Getting into the Swing of Things


I hadn’t been Swing dancing in 10 years, so watching the people on the dance floor Friday night made me wonder, can I do that?. I don’t think I could do it that well when I was 32, how would I do now? Would I be better? An opportunity to take lessons from Lindy Hop dance champions presented itself over the weekend, so I decided that instead of letting life pass me by, I would give Swing dance a second try.

During my first lesson on Saturday I realized I remembered very little Lindy Hop. I gave it my best effort and was able to pick up most of the steps pretty easily. I soon discovered as I rotated around the room with different dance partners, that every man would lead differently. The idea of letting a man lead me in anything was a foreign concept to me. I lead projects by day and children by night. Would I ever be able to let a man lead on the dance floor? Although it was hard to let a man lead me, I saw that is was necessary. Particularly if I didn’t want to fall on the floor or crash into my dance partner. I suddenly discovered that there was a parallel between my dancing and relationship failures. It was caused by my inability to let someone else lead. To let a man be a man.

After 4 hours of swing dancing, I got the message. I understood. I saw improvement over the day as I relinquished control and let someone else lead. I stopped anticipating the next move. I was just dancing, living and smiling. Dancing became a metaphor for how I needed to approach relationships, but it took a day of dancing for me to understand it. Talk about drilling in a message!

I decided that after today I was going to stop guiding, pushing or anticipating and just enjoy relationships the same way I danced. A man likes to lead so he can feel like he is in control. A woman will enjoy it a lot more if the man leads. Why? Because sometimes he is waiting to lead you in a really great move, but you missed the cue because you were too busy worrying about what was next. So close your eyes, follow the lead and enjoy it for as long as it lasts.

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