After he overcame his lifelong fear of it, one reader found that dancing gave him a new and amazing way to connect.
Jim commented, in response to Why Date a Man Who Dances?:
Great piece Luke. What you wrote resonates completely with me and my experience. Thank you! Except for doing the “bear-hug drape” as a teen, my experience with dancing was bad and I avoided it at all costs. Six years ago, in my 40’s, I realized I had to face and at least try to overcome my life long fear. If nothing else, with three daughters I would probably be called upon to do a wedding dance or two. I committed to one year of lessons. Progress was slow and painful. I walked out on more than one lesson, frustrated and discouraged. Especially when I saw how much more quickly others picked it up. It would have been so easy to give up and say dancing just wasn’t in the cards for me. But I wanted even just a piece of what I saw others enjoying. I was given a lot of support and encouragement from more experienced dancers (thank you!). Luckily, several good followers were willing to endure my early, clumsy mis-steps. Literally. I jokingly said that as an engineer, I should design for them a line of fashionable titanium toed dance shoes. I stuck to my plan and kept going. Slowly it got a little easier. At the end of the year I saw improvement, not only in my dancing, but in how I felt about myself. I re-committed to another year and haven’t looked back since. Dancing has changed my life. It is living in color instead of black and white. Sometimes I remember and reflect on the embarrassment, nervousness, fear, and self-consciousness I experienced along the way and how awkward and clumsy I felt in my own body. Most of that is gone now. If I can do, it ANYONE can. You will never (I know, never say never) see me on a stage or TV show. But I now completely enjoy dancing, and it will always be a part of my life. One of my heros is an 80+ year old friend who started about the same time I did. His wife had died a year or so before, and at that point said he was just waiting to die. His daughter bought him some passes for lessons, so he attended; he didn’t want to waste her money. But he got hooked, and it changed his life. We just celebrated his 90th birthday a few months ago, and he’s still going strong. As great as his story is, I’m sure he thinks about what it would have been like to dance with her. I see a difference between those who don’t dance, or only get to do the “girls night out” thing, as opposed to those who dance “lead & follow” as a couple. It’s all about the connection! Alright, the bass is pretty darn good too Dancing opens up a whole new and amazing way to connect, that goes beyond the dance floor. I am a much better man because of dancing. Go Argentine Tango, Bachata, Cumbia, Salsa, Kizomba, and WCS!
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