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I Hope You Dance

Just the other day, a friend asked on Facebook for her blogging buddies to share a post they had written from the heart. I have written many, but for some reason, this one came to mind. I decided to republish it today.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret. This is a little known fact about me.

Actually, my closest friends know this, especially the ones who grew up with me. But most people in my life right now probably don’t. In fact, I usually don’t talk about it because I figure if I don’t mention it, no one will even notice (at least I hope they don’t!!)

But today I’m finally going to divulge. To the entire worldwide internets, no less. Why? I have no idea. I’m just wild and crazy like that. Ha!

So here it is. Are you ready?

I feel incredibly self-conscious about dancing. 

No, not just self-conscious. I mean, when I was growing up, I wouldn’t dance. Ever.

I never was a kid to dance around the house or practice my moves in the mirror like my girls do. I rarely went to a school dance, and when I did, I sat out of all but the slow songs because I didn’t know what to do. I was sure anything I attempted looked horribly awkward. If there were movements in a choir number, I would try to hide behind someone. If I was in a situation where everyone was clapping and moving to the beat, I would awkwardly try to keep time, but I’d feel like everyone in the room was looking right at me.

Seriously, you’ve probably never known someone as outgoing as I am who is so insecure about something as universal as dancing.

I was this way all through middle school and high school and well into college. I missed out on a lot of fun due to this severe insecurity.

It’s not that I didn’t want to dance. I did. I was dying to be out there having fun, rocking the dance floor with everyone else, but I was terrified to let loose. I was convinced that I would look hideously awkward and foolish, and that I would completely embarrass myself.

Then one day, it happened. It was my junior year in college. I didn’t intend to go to the dance, but some girlfriends who lived on my floor dressed up and went, so I stopped by to say hi. Before I knew it, I was out there shaking my bootie right along with them. (And no, there was no alcohol involved. I just feel the need to clarify that.)

From that day on, I decided enough was enough. I was tired of watching everyone have fun without me, and I refused to sit on the sidelines and watch anymore.

Who cares what I look like? Who cares who was watching? I wasn’t going to let life pass me by while I hid in a corner paralyzed by insecurity.

From then on, I danced. Whenever I had the chance. No more sitting on the sidelines for me.

I dance because I can. For all those who can’t. For that shy girl at the high school dance who can’t bring herself to cross the room and join the party. I dance.

So now you know.

If you ever find yourself at a dance, and you see that awkward girl in the middle of the floor looking a little stiff but having so much fun she can’t hide it, she could be me. Be nice to her. Throw her a smile. You never know how hard it might have been for her to leave the security of her chair.

I’ve claimed Lee Ann Womack’s I Hope You Dance as my song. Whenever it comes on the radio, I sing it at the top of my lungs. Especially this line:

When you get the choice to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance.

I hope you do too!

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2 thoughts on “I Hope You Dance

  1. I just love dancing, and go to Zumba twice a week. My husband hated dancing and “felt silly” gyrating around the dance floor. But although he dances to a beat that is totally unrelated to the music, he has finally thrown away his inhibitions and bops along, in his own interesting way on the dance floor. It took him a lot longer than you but he got there and has fun! I’m glad you’re dancing, it’s one of the best things in life.

  2. Lol! This was totally me, too! Especially since I grew up with a fundamental influence always telling me dancing was morally wrong. Felt so guilty just going to prom. But I married a Presbyterian, and he had no such inhibitions. My daughter is enjoying an upbringing full of dancing. She’s performing an ethnic dance at an international festival this weekend in downtown Dallas. Fun!

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