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My ideas are constantly changing as I learn. Sometimes they even change midway through writing a post.

Monday, June 21

The next frontier

A relatively new acquaintance was surprised to hear that I had a blog and quite indignant that I had never mentioned its existence - much less the url. Honestly, it just hadn't occurred to me

I don't usually point it out to people I know in person because this is my place where I put down whatever I want and sometimes it doesn't quite make sense or sounds silly or pretentious or .[insert some undesirable adjective]. I don't mind complete strangers, or nearly complete strangers reading it. I don't know why that is.

Ah well, I guess I can live with it.

Now, on to the next frontier. I've been doing some dancing lately. It started a few months ago as part of my new year's resolution, my mission to explore whatever is strange and new to me in the world and find out whether it is fun.

I'd always wanted to take lessons or classes and really learn to do it properly, but I'd never go around to it. A friend helped me take a step towards realizing that dream. Out of the blue one day, some months back, I asked him if he knew how to dance. He did and agreed to take me. I soon realized that there was more to it than I could learn while dodging other dancers on a crowded floor. I did some searching for classes and soon discovered a few free ones offered around town. I picked one that met on Friday afternoons and showed up for my first class.

It started off slow and easy. Walking. Just walking. Then walking in rhythm. Finally, it was time to dance as a couple. Fortunately, there were plenty of men available for those of us who showed up without partners. In fact, to my surprise, there were more men than women. Again, the instructor started out slowly and after we all were fairly comfortable with the basic two step, he proceeded to teach a much more advanced pattern of steps. He started out teaching each part of the pattern very carefully but gave less and less instruction as he moved through the pattern so that by the end of it, I was completely lost! I decided I wouldn't be coming back.

And yet, I found myself showing up the next week anyway. I remembered the fun of the easy steps and decided it was worth another try. This time things went slightly better for me. After multiple months of Fridays, I'm finally starting to put bits and pieces together well enough to be able to sometimes follow a good partner. I still have a long way to be passable, really, but it's really starting to become more fun and I've started to meet new people. More about that another time...

Some of my very earliest and happiest memories are of dancing to my favorite 45s -that's lingo for one of the smaller diameter records used for playing single songs - for you younguns who don't remember them. I don't remember exactly when I learned to change a record, but I know I had my own player at age 3, and I picked the different songs by the label color. I had a little confusion over a few which happened to have the same label/brand. I don't remember a time when I didn't know how to put a record on.

My idea of dancing back then mostly involved spinning in a circle while standing in the exact center of an oval rug with an alternating pattern of white and brown rows of yarn, or whatever it was made of. The pattern made the spinning even more exciting and fun. When I'd tired myself out spinning, I'd flop down on the rug face up and watch in fascination while the ceiling and the room spun around me. I'd lay there and rest until everything went still again, then get up and do it again.

I thought music was just about the most wonderful thing in the world. It could make me feel sad or happy or silly and, of course, dancing always felt good.