When I was a child I remember being fascinated watching ballroom dancing with my mother on the television. We enjoyed the fancy costumes in undeniably colorful fabrics of ruffles and sequins with suave hairstyles with an evidently obvious number hanging from their backs in pins ready to crown the winner. Taut muscles and movements in a jerk of a second with energetic music completed elaborate moves leaving me in a state of admiration. I knew I wanted to try ballroom dancing someday.
When I was a teenager, my partner and I enrolled in ballroom dancing lessons at the local park district. Our first few lessons were the foxtrot and the waltz. I could hear myself humming the slow slow, quick quick slow as my partner and I toured around the room with many anxious couples practicing for weddings or just the pure enjoyment of feeling their body move to the music. But the one thing that got me each and every time I took the floor was the fact that at times it felt like I wasn’t moving anywhere, just a big box of six to eight steps begging the question-was I actually improving? All I remember at the time was feeling my feet hurt in my shoes from hours of practice.
Sometimes life feels like a ballroom dance floor—being trapped in a box, or taking a step backward, slowly shifting sideways but eventually propelling our way forward.
Recently, I read an article about entrepreneurs and what they had to share in terms of their success. Just about every one of them admitted that if they didn’t fail somewhere along the way, they wouldn’t have been able to share what sparked their capacity to gravitate toward success because if everything went according to plan exactly the way they intended, they wouldn’t have known what to change, what to modify and how to learn from it.
So while that was a business application, I think about how this pertains to life. Sometimes the steps are easy, at times slow, quick or even practical. We all make mistakes. Other situations, we experience a downfall or step backwards. Sometimes it is not of our own doing rather the circumstances that dictate where we go. But the one thing I realize is each step backward helps propel that next step forward in life. So perhaps this learning along the way spices up our lives a bit and that is why I enjoy salsa dancing the most. Insert lady in red dancing emoji here.
Wherever you see yourself today in your walk of life, enjoy the moves, you only get to dance this life once.
I’m cheering for you.