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Bucket List – Dance Lessons

Bucket List – Dance Lessons
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by Bob Poliquin, Managing Editor ~

Bucket lists are usually the things you want to experience before you die: jump from an airplane, travel to an exotic place, cruise around the world, or as Tim McGraw sings, “Ride 2.7 seconds on a bull named Fu Manchu.”

My bucket list is different and short. I have been metaphorically shot at and missed enough for one lifetime. Instead, for my bucket list, I want to face my failures and my fears. For example, I can’t dance (failure), and I’m afraid to dance (fear). No brag, but I have always been much better than an average athlete. Physically, there has not been much I have either wanted to do or needed to do that I have not been able to do, and reasonably well at that. But I have never wanted to or needed to dance. Nevertheless, the few times I have tried (think weddings, my own included) I seem to be hopeless. Neither my gymnast sister nor my cheerleader wife has been able to get through to me.

“Feel the downbeat.” “Lead with your shoulder.” Simple enough, one would think. All lost somewhere between my ears and my body.

There is a big difference, it seems, between being able to do something and being able to explain to someone how to do it. In my limited athletic coaching experience, I simply advise people to “Just do it better” because I have no idea how I do anything physical. I just can.

But when it comes to dancing, the synapses in my brain must be clogged with self-consciousness and introversion. I’m a natural wallflower, perfectly fine letting the spotlight shine on anyone who wants to play first fiddle. And while physical skills have always come naturally, looking awkward in front of strangers is not something for which I will readily volunteer.

Fortunately, Sun City Carolina Lakes has four dance groups: Social Dance is for all levels of talent and experience and led by professional instructors. Line Dancing, again for all levels, is instructed by volunteers. Either one would probably be just fine to get me started. There is also square dancing and clogging.

My wife keeps asking me why learning to dance is so important to me. “You don’t like to dance,” she said.

“It’s not about the dancing,” I told her. “It’s about facing my fears and about figuring out how to do something I can’t seem to do.”

“So, it’s about pride?”

“Yes, and about fear. And why can goofy old guys who can barely walk dance really well and I can’t dance at all?”

“So, it’s about pride.”

“Pretty much, I guess, if you get down to it.”

Anyhow, when I finally get up my courage, and my wife and I get on the same page as far as our work schedules, I’m going to take dance lessons. One of the benefits of living in an active adult community is clubs like these that teach folks like me how to do things in a low-threat environment. Whatever it is that you want to do or learn, it can happen in Sun City Carolina Lakes. So, either join the club or start the club. And, at some point, face your fears.