I’m gonna put my dancing shoes on. No, not the glittery stilletos when I go clubbing. I mean good old fashioned social dance. Ballroom dance. Salsa. Tango. Foxtrot. I’ve got a date with Mr. Arthur Murray!
Why? It’s my acupuncturist’s fault. She’s like my own personal Yoda with little tiny needles and amazing glass cups, but regular shaped ears and normal skin tone. She and I go about living our separate lives, doing our own separate things, and sometimes we intersect in moments of life (we’ll call them “appointments”) when she’ll work wonders on my back and knees and neck and qi. Every now and then, BAM, she randonly throws some wisdom at me that I just wasn’t expecting. It used to piss me off.
But we’ve started getting friendlier because she sees me mostly naked more than anyone else these days. We make small talk, and she told me about her ballroom dancing hobby. I shared that I took a Social Dance class in college and it did not go well. I said I was surprised it was so difficult.
She remarked, “It’s actually not hard. You do hard things. You’re impatient and don’t follow well. The problem is you don’t like to be led.”
And then she had the nerve to leave the room. So I’m alone in the room with only her words, a thin sheet, and a bunch of needles in my back. Damnit if she’s not right. How does she do this?
I have to admit to myself she’s right. I hated that dance class. I hated not being in control. I hated that I had to relinquish control to someone who was supposed to gently guide me. I was supposed to trust someone’s abilities and intentions. I was expected to just go with the flow as a stranger defined it. And in a class setting, your lead differs with each class. You meet new people all the time, and I was supposed to just trust them?
I decided I didn’t like this topic so being the mature adult I am, I chose to ignore her when she returned to the room. But in a subsequent appointment, like a moth drawn to a flame, I asked more about her dancing. She told me where she dances, and then turned it right back to me. She said, “You must learn to trust to let someone lead. Let him make mistakes. Wait for him to come back to you. It’s OK even when he makes mistakes. Follow him. He’ll come back.”
Ugh. So there you have it. My next adventure is social dancing. Why? Because I need to practice how to trust and follow and relinquish control. I used to trapeze to trust. But since I can’t do that any time soon, dancing it is. It’s gonna be ugly, in all sorts of ways. “You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life…”-Abba