Tuesday, September 04, 2007


Among many other things I did this weekend, I went swing dancing. It was the first time for a long time and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. A couple of things added to the fun. First, I went with CK. Fun, in and of itself, but particularly beneficial was that I got all her turn-downs. CK is quite the swing dance regular these days and is in high demand. However, she had to say no to several offers either because she was changing her shoes, taking a break or heading to the ladies room. Who was there to pick up the slack? Yours truly, thank-you-very-much. Since CK is a known good dancer, all the fellas asking her to dance were good dancers. Thus, I had the privilege of dancing with quite a few very good and excellent dancers. I like that.

The second thing I did was to acquire a good attitude. My bad attitude (fear of dealing with the scary guys, mostly) has kept me away from swing dancing for quite a while. This time, I decided that no matter what was happening, no matter how bad a dancer the guy was or how much I was screwing up, I would keep a smile plastered on my face. The smile had a couple of effects. Just the act of smiling can cheer one up, so when I missed a beat or a lead, I kept smiling and often laughed (the laughing is normal for me) and remained cheerful. I also figured that my dance partners would notice what a good sport I was and be encouraged to dance with me again. Additionally, others who noticed me dancing, would see that smile and be more likely to ask me to dance.

I'd say this strategy paid off because I didn't sit out more than one dance the entire evening. Also, I noticed guys who didn't smile with other partners, did smile when they danced with me. See, I spread joy wherever I go.

It wasn't too difficult to pull this off, but it did take some conscious thought. When I dance, especially after a long lay-off, I have to concentrate and that can lead to a more intense, focused expression—not a big, broad smile. The new strategy was well worth it. I focused on smiling, keeping a strong frame (the better to be lead) and taking smaller steps. With those three things in mind, my dancing steadily improved over the course of the evening. I'm definitely going back next weekend—my enthusiasm for this activity has returned!

Grateful for: a good attitude.

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