The Year of Fun #2: Learn the Charleston in a Day

First of all, let’s address the elephant in this blog post: I did not do my planned fun this week (as dictated by Jar of Fun), which was barista skills training.

The first available spot is next weekend – but I can confirm that I’m booked on so coffee-making-101 is happening!

But I was left with the conundrum… What Fun could I partake in this weekend?

Scanning Eventbrite.com, I came across a dance workshop, in nearby city, Chichester.

Learn the Charleston in a day, effectively.

The Charleston eh? My head swam with pictures of black ‘n’ white flappers with feathers and shiny jewellery and Charlie Chaplin was somewhere there too…

Charleston

I’m not going to pretend I have a clue about dance history, or dance…at all.

I accidentally experienced a taste of the Lindyhop at a quirky Brighton conference last year, and I’ll admit… I didn’t hate it.

I made a pact with myself to explore dance some more, a task that could get me into my body and less stuck in my head.

Introverts, particularly the intuitive type (more about intuition vs sensing here) are prone to being a bit heady and disconnected from the real, physical world, including their bodies. And I’m definitely in that category.

Plus I love learning new things. It builds confidence like nothing else, plus I quite fancy myself at some great Gatsby themed party sipping cocktails and throwing some shapes on the dance floor…

So I booked on.

The other bonus was checking Chichester cathedral off my list.

Chichester Cathedral

Underwhelming, but then I have recently been to Rome and have been a wee bit spoiled for cathedral eye candy.

So… the class.

Er – it didn’t start well.

I was nervous, duh, and I didn’t feel welcomed as I entered a busy little studio, packed with ladies who – I fantasised – all knew each other, were pros at dancing, and just really hated 5’3″ redheads.

I had a moment on the loo where I told myself – specifically my inner critic – to shut the fuck up and stop being a baby. But you know, kindly with self love etc.

I’ll admit the teacher was lovely, sweet, funny, not intimidating at all and did make the steps very clear. Despite my two left feet, and rhythm of a drunken uncle at a wedding, I mostly got the hang of it.

That didn’t stop it from being… not fun.

Not fun at all.

It took me back to P.E. classes at school. I didn’t feel like a sassy flapper in a silent movie: I felt like an awkward introvert who would much rather be in one of the many cute tea rooms or coffee shops the city had to offer.

Balls.

The workshop was 3 hours but I left during the break, politely declaring my knee was giving me trouble. Which it was, a bit, but it was most probably psychosomatic because it conveniently eased up as soon as I stepped foot outside.

Fun rating: 2/10 because the were moments of mild enjoyment when I celebrated getting the steps right.

Ok so what have I learned?

That public dance classes are not my jam.

I still like the idea of dancing, but hello…Youtube?

I can dance around my room and have actual fun, plus it’s free.

I’ve mentioned that fun, often but not always involves a bit of challenge for me.

And I strongly believe in stretching our comfort zone regularly, like exercising. When you haven’t exercised in a while, it becomes much more painful when you do it. So… I believe in a regular dose of mild discomfort.

A level 3 or 4.

This was a 7 on the discomfort Richter scale, which pushed it out of the fun category for me.

It makes me think of a saying from Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project and others. Her life motto is, ‘Be Gretchen’.

If in doubt, be yo’self.

Today I learnt something about myself: this Cat does not like dance classes.