The lessons of 6th grade dance class

When I was in 6th grade, my mom sent me to take ballroom dancing classes. This was the height of social awkwardness. We learned a bunch of things, and one dance was of course the waltz. After learning box steps and twirls, it finally came time for dips. This was, for the most part, a splendid failure. It's asking a lot of a 12 year old boy to dip some poor girl who (thanks to earlier onset of puberty) likely outweighs him, and it's asking a lot of some poor girl to let herself be dipped. There were no casualties, thankfully. Just some bruised egos.

And part of when you see two good dancers is the realization that they can do these things with ease and grace, and part of that is the relationship between them: they trust each other. If they didn't, it wouldn't work. It'd be like dance class for 12 year olds.

And that was when I realized that part of the beauty of dancing is that trust. It's the flow between two people who know each other's movements, each other's thoughts. And that's what makes dancing beautiful. And that's true for life too. You have to trust people, and the most beautiful things in life come only with trust.

And I guess that's the take home lesson. You can't be a part of something beautiful without first putting your faith in someone else. You can't accomplish much of anything without trusting in someone.

I did manage one successful dip, and it should go without saying that to this day, I have a near photographic recall of the event, down to her forest green dress, plain satin white gloves, and braces.