Happy Feet, Happy Heart

Today, some good news: After 12 weeks of lessons, patients from my instructor, Anna,, and many, many humiliations, at last I am tap dancing!!

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I’ve hung around, caught glimpses of my bumbling self in that dance studio mirror … you know the place … mirrors cover the entire wall … there’s no escape!! … but I’ve managed not to give up, despite what seemed an impossible undertaking.

Through sheer force of will, I’ve finally managed to master to the simple warm-ups … shuffles, flaps, pull-backs … and even some of the combination steps … a five-six-seven-eight-shuffle ball-change-flap-heel-toe-brush-hop-stomp …

By the end of class, it’s true I’m overwhelmed and basically fall apart, no longer following the steps, but it’s actually fun!!

Is there a lesson here? I’m sure there is … even when something seems impossible, just keep at it … my efforts at tap were flailing, ridiculous and as my grandmother would say, pitiful.

I dreamed of tap dancing for years before I took my first adult lessons about 20 years ago … at one point I was in a class with children, 8, 9, 10 year-olds … I gave up because I never got anywhere … last year I bought some real Broadway tap shoes and they sat in the box for more than 14 months … there on top of my file cabinet … where I could look at them … and dream … but I was always too busy.

At last I started again earlier this summer, and at first, believed that because of my mental composition (not very coordinated? no sense of rhythm?) I would never manage to dance … but now I’m hoofing. Slowly, and bumpily, but hoofing nonetheless.

Stocks, banks, business indicators, global markets — they are claiming our attention these days, but what are these things, anyway? It’s the private, personal joys that define a life, and by keeping the faith … persisting … believing … and, in the end, just showing up, that life gives us real gifts.

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