Impatience? Learning Patience?

landscape-1457095032-woman-icing-inflamed-kneeI injured my knee in karate weapons class – not a bad injury, as injuries go. I won’t require surgery if I do what I’m told by my doctor. Still, I’m sidelined for awhile.

In karate, I can wait. I know a few weeks won’t change who I am and what I can do. I’ve been at it for 27 years. So, I’m looking at the big picture, not the inconvenient few weeks picture. Therefore, I am more patient and can wait.

promo251736008Dance is different.

I took Ballet in college because I had to. The karate classes were full and I needed art and activity credits to graduate.

I hated it.

It was one of those “beginners” classes where the stars of the class were taking it for the third or fourth time, and the rest of us simply didn’t measure up. Nonsense really, but graded nonsense.

My ballet class now isn’t that. It is filled with a mix of wonderful people who aren’t trying to show everyone else how great they are – they’re just dancing. Most of them are Latin dancers trying to improve their movement for their dance of choice.

Not me.Ballet San Jose School Student

I’m in it for the ballet. For the grace. For the strength. For the poise. Waiting and watching is making me itch – I want to get back even knowing how much catching -up I’ll need to do to be ready for our group performance.

youtube-red-karate-kidIn this, I’m like a kid. Impatient to be doing, not watching.

When it comes right down to it, I guess what I like most is being an active part of this community of dancers. They are focused on themselves – but also on the group.

Karate is an individual endeavor. Control of self is key.

1200px-Yin_yang_svgDance is collective. Many moving parts making a whole synchronized package.In dance, the whole is definitely greater than the sum of its parts.

I love both – I’m just itching to get back, and realize that patience is not a disease inflicted only on the young.

Leigh

EMBRACE THE DANCE

2015_TBT_Morganne_BallerinaI have had some crazy ideas at times, but restarting ballet at this stage of my life isn’t one of them. I started martial arts the day I started practicing law, so I wouldn’t go berserk from the stress and punch some idiot. Now, twenty-five years and five black belts later, I still kick and punch and I haven’t hit a judge or a fellow counselor yet, although there have been moments when I’ve dreamed about it. More than once.

DSCN2113

What has this got to do with ballet? A lot actually. Martial arts is hard, especially for a woman who’d spent her entire life training to be polite, kind, compassionate and well….a lady. A fundamentally uncoordinated lady. Walking into my dojo (karate school) for the first time was intimidating. If I’m honest, it still is intimidating every time I learn a new form or try to wield a new weapon. I’m used to looking and feeling like an idiot on the dojo floor. How different could being on the dance floor actually be?

Well, as it turns out, very. Flowing movement armed isn’t quite the same as flowing movement in ballet slippers, but it’s fun!

I’m not the oldest person in class, which was encouraging all on its own. I also have a wonderful benefit in that my seventeen year old son who has been in the dojo his entire life and hence is very secure in who he is as a man, has joined me on the dance floor. He’s wonderful—far more talented than I am. When we—more often it’s me—screw up, we laugh together which is really quite cool.

tap dance

What I really want to learn is how to tap dance. I’m still searching for anyone who teaches tap to adult beginners. For now though, ballet and modern dance will do. The teachers at the dance school are avidly trying to recruit my son and his mom into signing up for Latin dance. We’ll see. There’s a lot of tossing around of the ladies that I’ve seen when I spy on the private lessons before ballet class. It looks like a hoot! I think I’ll have to lose ten or more pounds first :).

2015-10-25 12.42.50

So what’s the point of this blog? I guess it’s my hope that if you have a desire to dance, or to learn self-defense, or heck—learn to ride a motorcycle (did that in my thirties after a short stint of riding at 19 silently praying the entire class and calling myself all sorts of crazy), that you do it. Life is short. Being here is a gift. Be kind to yourself and do what you want to do when you can.

hot party

Blessings to you all, and when you get the chance, “…I hope you dance…”! Please share some of your experiences that seemed like dipping your toes in the “crazy pool” at the time. I’d love to hear them!

Happy Spring.

Leigh