Hey, Newbie Dancer.
Yes, you. The one hiding in the shadows. The one not wearing dance appropriate shoes, pretending to be reading an important email on your cell phone. You’re shy, you have no rhythm and your basic step makes you cringe.
You hang out in the corners, sometimes tying and retying your shoes to avoid eye contact. You sweat so much that your shirt and hair is all wet. You rarely stay for more than an hour at a time, and you look exhausted and humiliated when you go home. You never talk to anyone. I’ve got something I’d like to say to you.
You are awesome. If you’d look me in the eye only for an instant, you would notice the reverence and respect I have for you. The adventure you have started is tremendous; it leads to a better health, to renewed confidence, creative expression, and a whole new community of great friends. The gifts you will receive from dancing will far exceed the gigantic effort it takes you to show up here, to face your fears and to bravely set yourself in motion, in front of others.
You have already begun your transformation. You no longer accept your lack of connection to music and a dance partner as the norm. You have taken a difficult decision, but one that holds so much promise. Every footstep and difficult pattern you try is actually a tad easier than the one before, and every time you ask or get asked to dance is ever so slightly more enjoyable. Each lesson you take leaves the former person you were in your wake, creating room for an improved version, one that is better, healthier, happier, coordinated, confident, and expressive; one who knows that anything is possible.
You’re a hero to me. And, if you’d lift your head up for more than a second or two, you would notice that the other dancers you meet, the ones that probably make you feel so inadequate, stare in awe at your determination. They, of all people, know best where you are coming from. They’ve heard the resolutions of so many others, who vowed to pick up dance and improve their life, “starting next week”. Yet, it is YOU who dances alongside us, who digs from deep inside to find the strength to come here, and to come back again.
You are a dancer, and no one can take that away from you. You are relentlessly moving forward. You are more courageous than even you think, and you are about to be amazed by what you can do. One day, very soon, maybe tomorrow, you’ll step outside and marvel at your capabilities. You will not believe your own ability; you will realize that you can do this. And a new horizon will open up for you. You are a true inspiration.
I bow to you.
(copied from Robert Strong)