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On Dance Studios & Trying New Things

01/29/2010

We were sprawled across various pieces of furniture, drinking too much, laughing too hard. From the recliner, Steph thumbed through the city’s recreation guide, listing aloud the classes the five of us should join.

“How about black and white photography?” Steph posed.

“I’ve taken a black and white picture before!” Shay shouted, climbing over legs and limbs to grab her purse. We laughed when she showed us the photo, and corrected her statement to, “I mean, I’ve been in a black and white picture before..”

Steph moved on, listing everything from cooking class, to chess club. Eventually she stumbled across Street Jazz, a 16 week dance class, ending with a performance at the local theatre. Julia’s ears perked up, and within minutes, the two of them were excitedly registering online. Tamara and I wearily listed every reason under the sun as to why we couldn’t join. We claimed we were too tall. Awkward and lanky does not a good dancer make. I tried telling them I’d go running while they were at dance class, and we’d all meet up afterwards. For every excuse we made, Julia and Steph had a rebuttal.

I never used the word, but I was making excuses because I was scared. I can run, jump, and skate. I can kick a ball, swing a bat, shoot a puck. I am comfortable doing all of those activities because I’ve been doing them since I was a child. My dance experience consists of a ballet recital in a bumblebee costume at three years old, a fifteen year gap, and a few years of flailing around to Jay-Z and Lady Gaga at local clubs. I am not a dancer, and the idea of walking into a studio terrified me.

My mind raced. What if I suck? What if I embarrass myself in front of my friends?

Then? I snapped out of it. I joined Julia and Steph at the computer, and registered. And convinced Tamara to register. Because fuck it. If you can’t embarrass yourself in front of your friends, you’ve picked the wrong ones. I stopped telling myself I couldn’t, and decided that I will. I’ll go to Street Jazz every Thursday night and I will try. Even if I suck, I will try. Because life isn’t about playing it safe, and I want to move forward. I want to start living my life with reckless abandon, and if Street Jazz has to be part of my journey, then so be it.

Last night was our first class. After an hour in a dance studio with my best friends, hip hop music, and a hilarious teacher, I can officially say that I am so glad I stepped out of my comfort zone. That I have the kind of friends who will push me, and who will laugh with me, not at me, when I miss a couple beats.

Where has stepping out of your comfort zone taken you?

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9 comments

  1. “If you can’t embarrass yourself in front of your friends, you’ve picked the wrong ones”

    I know this post is about stepping out of your comfort zone, but I wanted to highlight this sentence and say how much I completely agree with it. It couldn’t be closer to the truth.

    I have a major problem with stepping out of my comfort zone. It pretty much gives me panic attacks if I do. I wish I could take your advice!


  2. This is great and too funny because I was literally JUST flipping through my community’s adult school guide which has all classes like this. I am interested in Italian Cooking, Belly Dancing and Sign Language! Such cool things that I would never do otherwise. I can’t wait to hear more about your class…dancing is so hard for me so that would definitely be stepping outside my comfort zone!


  3. I love that you just went for it and signed up for the class! I’ve been thinking lately about looking for a class to take, so maybe I’ll look for one outside of my comfort zone!


  4. I’m so excited for you! Just be careful, the rush of stepping out of your comfort zone and realizing how many fun things you could do if you just said you could and did it, is a bit addicting. It’s taken me to this little blogging world, rock climbing, and even talking to boys I never would have before. Not a bad start! And I LOVED this line…”If you can’t embarrass yourself in front of your friends, you’ve picked the wrong ones.”


  5. Ooo.. street jazz! Sounds awesome. (Seriously, I danced from age three until 16 and wish that I hadn’t stopped.) We don’t have that many cool programs around here but I’m dying to get back into the dance studio or something equally cool 🙂

    Out of my comfort zone (in the last few years, I hope that counts): Starting grad school which meant sitting in a room full of complete strangers for 4 hours a night once a week for 9 weeks; going to Vegas to meet complete strangers.

    More recently: started volunteering for an organization I know nothing about, training for a marathon (I’ve always loved to run but this is a whole new level of commitment) and oddly enough, going to a family reunion in November because I hadn’t seen most of my cousins in YEARS it was a little bit scary but OMG so, awesome.


  6. “If you can’t embarrass yourself in front of your friends, you’ve picked the wrong ones.”

    That’s the best sentence I’ve read in a while. And kind of my life motto, even though I hadn’t realized it yet. 😉


  7. Hmmm…where has stepping out of my comfort zone taken me?

    Oddly enough, it has forced me to leave ‘those friends’ and go find new ones. That’s probably been the biggest challenge in my life for the past seven years (what with all the moves to different states and countries…ALONE). I’m jealous of your super strong friendships. And your dance class. I want one. Even if I am tall and lanky too!

    P.S. I love you!


  8. Pole dancing is the one “out of my comfort zone” thing I’ve tried that I will admit I truly regretted. I felt dirty and skanky and in need of a beer afterward.

    All the other things, though? Taught me something.

    You and I are opposites on this. I grew up a dancer, so throwing a ball, running, doing anything athletic really was completely foreign to me. In the past few years, I have: played softball, played soccer (both indoor and outdoor), rock climbed, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu-ed, sang karaoke (BIG STEP), etc. And all of it has been fun. I suck at soccer.


  9. […] while back I mentioned that friends and I were joining a Street Jazz class, and considering we’re already at week […]



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