So You Think You Can't Dance

I really love to dance.

I feel kind of weird saying that, given my historic aversion to dancing in public, but it's true. Even when I was a teenager, super awkward and deeply uncomfortable in my own skin, I'd lock the door to my room and turn on some music and just move for a little while. Inevitably someone parental would comment on it - "What are you doing in there, dancing?" - and I'd immediately stop doing it, but I always really enjoyed it.

When I was a junior in high school, I moved to California and ended up enrolled in a school for the creative and performing arts. I mean, it was basically a regular high school, but we had a really huge arts program, and you could do things like take a dance class for your gym credit, which was not an option in the tiny town where I grew up. While there were certainly much better dancers in the class - girls who could do the splits, girls who could do any dance, flawlessly, after seeing it just once - I wasn't the worst by any means. It was actually quite validating, discovering that I wasn't quite as hopeless as I'd always assumed I would be. 

I was, and still am, very slow to pick up choreography (I have left/right confusion, which does not lend itself to remembering complicated steps), but I don't think that's necessarily the be all, end all of dancing. In the past few years, I've realized that it doesn't matter that much if I can get the footwork down. I'm still a little jealous of people who are good at things like swing dancing, but dancing is about having fun and just moving your body in a way that feels right - right for the music, right for your mood.