Me Essentially Alive
Thursday, January 8, 2015
Good read from: http://www.dancerhangout.com/blog.php
Ladies... Just be what God created... "YOU"
Have you lost your feminine heart?
My good friend Bertha and I traveled to Denver, CO this past September for a salsa congress. Oh yes, I used to dance salsa and I loved it! I was excited to pick it back up again. We had so much fun and my main mission was to finally be taught by none other than, Edie the "Salsa Freak". I had dreamed about taking from her for over 10 years and was over the moon! She didn't let me down and far exceeded my expectations. She looked at dance a different way than I had ever looked at it. She incorporated psychology into it. You see, men and women have roles to play in dance. The man leads and the woman follows. I got and understood all that. All I did was try to make sure I was following properly and I was nervous as all get out whenever I danced with someone new. What were they going to do to me next? Could I keep up? Was I going to fall on my you know what? It's hard to have a good time dancing when that's going through your head!
She told us it was a play and we were acting. She went over with the men that they needed to be the MAN and we needed to let them be that man. She really drilled into them about their frame and they needed to be strong and truly lead. We went through some scenarios that were quite funny. She reminds me a lot of Dolly Parton actually with her humor. And then... it was our turn!
I think many of us have had to MAN up in our own lives. It happens more often than not and it changes us as women. I know it has me. Growing up, many of us, especially in the Bible Belt, were definitely taught to kind of hide and not express our femininity. I don't think it was out of meanness or anything, just out of a lack of how to do it and stay within the boundaries we were supposed to. There was really no one to teach that. Once I moved to Florida, I used to dance with a man that always let me know I wasn't feminine enough when I danced. He was constantly on me. That made me even worse. I became more timid and fearful of the way I danced. I was embarrassed really and ashamed. I was a woman..., but wasn't feminine? It was confusing for me really. As I got older and my career changed full on into health and fitness, I really became more masculine. It wasn't that I was trying to be. It just happened. I owned a CrossFit affiliate and strength is a huge asset to us. It still is to me and always will be. You're working with men and women and need to be able to hold your own. I never found a balance.
However, in that class, Edie reminded us that we are truly women! We have this wonderful feminine spirit and it's OK to have it, be it and portray it. To not be ashamed of the fact that we are pretty and curvy and have all these great traits at our disposal. We rediscovered how to walk as a woman and even how to fall and do it in such a way that every man would be trying to rescue you. She's splendid! At one point, we did an exercise where we stood in front of our partners. Mind you, we didn't know any of them personally. We were from all over and none of us knew each other one bit. She had us stand face-to-face, hold hands and repeat the following to the man; "I trust you, I honor you and I respect you." Tears sprung up in my eyes and it took everything I had to hold them back and another good 5 minutes to really recover from the impact. That moment was so powerful and moving with a complete stranger. Both dancers felt more at ease and she let the men know it was their job to make use feel secure and safe. The best part about it was, she then talked about doing it in our own relationships. Say that to your man and see what happens!
I realized in that moment how much I had been oppressing of myself. In every day life, I had been fighting myself down to the very core, without knowing it. Have you been doing the same? If so, repeat after me! I, insert your name here, give myself permission to embrace and express my femininity! I am letting go of all the years of baggage that has made me feel the need to hide it and I am free!
Edie, you are a gem and I treasure our short time we had together in class. I will see you next year with bells on! Xoxo. For more information about Edie visit http://www.salsafreak.com/bio. There is an interview there where she speaks on this topic in length.