Here there be dragons...

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me." - Winterson

New year, new hobby?

lol okay so this has nothing to do with the new year.  As some of you may know, I continue my search for something new to do to replace the void left by the lack of eventing.  Fitness, goal setting, friends, stress relief (although admittedly also stress causing!)...  so much that I never really clued into was all tied to that.   And I've tried a wide variety of ridiculousness over the last few years.  Spanish and Piano both seem to stick, but neither of them address the fitness or the social aspects.  Sooo...


I'm not even kidding, although I probably should be.

I've always thought ballroom dance might be fun, and at one point (possibly while slightly intoxicated ;)) Chris agreed to go along with this idea.  Except...   We don't exactly live near options for learning anything.  I searched.  A lot.  And failed time after time.  One school I found but they were taking a term off.  lol that kind of thing.

But targeted ads remember...

So while there was nothing last year while I was looking, apparently a whole bunch start in Jan/Feb.  Random, but okay?!?!   Alas, while I now have a variety of options, none of them worked particularly well with our schedule (did you hear C's sigh of relief from there?).

The ad that started it all

BUT those same targeted ads also told me about a "ladies night" teaching beginner latin dance.   Now *that* could be fun.   I had some real hesitations though.   Let's start with my dance experience:

  • I have vague memories of a pink tutu when I was a tiny little person...  Maybe 6?   Idk, don't really remember.  I liked the tutu, I did not like the class.   I finished the term and that was the end of dance at an age when one can learn to dance ;-P
  • I signed up for beginner adult ballet in uni.  I was SO excited.  It was heartbreakingly awful.  I lasted exactly 2 classes.  I have vivid memories at being singled out and yelled at for not pointing my toes correctly (they were pointed, but not right).  No explanation of what right might be or how I should do it differently, just that it was wrong.  The rest of the class was no better.  In retrospect, that was definitely not an appropriate teacher for beginners, but at the time, it was just an all-round negative experience.
  • My sense of rhythm is questionable at best.  I'm really good when partnered with a horse.  With a person?  Not so much ;-P.  My piano adventures have highlighted this challenge.  It IS, thanks to said piano, improving.  But still pretty interpretive ;-P
  • I *cannot* dance.  I have never been able to dance.  I both feel and look incredibly, painfully, awkward.  I remember various friends over the years trying to teach me - from friends' basements as teenagers to at the club as a young adult.  No success.  Ever.   Even in VR it's pretty horrible.  I remember C walking in on my VR dance one day: "are you...  dancing?" lol.  It was a legitimate and valid question.  
  • My balance is excellent and coordination is usually pretty solid (yeah dressage!) - the problem is, my whole life has been targeting very subtle coordination and movement.  Dance is...  The opposite of that ;).    Also, I can work my feet, or I can work my arms but rarely both.  And if I try to actually move my body?  Well I have to make sure nobody calls the paramedics for some sort of medical emergency ;). 
  • And, sub-point, even if the coordination all aligns and all the body parts go where they're supposed to, it's the opposite of smooth and graceful.  Lol more like a slightly rusty robot is following poorly coded instructions.
So yeah, set up for success is not high.   However, I tagged a friend who is generally game for most adventures and convinced her to join me.  She loves to dance, but rates her skills about the same as mine ;).  

Reached out to the school and got very quick response with a positive approach and what seemed like a reasonable sense of humour so okay...   Age range 30-60, 20ish people in the class, complete beginners encouraged.  That means enough people to hide if needed, we won't be youngest or oldest, and hopefully our hopelessness wouldn't hold others back.

And today we went.  It's definitely in a not-great area of town, but the studio itself was a good size.  Looks like a repurposed church, but mirrors all lining one side like you'd find in most studios and lots of space for sure.

It was So. Much. Fun.  lol way better than I'd expected.   We learned the 101-very-basic-level intro of three dances: the merengue, bachata, and salsa.   The instructor is awesome.  Super welcoming, encouraging, and open.  And also breaks it down and simplifies things clearly.  Willing to repeat herself and demonstrate.  Answering all questions, seemed to be having a fun time, just all-round great instructor for beginner adults.  

AND...  We're not the worst ;-P.  lol we're pretty strongly right in the middle of the group.  Which, to me, in this case, means we're in exactly the right group ;).   In riding I always like to be at the bottom and scrap my way up cause I learn so much more so much faster.  But in riding, I don't feel like I borrowed someone else's legs for the day lol.

But yeah, I enjoyed it a lot more than I expected and the time flew.  She kept it moving and didn't focus on any particular thing too long -- great intro class.  I definitely enjoy the more complicated / less reasonable parts more; I think because they take more of my attention and force me to completely check in to what I'm doing.  That and horrible failures make for better stories and the only way for truly horrible failures is to attempt the slightly insane ;-P.  Which, in my case, might be as simple as a spin ;)

Anyways - it's only Tuesday, yet somehow has already been a very long week, and I did not sleep well last night.  So this was a really lovely shift of both mood and enthusiasm.  Excited for next week.  Also, unlike Arial Silks, which I also loved but got super frustrated with, this one I CAN practice at home if I'm so inclined.  So the whole having to start over every week shouldn't be an issue.   So yeah, accidental targeted advertising win ;)


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