19 July 2011

Do what you love

I mostly always talk about writing craft or science on my blog. Instead, today I want to tell you about another thing I do besides all that. It's swing dancing.

Here are some of the least awful pictures of me at dances. These are two or three years old.

The insane, feverish look to this picture captures the feeling.
Dancing to "Minnie the Moocher," possibly
one of the most hilarious songs of all time.
Swing dancing is pretty great. I've done some travelling to weekend dance events, but not much, and I haven't entered competitions or anything. But swing dancing has been a valuable, dependable social outlet for me for nearly 5 years now. I have made several good friends through swing dancing, and enhanced several friendships that began far, far away from the dance floor.

Also, it's a great way to get your heart pumping.

When I moved to the DC area last June, I went to a local weekly dance and was miserable. Their style was too different from what I was used to, and it just made me feel homesick for my friends. Then I started taking graduate school writing classes on the same evening of that weekly dance and just never bothered trying again...until this May. I had a month between classes, and for some reason I was ready to try the local dance scene again. I volunteered to help out at a Saturday dance at Glen Echo. I started going to the Tuesday weekly dances hosted by the Jam Cellar. And now I am taking lessons again.

Here is what they taught at the lesson last week.

Those swivels make me so self-conscious it isn't even funny. But dayam she looks good doing them! I want to look that good.

So yeah, I still feel like an outsider. But I'm starting to feel more comfortable. Volunteering to help out at the dances was definitely a good thing for me. Getting involved in lessons again is a good thing. I don't really have time for it, but I need my sanity. Damn I missed dancing.

I'll be seeing my old dancing partners again in a few weeks. My friends are getting married, and I'm looking forward to what I know will be a really good time. (And then they're going to be moving closer to me and I will get to see them more! And maybe drag them to a dance at Glen Echo!) It will be nice to dance with the old familiar friends again. But it's also nice that I'm starting to make some connections here. (I'm kind of a default introvert, if I don't push myself to go out.)

I almost never talk about swing dancing because it's just something that I do for fun -- but that doesn't mean that things we do for fun aren't valuable.

I'm excited for my lesson tonight. It's nice to be excited about dancing again.

Now You!
What do you do for fun? What is your social/physical/emotional outlet?