Boot-Scootin’ My Way to a Humbler Me

Posted on October 17, 2012

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Every now and then, God likes to present something in my life for His amusement – and to teach me humility.  That’s not to say that I don’t mind a certain amount of challenge in my routine, but I’m not eagerly seeking to look like an idiot either. This week, I accepted an invitation to attend a beginners’ line dancing class for seniors. Beginners, hmmm? I figured my odds of success were good: I have a good sense of rhythm, I can manage choreographed routines in my cardio class, and I’d likely be one of the younger gals at the seniors’ activity centre. It couldn’t be as dismal as dance lessons back in high school Phys Ed classes, could it? Turned out that I didn’t let God down in the entertainment department, and I’m pretty sure the other thirty or so attendees were chuckling to themselves as I proved my western dancing talents had left Dodge City.

First of all, let me say that I was relieved to not see a room full of cowboy hats and boots among the throng of grey and white-haired gals in the gym.The instructor, decked out in a casual yet classy denim skirt, paisley shirt and white cowboy boots, began by organizing us ladies into lines. A couple of gals who noticed I was a newbie, suggested I situate myself on the second line from the front in order to watch the instructor’s steps. I guess I looked like a deer facing oncoming traffic when our leader openly asked in a loud voice: “Are there any new people in class today?” As the solitary respondent, I imagined all eyes were on me, ready to critique at the first mistake. I wanted to retreat, but muscled the resolve to try to keep up.

One day I’ll also be kicking up my heels.

Five minutes into the first routine (excuse me, dance), I realized I was not in Kansas anymore. Maybe in the London Underground, making my way through the crowds on a subway platform, but certainly not keeping step, or on beat, to the country tune belting out. Oh, I’ll give credit to the teacher since she did go through the steps a few times before trying them with the music. But just like learning new card games, I didn’t understand the lingo, and by the time I comprehended the pattern, I’d lost track of the beat. And then, for some reason, all the other gals were heading off in a different direction than me. Where’s the traffic officer when you need one? Great! Did I mention I suck at learning card games too? This was really a workout for the brain!

That was the first of eight different, *&#!!  line dances in store for me during the hour. After each one, a lady around me would condescendingly whisper to me, “It’s OK, dear … I’m sure you’ll figure it out soon,” and then return to her spot on the floor with a cool smile. My long hair was sweaty and so was I – and no water bottle or towel in sight. I was amazed at how much energy I actually put out in a short time, (even though some of that was getting frustrated and embarrassed every few minutes). To my credit, though, I did finally replicate the appropriate moves for two songs by the end of the session. All bets are off for next week’s class.

I’d love to glide and kick and sachet around the floorboards like those smokin’ gals down at the local watering hole, but for right now, I think God is playing with me and getting a good laugh. I also learned after that session that there’s almost a movement of seniors enjoying line dancing at seniors’ activity centres around the world – go figure! I’m just not there yet, I guess. The experience does make me a more unassuming person, and that’s fine. I simply have to be patient with myself and hope for less collisions. I may even wear my stompin’ boots next time, who knows.

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Posted in: Mid-Life Quirks