Male Ballroom Dancer Confessions | The dreaded group class

OK, so I really don’t mind group classes TODAY, but my experience around my first group class is a bit humorous and I wanted to share it with you. So I told you in my last post that my instructor was really pushing us to attend the group classes. I mean, I get it. She wanted us to learn certain dance moves in that setting and we could then use our private lessons to polish such skills. So I bit. My wife and I took a look at the schedule and chose a class. Now, keep in mind that I have never taken a group class and didn’t know what to expect. Basically I knew that it was a dance class that involved a group of people. That’s all I knew which makes the experience a bit more comical.

So in traditional fashion, the men line up on one wall and the women line up on the completely opposite wall. I’m lined up with my wife so it’s not a problem. I learn to dance step with my wife and I’m feeling pretty good. I mean, I have this whole group class thing. Then the unspeakable happened. The instructor yelled out, “OK now change partners”.

Excuse me?

I didn’t sign up for switching partners. I think I’m doing just fine. But, alas, I lose that battle and am forced to dance with a variety of other partners. Many were much better than me, but some were in the same boat I was. So the thoughts running through my head were: Will they judge me for my poor dancing skills and Can I even remember the steps?

Well an interesting thing happened. Once the fear subsided I realized that each dance partner had something new to tell me and to teach me. Now, they may not say it with words (although some had no problem telling me exactly what I’m doing wrong), but they often said it with their body. The poor dance partners told me that I am not as bad as I thought I was. The better partners showed me what it felt like when it feels “good”. I also got a lesson on women of different heights and how that changes the comfort level.

As a whole, all of this communication and learning a new step in the process is what really makes this an integral part of the process. I now enjoy my group classes, but before it was my own little slice of hell.

Next, I’m going to talk about a whole different kind of stress: the party.

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