I’ve started casually teaching folks how to do some basic dance moves on skates. It just happened organically.
I spend so much time on my own working on different tricks and steps, and then talking to other people about what they are working on. Soon two or three us are practicing Crazy Legs or spins or whatever. And suddenly there are six other people rolling up who also want to learn it!
And then it hit me out of the blue: I’m teaching people how to dance! A thing I have told myself for decades I could never do.
It reminds me that people want to dance. This is a universal aspect of the human experience — to move rhythmically to music together.
And yet, most of the time, we don’t dance.
Often it’s because we are in place where dancing is not practiced: at work, at the supermarket, on the street. So we hold it in.
And even if we are in place where dancing might occur, like in a bar or a concert or a part, we don’t dance. We might feel afraid of looking foolish. Or being stared at and judged by others. Or doing the “wrong” dance. So we hold it in.
Until something happens that helps us overcome our fears. Typically its because we see someone else dancing. Or several people dancing. Enough people that we don’t feel so alone in our desire to dance. So we jump in and get our groove on.
So teaching someone to dance is also about creating a space where they can express themselves, to try something, to make mistakes, to look “foolish.” So they can move more confidently the next time they want to dance.
It’s really quite powerful. And it’s a power that we all have. We can help another person feel less afraid. Feel accepted and celebrated. Feel freer to express themselves, to try something new, to look “foolish” and be okay with that.