Friday, December 28, 2012

Old white guy can't dance (yet) - Part 1

I've been taking zumba and flashmob classes at the YWCA for a little over a month now. I'm awful, but I love it. Maybe I love it because I've embraced my awfulness. I dance being aware that if I'm the worst dancer in the room, I'm making everyone else look better, so my awfulness is a mitzvah, a small kindness for all the other dancers that costs me nothing 'cause I have fun.

It's taken a long time—57 years—for me to be comfortable with being awful in public. If I could tell my younger self anything, I would tell him to delight in looking bad, because that lets you do all the things you love.

And by doing them, you get better. Maybe not better than anyone else, but real competition is never with anyone else.

And while I'd hesitate to say I'm not still the worst dancer in the room, I do know a few steps now that newcomers take a while to learn.


  1. <3!!! I'm so happy to hear this! "We're fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance." Giving yourself permission to be foolish is one of the best gifts you can give yourself. Get down with your bad self. ;) Sweat Your Prayers by Gabrielle Roth is an excellent book about the transformative power of dance.

    1. Aw. Thanks for the book rec! I've reserved it at the library.

  2. Any CD by Gabrielle Roth and the Mirrors is entirely dancey and recommended for moving about rhythmically.

  3. I remember reading a piece that held that old saw "Anything worth doing is worth doing well" had stifled more creativity than anything else, and that there were things - like dancing - that were certainly worth doing even if you were gloriously bad at them. You get down with your bad self, baby.