Sunday, February 8, 2009

Try something new

Have you ever wanted to do something, but been scared to try it? You see people doing it, see they are having fun, and can imagine how it would feel to be in their shoes. It could be running a marathon, skiing, climbing, or dancing the tango. Yes - dancing the tango!

After my trip to Mexico with the Russian Contingency (Alex, Victor, and Polina), I decided to try tango. They had told me about their tango experiences and it seemed like an addicting activity. I had been captured by Al Pacino's tango dance in "The Scent of a Woman" like so many others, and this was my chance to try it. Dawn was agreeable, so we signed up for some beginner classes. After 4-6 classes, I felt like an expert. We were clearly the best in our class, and were ready to go to a real dance (melonga). Yeah, right!!!

Dawn came to my place in an amazing red dress, and looked stunningly beautiful. However, she seemed very hestitant and nervous about our plan. Although she tries many new things (ice climbing and skiing to name a few recent endeavors), she gets a bit stressed about it. I figured, what could possibly go wrong? You try so many harder things with much greater consequences...There's no harm in'll be an adventure!

After coaxing Dawn into it, we drove 1 hour to North Hampton, MA. When we walked into the small venue, I was shocked. I had never seen so many amazing dancers in one little space. They all looked amazing out there, and they were so cramped together on the dance floor. Dawn and I had been practicing long steps, and the moves we knew were limited. "How were we going to get through this?", I thought. I tried to keep cool, so Dawn wouldn't get upset. "Think, think...How are you going to get through this one, Boy Genius?"

After watching a dance or two, we saw a few people we knew from our studio, and they introduced us to the host for this event (who is also an instructor). She was very encouraging and gave us a few tips for surviving the dance floor. So, we gave it a whirl, and what a whirl it was...

We did fine with our few moves and made it through a couple dances. We stuck together like glue, and Dawn's nervous giggle made me smile. We adjusted our stride length just like a runner would do on a steep uphill, and raised our game to another level like you would do in a race or a hard on-site climb. We took frequent breaks, so I could mentally re-group. Leading the tango as a beginner can be mentally exhausting.

There were wayyyy more women than men. Many women were lined up against the wall practically begging for a dance partner. Note to all you single guys out there: take Tango lessons now!!!! These "wall flowers" were not what you would expect in a wall flower. The ladies were attractive and could really dance. Of course, none looked as good as Dawn :-).

At one point, the host asked all the new folks to come to the middle of the floor and then asked the regulars to grab us as partners for a dance. Yikes! A very good dancer came over and tapped me on the shoulder. Before I knew it, we were dancing and Dawn was off dancing with someone else. I was hoping she was OK, but was fully focused on trying to do a decent job with my new partner. I did a decent job with my limited moves, and then another lady jumped in. We had a nice dance, and then I needed a drink to calm down. Unfortunately, the strongest thing they had was lemon water. ;-) I saw Dawn out there dancing up a storm. OK, she seemed OK, so I asked another lady that I recognized from out studio to dance. She was really good, and we had fun. I started to relax more as she improvised a bit.

By the end of the night, we had set aside our inhibitions and were starting to just go with the flow. I experimented a bit and some things worked and some didn't. Either way, we were having fun with a new experience and we did it together!

So, get out there and try something new today! Try something that scares you! You'll surprise yourself and have a lot of fun! What's the worst that could happen? Don't answer that question...just do it!

Running for the week:

I've been getting in about 20 miles per week for the past 2 weeks. Hoping to ramp things up a little more in the next few weeks. Gotta get ready for spring!


cherie said...

Hey, remember me? I met you running in Hartford Reservoir Park (may not be the proper name) in October or so....maybe it was November? Anyway, how are you? What are you training for? I'm def doing VT100 this summer (yay!), and before that, maybe Bel Monte 50miler, Boston Marathon, Bear Mtn North Face Challenge 50miler, Laurel Headlands 70.5 miler, South Mtn 100k, Quebec Ultimate XC 50k...should be a fun summer. I hope to be up visiting your area soon; we should get together for a run.

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