“Who Knew?”


Long Island Bachata Team

photo by longislandwins (flickr)

Disclaimer: This is more a written therapy session than anything else. I don’t mind talking about my psyche, but it can be exhausting for readers.  Please bear this in mind if you want to keep reading.

To finish my sentence, “Who knew looking sexy could be this hard?”  Dancing Rumba and Bolero gave me an impression, but it really hit me yesterday.  For those that may not know, I’ve joined a bachata team belonging to an independent company called Kañonazo.  My chapter at Arthur Murray is ending after over five years, so I decided to give formation dancing another try.  The fact that it’s an independent company is nice, too.  Everybody is trying to plan outside events where we can chill and get to know one another.  Karaoke came up as a suggestion recently.  I’m totally up for that, but I digress.

We don’t add too much choreography each rehearsal because everyone’s schedule is so different.  Last Sunday was largely review with a little over an eight count added to the routine.  That was fine, but our hour of technique is what got me.

My regular readers will know that I’m not physically affectionate.  I show love by spending and making time for people.  I don’t mind receiving hugs, but I’ll rarely initiate.  So, it came as no surprise when my inner demons began whispering in my ear as I worked on body movement.  There’s a confident physicality that makes bachata personally attractive.  There’s no point in mastering the patterns/steps if you can’t reach out and touch someone.  That has a literal but appropriate application.

And, my ever-active mind began to wander.  This was practice.  I’m not that experienced with physical flirtation in dancing.  I knew it didn’t look sexy.  Then I thought “Do I ever look sexy when I dance bachata?”  I’d like to assume the positive, but it becomes a mental battle.  Unfortunately, I’ve struggled with low self-esteem my whole life.

It’s always a surprise when acquaintances remember me, or a swoon-worthy gentleman asks me to dance more than once.  “Do I have anything, besides my skill level, that makes me attractive?” a lonely, once-high-school-student whispers to me.  She wasn’t asked out, though her parents wouldn’t have let her date.  She happily never wore those oversized, ostentatious mums when Homecoming rolled around, though her heart ached all the same.  She didn’t take risks at prom, so she asked a friend to be her date.  It was painfully annoying when she found out a boy wanted to ask her to the senior prom, but she had already made plans with her friend because she didn’t want to wait for what she thought would be disappointment.  College was different because the once-high-school-student did get asked on two dates.  The first boy didn’t ask her out on a second date, fair enough.  The second tried to deceive her with charm hoping it would convince her to sleep with him, but she definitely wasn’t that kind of girl.

“Is there something wrong with me?” I once asked concerning the lack of attention.  But let’s not get into my love life.  May the stars fall from the sky before I make my blog about that!

My self-esteem has gotten much better and its side effects, like social anxiety, have lessened.  A recent, small victory is my courage in asking men to dance.  Though if he’s really gorgeous, I’ll forgo the courage and sneak furtive glances at him.  As for looking sexy in bachata, that’ll take time.  I’ll get there.

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