIBLY dance like that. Each dancing partner he was with looked just as talented as the one before. We were amazed, just watching, talking about how we have two left feet when it comes to that.
Then he came over and invited me to dance. I resisted, and tried declining nicely. After all, I won’t look anything like the others who were on the floor! He kept encouraging me, pulling me out onto the floor. “Okay okay. Just be patient with me,” I asked. And he had me out of the dance floor, winging me around, twirling, changing directions. He made me laugh, and I found that I started to relax into the dance moves as he coached me along. He made it easy. He made it fun. And I didn’t look like a fool. He asked my friend to dance after, and she had the exact experience. She couldn’t believe how easy he made things, it was enjoyable!
I began to realize that in dance, just like real life, having a good leader makes all the difference. Knowing the steps, having the confidence to bring others to a new place, while building confidence as they learn can create an experience like no other.
It’s funny because I always find myself in a position of leading one way or another. If it’s not business, then it’s family, a side project, you name it. I’m used to leading and it’s where I find myself most comfortable. But I also found myself quite comfortable following in this instance on the dance floor. It felt good to relax and allow the natural order of things to just be.
It reminded me of when I was twelve years old and I went to a square dance with some friends while vacationing in VT up at the lake house. I was partnered up with this older man (he seemed old then, gosh knows he was probably 40 or something! lol). Anyway, I remember he was whipping me around on his hip, and I had the best time. In fact, all our friends did. We were all pleasantly surprised how much fun square dancing was. Again in this instance, I didn’t have to be anything but me. And I allowed things to flow.
So, lesson learned. Allow things to be. Let things flow. Lead when you must. But following can also be good too.