Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Laughing at Ourselves...

For the next eight weeks on Monday afternoons my friend and I will be doing an exercise program which lasts for an hour at the Sportsplex.  We have had two classes so far and I'm enjoying it very much. I'm finding out that as I age I'm not quite as steady on my pins as I used to be.

We do one exercise where we stand behind our chairs and put one foot in front of the other, our feet touching and my muscles are a bit shaky. Then we are to take three steps forward, then backwards with feet touching again, toe of left foot touching heel of right foot..then the instructor tells us to close one eye. What a difference in perception then! I can get a bit wobbly and have to put one finger on the top of the chair. The good news is the more I review the exercises at home, the steadier my muscles get.

This past Tuesday was a free class at the same place to try out line dancing. My friend said she was going, did I want to join her. As I discussed it with my husband during supper the night before he told me to go and have fun. I reminded him I can be rather uncoordinated at times. He reassured me that he was sure people would "laugh with me" and not at me. I decided that he was probably right and called my friend in the morning to tell her I'd go.

When we arrived I was delighted to see another lady there I know well, I also knew she had taken line dancing lessons for a few years so would know her way around. The room started to fill up, I think at last count there were close to twenty people there, including several men. In fact our instructor was a man and he said he recognized me from somewhere...wonder where?

Our first dance was the electric slide. He would do the whole dance himself first then "chunk" it down, repeating a few steps over and over until we had it. This was all fine, I watched his feet and felt I had the steps. After quite a few repetitions,  he turned on the music which speeded up the routine. Well was I lost! What was wrong with my feet, felt like I had two left ones..

We were taught a waltz next which had more to remember but I could do that fine..then we learned a Greek dance to music where the tempo would be slow then speed up..I was able to do that most of the time although sometimes my legs and feet looked like a twisted pretzel. Although I was really warm from this last dance I really started to sweat when the instructor said we would do review. Which meant starting with the electric slide again. Oh NO!

Each time you do that dance you make a quarter turn to the left, so when I ended up facing the front of the building, everyone else should have been behind me..how embarrassing,  I'm facing everyone else! Suffice it to say I eventually just stood back against the wall until the music stopped and watched those more expert on their feet. It was the only dance where my head and feet just didn't want to co-operate.

Three ladies came quickly up to me when it was all over and told me not to get discouraged or quit, that they were exactly the same the first time they took the class last year. I had to laugh at myself in order that others would laugh with me and not at me plus I know I wasn't the only one who had difficulty that afternoon. I think we expect too much of ourselves, after all it was the first class I'd taken,  there were six more classes to take if I signed up. My friend turned to me and said she really liked it and was signing up, so hoping I would improve over time I signed up also.

I'm hoping eventually I'll remember all the routines and dance expertly around the floor with all the other participants. But if that is not to be, if memory fails and feet fall all over themselves, at least I'll increase my endorphins by laughing at myself...My husband chuckled as I related my afternoon. He repeated how I would have lots of fun and it's an afternoon out to meet new people. It's a win, win situation if I don't practice in my sleep, fretting over what foot goes where. At the very least I should lose some weight, now if I can just get my friend to skip the donut shop after our lessons!


  1. Balance is the first thing to go. I teach dance and I use my students to balance me often when I am demonstrating.

  2. LOL, my first temptation after exercise is always straight for the donut shop as I think I've 'earned' it! Good for you trying something you aren't completely comfortable with. I'm sure you'll come out the end of those 6 weeks and be very happy with all that you've learned and the friends you have made.

  3. Mom did line dancing for awhile when she retired- did you know that? Not Dad though lol! He was more of a "waltz around the dining room table" kind of guy. I used to be pretty good at learning dance steps (talking back in highschool days) but now I just get lost too. I think the main thing here is - KEEP LAUGHING!