Thursday, April 28, 2011

Italian American Girl: My Ballroom Dancing Journey



This year I embarked on many changes and one of the major changes and goals I wanted to accomplish was to learn how to ballroom dance. I've always wanted to learn to dance professionally and it just seemed this was the moment it was going to happen.

There is always a story behind my story...as you've come to read from my life story in previous posts. So, the idea of dance has always been in my family since I can remember. When my father came to the United States he worked as a dance instructor teaching jive and the tango, these were his two favorites.

Now, he was never trained professionally; it was just something he knew from having such an immense love for dancing. Growing up that's all we ever heard about was how he would go into Manhattan on weekends and dance at the social clubs doing the tango and jive. As kids; my siblings and I always laughed because we would think Papa would never do that, but he always proved us wrong. We would attend family weddings and he would always grab my mother and swoop her into a mean tango. They were pretty hot dancing, some times to the point where people at weddings would clap for them because it was pretty amazing. I remember being little and just thinking wow, my father is awesome and he can dance; literally.

As the years went by, dancing seemed to fade into the background of real life and we just lost the presence of it. So, after so many years....I decided to commit to ballroom dancing. I had no idea how hard it would be. I mean who doesn't watch Dancing with the Stars and just say, "oh yeah, I can do that..." so not the case.

It is probably one of the hardest sports or I would say ...it ranks up there. I give professional dancers such credit for how hard they have to train to become good and then have to teach others how to dance, it's a challenge.

My journey began with me just walking into a local dance studio and asking the front desk receptionist, "how do I start?" From there I met the instructor, his name - Reason - who would become a great inspiration and add an incredible value to learning how to ballroom dance.

I'll be honest; I'm not sure I would have felt the same about learning to dance if I hadn't been paired with Reason. I started my lessons in December right before Christmas, not sure why...but I figured hey, if I'm going to do it doesn't matter when..I was committed.

I started out with a few lessons here and there, but then slowly became addicted to learning, perfecting, and just absorbing the amazing knowledge of my instructor. There were times I would watch the other instructors practice and it was incredible. I think to feel the way I was feeling about dancing you really have to have a love for it. I can truly appreciate and value everything I was taught.

As my lessons went on, I became very connected with Reason. Honestly, you spend a lot of time together and you really begin to know each others patterns, moves, mistakes.. I should say my mistakes... he is a pro. This relationship teaches you a lot, it teaches you about yourself, patience, your drive, and most of all your level of passion.

Reason is younger than me, but I learned a lot from him and it wasn't just about dancing. His drive to be so good and a professional at a young age actually inspires me, his energy is contagious. So, you know when they say you can learn from others, its really true.

I was working toward a goal, which was to learn a lot of the ballroom technique and really perfect one dance in order to perform it at one of our socials. So, I chose to concentrate on the Waltz. I worked on it for weeks and really wanted my family to witness the result of all my hard work. The interesting part to this whole ballroom goal, was that I didn't tell anyone I was doing it, so it was a huge surprise to everyone in my family when I said, "hey, by the way.. I want you to come to my ballroom dance presentation, and oh yeah I've been ballroom dancing for the last 4 months.."

The reaction was amazing, my family couldn't have been more supportive and actually just surprised. The night of the social, my family came and completely cheered me on. I was extremely nervous and I think a little overwhelmed at the same time. I went all out and had the dress, hair and make-up to prove I was going to represent it all the way.

I performed with my amazing instructor, Reason. who I can't thank enough for his patience, professionalism and overall friendship. Our performance was perfect, I couldn't have been happier, a great night!

I'm going to continue my passion for ballroom because it makes me happy. If you have something you love to do, embrace it..! Like many other experiences I've had in my life this is another great one, which I choose to share with you. Let me know what you think.

Post a Comment