I know posting has been light but I’ve been relaxing and my last lesson was on the 22nd so there hasn’t been much to say. Then, I had one of those random moments that just got me to thinking so you get a little random stream of consciousness for your post Christmas enjoyment.
Was driving around doing some errands with the spouse and was flipping through the Sirius channels (I have a couple of go to stations but I like to graze since you never know when a killer song is going to be on another station). Well the song “You and Me” by Lifehouse is playing on one of the stations and I instantly stopped and turned it up just a bit. Now, you don’t really know my musical tastes but they typically don’t run towards this type of soft rock (well I hate that phrase since it seems like an oxymoron) and the lyrics are a bit over the top and I don’t really like the guys voice. But it is a Viennese Waltz and that just jumped out at me.
I ignored the lyrics and started counting the beats 1-2-3, 4-5-6 just to make sure I could hit all the 1’s. To be clear, I was doing this in my head so my wife wouldn’t think I was totally over the edge. Then, I just started picturing the routine and I swear I could feel my body going through some of the moves. At that moment, all I wanted to do was drop everything, find a dance floor and just cut loose. But I had to drive home and unload groceries so the moment passed.
And it got me to thinking that this is probably not the reaction that most people have to this song. I wonder how many of you who are into ballroom have similar experiences. Perhaps not with this song but with others. If I was really clever, I’d come up with another 10 or so things that I could title “You know you’re a dancer when …” but this isn’t that kind of post. I’m sure you have your own experiences but did you ever stop to think about when you crossed a line to becoming a dancer. Was there a defining moment or just a gradual realization that things were somehow different.
Music is the most obvious example for me because I would sometimes sing along or imagine playing an air guitar or air drum (and playing it badly because I have no real musical skill). But now the lyrics area secondary. I’m searching for the beat. “Where is that one?” “Is that a slow” and “What could I dance to that”. Yes, I’ve been known to rush home and google a song and a dance style just to see if I was right or crazy.
I knew I liked ballroom right from the beginning but I don’t think that is the same thing. At some point, it becomes a part of you. At some point, it moves from being a hobby or a way to pass the time to something deeper. I can go a couple of days without thinking too much about it but then a song comes on the radio and I’m all about dancing again. I’m actually looking forward to Monday when I get to return to the studio. I’m still on vacation all of next week so it isn’t like I’m looking forward to going to work. I know this doesn’t happen to everyone – my wife was able to walk away so I wonder if I’m the only one who feels this way.
I have wondered off hand whether ballroom dancing can be addictive. I’ve tried to describe the feeling I get when I’m doing something and everything falls into place but I can’t really capture it with words. Perhaps it is that feeling that is what drives us to put up with all the practice and pain (my feet have enjoyed the week off) and frustration that comes with it. Really, I’m sure some of you have read some of my darker posts and wondered why I would choose to put myself through this but it is the highs that dance offers that more than make up for all the lows.
Or maybe it is just discovering something that I’m truly passionate about. I suppose others have hobbies that do the same for them – golf would seem to be in the same boat. There is a golf course near the park where I take the dogs on weekends and I’ll see people lined up to tee off in almost all kinds of weather and I do wonder why they would do that. And there are those who fly to places simply to golf. I’m sure they would have some of the same questions to me. And maybe that is the line between a dancer and someone who just does this for fun or other reasons. When you do things associated with dance that make perfect sense to you but not to others, then you are a dancer. And they will never understand because we are different. (Or maybe it is really just me and I’m totally off my rocker here)
Either way, I don’t care. I’m am what I am and what I am is a ballroom dancer. I’m good with that.