Food & Fitness

Finding our natural talents

For my 26th birthday, Mr Science took me dancing.

We’d been talking about taking dancing lessons for quite a while but we just hadn’t gotten around to it. So we took dancing lessons on my birthday!

We went to the Ted Motyka Dance Studio in Winnipeg (parts of Shall We Dance were filmed in the studio) for a drop-in beginner class on the waltz and samba. As it turned out, there was only one other couple attending the class, so Mr Science and I pretty much got a private lesson for an hour. It was awesome.

Since neither of us have ever danced properly before (unless you count me doing ballet for a year when I was in elementary school, and then taking salsa lessons for a week in Costa Rica about 10 years ago), the instructor started with the basics. The very simple first steps of the waltz. But when we were able to do those without any difficulty, she showed us more new steps. And more new steps.

Throughout our lesson, she kept asking us, “Are you sure you’ve never danced before? Really?” The truth was, Mr Science and I were both actually very good at the waltz! We picked it up very quickly.

Here’s the thing: when I was a kid, I wasn’t naturally very good at, well, a whole lot of extra-curricular activities. The only reason I did well at piano recitals was because I practiced like crazy. I was *fine* at field hockey and cross-country running. I definitely had to re-take levels in swimming. I never made the basketball team (I wish I could blame that one on my height, but my friend Westwood is no giant and she rocked at basketball in high school).

It was kind of amazing, when we started waltzing, how natural it felt to me. Yes, I had to concentrate on what we were doing, and yes, we were only practicing it for an hour so it was still pretty basic, but in a way it felt almost… effortless. The steps seemed so natural. And the samba, I found, felt much the same as the waltz.

Perhaps I should have realized a long time ago that dancing might be the right activity for me. After all, having one leg shorter than the other by 3/4 of an inch does help my hips to roll more easily, Marilyn Monroe style! But all kidding aside, it was something of a magical moment. I think I might be naturally good at dancing. I think I could be very good at it if I learned more styles of dancing. And even better, I loved the waltz. The samba was a great deal of fun, but the waltz was simply beautiful.

I’m kind of excited to have found something that I really enjoy and I might be really good at. It’s so nice to have stumbled upon (danced my way into? ;)) something new this way.

Have you found activities that you seem to be naturally well-suited for? Were there any activities that you had a tricky time excelling at as a child? Have you tried waltzing? Share in the comments section below!


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