I Hope You Dance is a song by country artist Leann Womack. I don't know too much about country music but I have always liked this song. This is a blog that I have been wanting to write for quite some time. Since Tia is taking a break and I have done a poor job at filling in the gaps, I figured I'd go ahead and write this.
I don't like doing things I know I'm not naturally good at. I'm not good at pool and I am absolutely terrible at bowling. I am not good at these things not because I am terrified of them. It just so happens that I don't have the knack for them. There is one more thing that I am not good at and a reason why I have never been really good at it is because I am terrified of it and that is couples dancing.
Now I am a good dancer and have been since I could walk. I was the little kid that would hear music, start dancing and then discovered that people had formed a circle around me. I absolutely love to feel music on my own. I've been dancing by myself the way I like to dance for years and the longer I do it the more foreign the concept of allowing someone else to not only dance in my space but to be very close to me and lead me scares me (bookmark that, as one of my favorite writers, Shellie R. Warren would say). However when it comes to dancing with a partner,it's almost like I have no rhythm. I get embarrassed, I can't look in the person's eyes and my body just seems to get all limp. I think too hard about it. I start thinking things like "I don't have enough experience in this. Why can't I feel him leading me? What if he starts leading me into a part of the room I don't want to go? Wouldn't this be better if I led? Why do we have to be SO close? What if I start to like this too much
?" All of these fears apply to something else that I am afraid of and am not always quite confident that I will be good at: a committed relationship.
It's a direct parallel, dancing is. Two people connected by the rhythm of one force(love/music) and they attempt to keep in step by moving in opposite ways that compliment one another while someone must lead. FREAKS. ME. All. THE. WAY. OUT!
I discovered this one day while dancing with my friend Jared. I don't know too many guys that I trust and respect more than Jared. However, every time he has taken my hand to dance, I have a problem letting myself enjoy it. It's not that I don't feel safe with him because it's not him that's the problem. It's my insecurity that I will not be keen enough to be able to detect and thus follow his lead. However I have discovered something about my impromptu dances with Jared: no matter how much I resist and say "I am no good at this." Jared just simply smiles, doesn't let my hand go and keeps dancing with me. Now I used to think that this was because at 6'2 he has a whole foot on me and can't hear me from way down where I am yelling at him to let me go. But I later discovered that for one, he is patient and two, he doesn't think I am as bad at dancing as I do. The last time we danced I tried my best to run off after he twirled me around but he grabbed my hand and twirled me right back
into him. As much as I tried to enjoy it, I was too embarrassed to loosen up. Well okay it was kinda fun. I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy it just a little bit.
We talked about it later and Jared said something that has always stuck with me. "When you dance with someone you need to stand firm." He then put his hand on my back and straightened me up. "Your arm has to be stiff. It shouldn't be limp." he said as he wiggled my arm showing me how loose it was. Anyone remember spaghetti arms from Dirty Dancing? When he firmly grabbed my hand, I immediately straightened up and stood firm. It felt right and I felt confident. I felt strong enough to let my partner lead.
Isn't that what it's all about though? I think as independent single women we feel in order to "dance" we are going to have to or should become all weak and limp in order for a man to lead us. We are afraid that we will lose ourselves and not be who we are. Some of us do lose ourselves. However, the right partner wants you to stand firm and be strong. You really can't move on rhythmically together otherwise. You can't be a bully and demand to lead either like I did at my junior prom when both my date and I tried to lead and came to a standstill. That was pointless.
Now I have no problem with a man leading. For the love of God, I wish more men would! I wish more men would take the steps to initiate more "dancing" with women. This is why I think it's much easier (for me anyway) to be friends first. If Jared came up to me and we weren't friends and wouldn't let me go as I continuously said no to him, he would eventually be painfully limping away from me on the dance floor. But because we are friends and he knows I can be a punk, he's patient with me and according to 1st Corinthians love is patient and kind.
So what you have been burned and you have trust issues? Who doesn't have issues? Don't believe the lie that you will never be good enough because you're scared. If someone loves you, and not even romantically but as a human being, then they will show that love by being patient, gentle and kind. You just have to make a choice not to abuse that love and humble yourself. Oh trust I am talking to myself too.
Here's hoping that we will all get to dancing soon...