Swing Time

A few hours before my first swing class, I was pretty nervous. 1) I was going solo to a partner dance class, and 2) I’m a chunky girl and self-conscious about my size. Who would want to dance with the fat chick? Even as I walked towards the dance hall, I kept thinking, “You can always go home.” Despite the desire to skip out, I made my way to class.

As class began I was relieved to see that we were randomly partnered and then switched partners throughout class. It was interesting to feel how different each partner felt. Some felt like a”good fit” as the rhythm felt smooth, they were good leaders, and our sizes were compatible for the steps.

As we switched partners and added onto the steps, I began to realize how my trust issues were at play. My resistance was subtle and showed up in the forms of focusing only on what I was doing and worrying if my body was too big for them to do certain steps (the cuddle and lock). This is a dance based on your partner leading, so if I’m only focused on what I’m doing, how is this going to work?

As soon as I noticed this, I made the conscious decision to trust each partner. When I did this I noticed that it was harder for me to trust the more “seasoned” dancers. They were more directive and correcting and even though I knew they wanted to help, it felt intrusive. I found it easier to trust the partners who were new to learning the steps or had the basics down, but weren’t corrective.

In the end, the whole evening was really fun. My comfort zone was stretched a bit as I had to be social with 15 different dance partners. With each one I had to practice trust (both in them and myself).

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