Dance outside your comfort zone


    A couple of weeks ago, I did something I’ve never done before. I went country dancing at Billy Bob’s Texas. I know you’re thinking that, as someone who was born and raised in the great state of Texas, I should’ve been raised dancing to country music.

    For some reason, however, I’ve never felt the urge to go out to country dancing venues. I’m not saying I never went to these places because I don’t know how to dance. On the contrary, if you’ve ever seen me on a dance floor, you know that I definitely know how to “cut a rug,” so to speak.

    However, my apprehension about going out to this particular venue came from the fact that I thought I would feel out of place. I mean, let’s face it. How many black people do you usually see line dancing? I thought so.

    Despite my reservations of accepting an invitation to Billy Bob’s, I went with my friends anyway. I got out on the dance floor and boy did I look like a fool. I stepped on several toes, was completely uncoordinated and felt like I was three steps behind on every dance.

    The funny thing is that no one cared. There was a combination of beginners and advanced dancers there, but everyone seemed to be having a good time. Even though I didn’t know what I was doing, there were several people willing to give me instruction.

    By the end of the night, I had two-stepped, learned to waltz, and attempted several variations of line dances, some of which made me feel like I was in a Denise Austin workout video.

    Overall, I really had a great time. I met lots of new people, danced with a couple of cute girls and burned a few calories in the process. Heck, I almost bought a cowboy hat, but I figured that might have been a little too much craziness for one night. Plus, I wasn’t ready to spend forty bucks for one.

    When I woke up the next morning, I literally started two-stepping in my apartment. I was a little embarrassed to have done that, so I decided I wouldn’t tell anyone – so much for that.

    The experience made me realize that, as college students, we sometimes build walls around us to protect us from things that make us comfortable. These walls can create a zone that keeps us from experiencing anything new.

    At times, it’s good for us to continually develop things that we’re good at. However, on occasion, we need to learn to step out of that zone and do something … well, that we suck at, or more politely speaking, that we aren’t very developed in.

    In doing so, we will potentially open ourselves up to something that we might enjoy. Never written poetry before? Check out the Literary Society. Are you normally the indoors type? Go hiking or kayaking.

    By removing yourself from your comfort zone, you may find something that you passionately hate, or you may discover a hobby that opens up a new side to your personality. So if you’re ever at Billy Bob’s on a Thursday night and you see me “jiving” on the dance floor, feel free to join in. And I promise not to step on your toes.

    Glenton Richards is a senior radio-TV-film major from Carrollton.