Monday, October 11, 2010

Dancing with Dancing with the Stars

After years of resisting, this season I've finally broken down and started watching ABC's Dancing with the Stars. Friends who know that I'm a former ballroom dancer constantly tell me I've been missing out. ("You'd love this show. You have to watch.") Instead, I studiously avoided it. I couldn't make it through a single episode, because I quickly realized that there's nothing more annoying and painful than watching people do something I enjoy doing when I can't do it myself.

Beginning in college up through my first years living in NYC, I participated in ballroom dancing clubs and classes. I cut out this activity because, after my career transition, it was no longer in my budget. Ballroom dancing lessons are surprisingly expensive! But I haven't stopped thinking about how much I enjoyed a good tango or rumba back in the day. Seeing Dancing with the Stars simply made me sad about it.

I'm not sure what caused me to give the show a second chance this fall. I'm even less sure why I'm not still hating it. I can't quite say I enjoy watching, but something new is going on for me. Perhaps some inner strand of optimism has risen to the surface. Because I've discovered that rather than being something to pine over, the show can be a way to savor something. The memory of my dancing days, plus the hope that I can begin again sometime soon. Better than memory or hope, even, is the potential that the show itself will inspire me to seek new ways of satisfying my desire to dance. Maybe I can locate an inexpensive ballroom class or even find a place to cha-cha my little heart out for free. Because, after having loved and missed something so much for so long, maybe it's time to open the door to opportunities again.

Is there a hobby or activity you've given up that you'd like to bring back into your life?

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