Picture this: last Sunday afternoon, I just got home from a 5 mile walk; the sun was shining on a gorgeous winter day; and then I suddenly received a text (a rare and exciting occasion for me). Someone I know from school added me to a group chat the previous Thursday and texted asking if anyone was interested in…going swing dancing on the town!
My first thought was, “Hm, Netflix and being lazy tonight was sounding pretty good…” But then I realized, why the heck shouldn’t I go swing dancing? It would be a new experience, a chance to get off campus and explore downtown, a reason to finally get out of my dorm room (I spent the whole weekend pent up doing homework), and most importantly, an excuse to get out of my comfort zone.
So I pushed myself. I brushed those pearly whites, threw on a fun dress, changed into my most open-minded attitude, and met my ride outside.
When we first arrived, we entered a dark, nondescript building on some street in Denver, making me glad I was with company. A gentleman held the door, and I was surprised to see a long, narrow staircase staring back at me (pun very much intended). I didn’t know what to expect, but a rising dark corridor was certainly not the welcome I imagined. But don’t worry, I know what you’re thinking…I wasn’t being lured to my death. After all, I’m living to tell this tale.
I wandered up the stairs and at last, the complete ambiance of the building had changed. I was greeted by a spacious wooden dancefloor, with red and white string lights strung abundantly across the ceiling and intermingled with sparkling silver disco balls. An old-time—and I mean old in every sense of the word—band set up their brass instruments on the stage at the front. People began to congregate in the middle, young and old, nimble and stiff, casual and oh-so-retro chic. And with an hour-long swing dance lesson, the festivities began.
So for the next five hours (you read that right—five hours) I swing danced the night away. I faced my fear of dancing with total strangers (and wondered if any of them were Dexters), I pushed myself way out of my comfort zone, and I even asked three separate, very attractive boys to dance (but sadly they were all friends and visiting from Cornell University–no numbers for me).
I didn’t get back that night until 11:30 PM, and since I had to wash away all the sweat from five hours of dancing (don’t be fooled—swing is a real workout), I didn’t get to sleep until midnight. With a 6:30 wake up call the next morning. Ouch.
But as I sluggishly went to classes on Monday and struggled to keep my eyes open, you know what I realized? It was all totally worth it. The late night, the $10 admission, the skipping out on my lazy night in. Worth it.
I know how easy it is to become cemented in our ways. We have our routines, we like to keep things just so, and we frown at any last-minute changes to the plan. But sometimes those spur-of-the-moment decisions end up paying huge dividends in the long run. So I encourage you…try something new this weekend. Don’t turn down that offer. Sign up for that event happening on campus. Wear that crazy shirt and skirt combo you’ve been too afraid to try and be SPONTANEOUS. Most importantly, go into it (whatever it may be) with an open attitude and a smile on your face. You may just find your next new passion.
Have a wonderful weekend everyone! I hope you find a way to swing into something new and that you are REWARDED for your fearless efforts.
I am now accepting all submissions for inspiring stories from you. Application Due Date: the continuous future.
Miles of smiles,
Black Floral Top: Cabi, $79 // Beige Cardigan: Arizona via JCPenney, $18 // Green Pants: JCPenney, $28 // Beige Sparkly Flats: Nordstrom Rack, $40 // Brown Belt: Cabi, $76 // Salmon Purse: Francesca’s