Dance Like Nobody’s Watching

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Dear Soph-
You will never guess what I did last week. Wait for it… A hip hop dance class.

Stop laughing.

I went with your Aunt Megan and Aunt Missy. And barring the fact that I may be coming up on being considered old and not, at all, “hip,” I had fun…and picked up the routine pretty quickly.

But the point of this letter is not about my sick dance moves.

The class was crowded…I’d say, conservatively, there were 35 women there. All different ages, shapes, sizes and levels of dance experience. Despite the crowd, there was one woman I could not stop watching. She was about 55, with a slim build…short, salt and pepper hair…and the cutest pair of hot pink workout shoes.

She didn’t know all the moves. She didn’t have the best rhythm. But she was absolutely, positively WORKING it. And I could not take my eyes off her. She was having so much fun. She didn’t care who was around her, who was watching and potentially judging her. She was looking at herself in the mirror, smiling from ear to ear, and working it.

I instantly admired this woman. She lived up to one of my favorite sayings:

Sing like no one is listening. Love like you’ve never been hurt. Dance like nobody’s watching, and live like it’s heaven on earth.

It was a sharp contrast to something I was surprised to be feeling in the moment…self conscious. I could blame it on any number of things. I still haven’t lost my baby weight (in fact, some of the weight I’ve lost, I’ve gained back). My cheeks get so red when I workout (like fire-engine red…like people stare at me wondering if I’m about to pass out, red). My shirt was too short and kept riding up (exposing the ever popular post-baby “pooch”). As a result, I avoided looking at myself in the mirror. I didn’t put all the “oomph” I could have in my dance moves, because I was afraid someone would look at me and laugh.

And while I did have a good time, I had nowhere near as much fun as this woman. And that is unfortunate for me. It was my loss. I let my insecurities rob my potential.

So the moral of the story – the lesson – is something that will only come with time. I pray that you will develop the confidence, peace of mind and positive attitude that this woman in my dance class displayed. Believe me, I get that this carefree mentality is not at all easy when you’re growing up. Especially during adolescence when it seems all anyone does is judge. It’s still hard for me…and I’m in my thirties. But at some point in your life, do yourself a favor and dance like nobody’s watching. Do your very best to not give a crap about who is around you and what they may be thinking about you. Don’t let your insecurities take away from getting the most out of every experience.

And, kid, if you do catch someone staring at you, I think it would be safe to assume they’re taking notes on how to be fabulous.

Love, Mom

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