Saturday, November 28, 2015

I'd Rather Be Dancing

Head Over Heels In Love With Dance

I wrote in a previous post about my dance journey--coming late to the party and not realizing just how much I needed dance in my life until I was well into my twenties.  I'm now thirty-six and I am still learning.  The passion for the art, however, has not diminished in any way.  The only thing that ever makes me feel reluctant to go to a dance lesson is the fact that I live in a small town, so I have to drive for forty-five minutes to get to the nearest place that teaches adult classes.  That drive occasionally threatens to make me lose my resolve, but it never fully succeeds.  I always end up going to class.

Dance classes are not always fun.  There are dance steps that are so awkward you find yourself hoping you'll never be asked to do them again.  That's how I feel about the Flora in my highland dance lessons.  There are warm-ups that are so taxing for the legs that you wonder if you will make it through the rest of the class.  This pretty much describes the entire first thirty minutes of my ballet class.  But then you do a step that you find not just easy, but also fun, and you realize...yeah, this is why I keep coming to class.

When I have those fun moments in class I experience a high that I never want to come down from.  But I do come down.  We all have to come down from our highs eventually.  Usually by the time I've completed the forty-five minute drive back to my house I'm already feeling depressed that I'm not in dance class anymore.  Then I go to bed, but I can't fall asleep right away because I'm just lying there thinking about how much I'd rather be dancing.

A Coffee Snob

Alright, I know what that heading made you think: Coffee?  I thought we were talking about dance.  Yeah, we are, but bear with me for a moment.  A love of coffee is another thing I did not discover until well into my twenties, but now I'm completely addicted.  Not to the caffeine.  I'm just as happy drinking decaf as I am regular coffee.  What I love is the taste and the feeling of the warm cup in my hands.  But like most coffee lovers, I'm picky about the taste.

When my husband and I first started drinking coffee all we had to make it in was my grandmother's old aluminum stove-top percolator, and we used it happily.  After a few years someone gave us a drip coffee maker as a gift.  Being used to percolated coffee, it took awhile to get used to the taste of coffee made in the drip machine.  I still like percolated coffee better, and this preference got me thinking about all the different brewing methods that are out there.  I love cappuccino, which is made from espresso, so at some point I bought a little cheap stove-top espresso maker.  I don't use it very often, but I'm actually drinking coffee that I brewed in it right now as I write this post.  Something I've always wanted to try is a French press because in many of the coffee blogs I have read it is listed as the best way, or at least one of the best ways, to make coffee.  I've never tasted coffee made in a French press and am curious to know if it lives up to the hype. 

Choosing Dance Over Coffee

Okay, here we go, back to talking about dance.  Because dance lessons cost money, I've come to filter all potential impulse buys with the question, would I rather buy that, or take a dance lesson.  This happened just yesterday.  I was shopping and happened to see a French press coffee maker sitting on a shelf.  I picked up the box and held it in my hands for a few minutes, marveling at the fact that I could buy it and make a pot of the world's best coffee that very afternoon.  I looked at the price.  Eighteen dollars.  Hmm...not too expensive.  Should I buy it?  I hovered over it for a while, trying to make a decision, and then thought to myself, that amount of money could pay for one dance class.  Do I want good coffee, or do I want to dance?  In that moment I decided that I wanted to dance, so I put the coffee maker back on the shelf, and that is why I'm having espresso this morning instead.

Have I just experienced what it really means to be a dancer--giving up certain coveted material possessions so I can spend the money on lessons instead?  I've already told my husband that all I want for Christmas this year is extra dance lessons.  Of course, a new dance bag might also be nice because the one I have looks like it should belong to a five-year-old (to be fair, I bought the dance bag for my daughter when she took her first dance lesson at age five).  But again I find myself asking, do I want a dance bag, or more lessons?  If asked to choose, I'll have to say more lessons.  After all, what's the point of looking good when I walk into the studio if I look like crap when I actually get out on the dance floor?

If you share my love of dance, or my love of coffee, I would love to hear about it.  Please feel free to leave a comment.

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