On letting go and feeling alive….

Most of the time, I’m a pretty reserved person. I don’t get all that excitable, as a general rule. Even when I’m doing things I absolutely love (like singing or baking), I don’t really just let loose and go crazy. Karaoke, you’d think, is a pretty safe place to just go nuts with the singing (just watch my friend, Jill, and you’ll understand) but I never really let go. She’s a performer; I’m simply not. When I’m baking, I like things to be in order and clean…the idea of getting flour all over the place gives me a little anxiety because I know what a pain it is to clean up. Ugh. It turns into cement, if you’re not careful.
But dancing? That’s when I can really let my hair down (sometimes literally) and just be in whatever moment I’m in. Whether I’m ghetto-booty dancing with LT and JPB, or losing my head to pop music with Edubs (and sometimes Steph, if I’m lucky), or spinning around a ballroom with whomever my partner is at the moment, that’s when I feel like I can forget everything around me and just live. I never thought I’d experience that feeling of having everything around me disappear, but when I’m dancing, that actually happens. It especially happens when I’m on a ballroom floor. Until I started learning “real” dancing, I didn’t know how alive I could really feel.
Dancing, especially the waltz and foxtrot, makes me feel feminine and beautiful. Being spun around a dancefloor with a partner that knows that he’s doing? Exhilarating. My dad and I do this Father-Daughter Ball thing every year and we’re usually asked to teach some style of dance to everyone there. I like the teaching part, but dancing with my dad is something I never thought I could love as much as I do. He’s a beautiful dancer, and ever-so-patient when I screw up a move. He loves teaching me new things and sometimes, like with the Viennese Waltz (one of the hardest I’ve ever done), we just make it up as we go.
Ballroom dancing seems rather counter-intuitive to everything (or at least, most things) I believe in. I’m a pretty independent person, probably a feminist (nah, definitely a feminist), I don’t want to be treated like I’m going to break…these sorts of things. With dancing, I’m almost entirely dependent on my partner. After all, as the woman, I’m in a pretty precarious position, being the one moving backwards about 98% of the time. I have to trust my partner intrinsicly…that he won’t let me fall, won’t bash me into another person, won’t break me or step on my feet.
Other than my dad, there’s never been a single man out there that I’ve been completely dependent on for anything, ever. It’s just not my style. But dancing? That makes me feel the way I think so many girls want to feel: protected, cared for, showed off, beautiful.
There’s not much in life I’ll let loose for. I’m just a reserved, fairly collected person (not to mention a sucker for etiquette). But get me in a swirly dress on a dance floor and you’ll see just how crazy I can get…

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