Why You Should Do Something You'll Probably Suck At

Yesterday I took a tap dance class with my mom. I haven’t tapped since I was in 2nd grade and wore a red leotard, tutu, and sparkly cowboy hat as we danced to “Boot Scootin’ Boogie” by Brooks and Dunn. I remembered a few of the steps: shuffle back front, shuffle hop step, but other than that I knew nothing. This had disaster potential. I’m not really coordinated and am not exactly the definition of grace.

My mom assured me the class was low key. There are beginner, intermediate, and advanced classes that flow into each other. Stay as long as you want. I have this thing where I hate looking like a fool and being terrible at things. I didn’t walk until I was almost two, partially because I was really double-jointed and partially (the doctors believed) because I knew I would fall and didn’t want to walk until I could do so without falling. This is my personality and always has been. But I wanted to try the class, so I did and I’m really glad. It was amazing. The teacher started off by saying, “I’m Barry. I’m 72 and I’m fat. If I can tap, anyone can.” This guy was amazing. He showed us some moves that blew my mind. He was a pro. Throughout the class he kept saying, “Stop trying so hard and you’ll get it. If you don’t, who cares? It’s just tap. Don’t take it so seriously.” His low-key attitude made it fun and relaxed.

When you think about it, how many parts of your life can you just enjoy and not worry about? Paying your bills? Probably not. Your work performance? I hope not. In almost every aspect of being a person, you need to put in effort and try. You need to think and spend energy and time. With this, you could just tap, have fun, be ridiculous, and not care. It was really relaxing. Therapeutic, almost.

Because it was new, I had to really focus. If my mind started wandering and thinking about the meeting I had at work tomorrow, I would miss a step. Whoops. Time to focus on my feet again. If I started thinking about remembering to call my friend back, I would miss a step. Time to refocus. It really didn’t leave you much room to stress and worry. It was like yoga, total relaxation. You wouldn’t think an upbeat class like that would be so relaxing, but it was.

It was refreshing to try something new, be really bad at it, and not care. It was fun to make progress at the end as I started getting the steps down, and know that I could do something I thought I would be horrible at.

I’d highly recommend trying something like tap class. Even if you are embarrassing, it’s still fun and relaxing.

Is there something you’ve been dying to try but haven’t yet?

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