One of the many recent changes I have embraced are the dance classes which I started over a year ago. I never thought I would be grappling with less stamina or body stiffness and other health issues, but I realized I need to take some action. I started off by going gym, which I stopped midway, then did a trial yoga, which I couldn’t connect with, tried zumba classes which was too exhausting for me to start at that time and time consuming for weekends. So I started searching classes during weekday mornings when N went to school which led me to this Dancewithme Studio in East Bangalore.
I don’t remember the exact day, but it was sometime in June or July, I made that call. Being a procrastinating expert, it took me days of postponing and re-thinking, to finally call up at this studio to know about the fitness dance classes. I thought it would be like the weekend Zumba classes which I liked or the Aerobics class that I attended the trial for. When I came to know that it was pure western dance forms that I know nothing of or ever seen, I was intimidated enough to withdraw and retreat into my shell. If it was not for the instructor’s few sincere encouraging words to give a trial class, I would not have been motivated to step out of house the next day.
I thought it would be just a trial class and I would stop this new start after few classes or 3 months. But this July I think I completed one year at the studio, which is in itself a big achievement for me. Though there were several days I skipped the classes due to my overthinking, I was quite regular enough to take part in two group performances. The adrenaline rush to do something which gives confidence was worth taking the risk for. The main motivation could be the mesmerising smile of the dance instructor and the inspiring attitude of other women in the class or the whole positive environment as such.
Now, I do have something to look forward to on the class days. I got to hear different styles of western music and enjoy them. I could see that dance can be adapted in your life irrespective of age, body shape,or health and that you need not be perfect to start dancing. I got to experience how to immerse myself in the power of music and dance to heal and express myself, uplift my mental energies, replenishing my happiness quotient. Though the studio promotes Latin dancing (Salsa, Bachata, Jive Swing, etc.) at its core, its admirable to see how the fitness classes infuse Hip Hop, Jazz and popular Bollywood, Tamil songs also in their routine.
After few months, I thought of delving deep into the well, and started attending classes on weekends too, not for fitness but to learn the dances and keep myself occupied. All the more, I had to do dancing with partners, and wearing heels. Considering how I was raised against western culture or interacting with opposite gender and not been much exposed to western dances, it was yet another challenge to convince myself to become the black sheep among the herd. It was a daunting task to bear the initial pain of wearing heels, to get used to spins and yet not lose balance. Not to mention the confusion that arises every weekend on what to wear for the dance classes!!! I may not be loving the dance as a passion, but this was again some opportunity to hang on positively, to teach myself something new. As I approach the next stage performance in the coming months, that would be yet another milestone in my life, if I could jump in the ring and come unscathed from the burns given by my nagging mind.
Till then, let me dance away to quieten the blues and thoughts…