02 August, 2011

You Spin Me

Last night instead of going to derby I went to The Ballroom in Sacramento and took the beginning Charleston and intermediate East Coast Swing classes. It. Was. Incredible.

Derby has been frustrating me for awhile; I haven't felt like I'm getting any better, and the bar for passing to the next level has been getting further and further away. I rolled my ankle (on skates!) at the beginning of July and it hasn't been the same since, and while I don't have many issues with crowds, I do get the heebie-jeebies (and occasionally throw a punch) when random people touch me - something that I didn't anticipate being a problem in derby, probably because I didn't know anything about derby when I started. So I'm taking a month off to reassess (it's apparently a theme this summer) and to try out the world of ballroom dance.

It is so nice to be in a world where my Dance Resume, as it were, has some weight. One does not enjoy discovering that 20 years of serious work and dedication can be dismissed by a casual, "yea, but did you do it with wheels on your feet?" Especially if that One is Me. The owner of The Ballroom said that I could potentially be at competition level in 6-9 months.

It's nice to be in a dance world where, at 32, I am not the weird old fat person at the end of the barre. 

It's nice to be in a world with an amusing and intelligent dance instructor who is a good dancer, a good teacher, and has a crinkly smile. Ahem. That little crush clearly didn't take long to develop; I trust that it won't take long for it to dissipate, either. 

I hear some of you thinking, "But Tika, won't ballroom dance also require other people to touch you?" The answer to that is a decided yes, but I figure that working through that challenge in an environment where I feel successful is good. It's been a long time since I strapped shoes on my feet and danced anywhere but at a club. 

I am so excited. This isn't Home, but it is in the same vicinity as Where I Grew Up, and for the moment it feels really, really good. 


  1. I'm so excited that you're doing this! I've been swing dancing for almost six years now, and I love it. You're right - it definitely does require you to work through body issues. The up side, though, is that you can do it in a safe environment in small doses. I've learned a lot through dancing, and had a great time doing it.

    Plus, it's always great to have another dancing knitter around!

  2. My sister is 62 and takes regular ballet classes. She is the oldest one there, but also one of the best.

    Knowing swing dance will stand you in good stead for the rest of your life, in many ways.

    Ellen in Conn