Monday, April 29, 2013

Building Up

At my dance class, we try to learn at least one new dance each week.  Of course, we enjoy dancing through ones we already know and we like to practice ones that are newer to us, but if we don't learn new ones, we get stale and bored.

I have two great regular teachers and a several other 'guest' teachers who come around from time to time to teach us something they've just learned or recently choreographed themselves.  With each new dance, we start with the first step or group of steps, then add on to build the pattern until we have memorized the total number of steps we go through before the pattern repeats.

We build up to learn the whole dance.  Typically, there will be from 16 to 32 steps we must learn before the pattern repeats.  Sometimes, there are 64 or more steps to learn!  Those are not my favorites.  Then, there are tags and restarts - variations in the step pattern dictated by the music so that we can stay on pace.

No one expects us to be able to watch a dance demo and be able to run through it the first time -without practice, without learning each movement, without repeating things a few times.  Of course, some dances are easier than others.  Those with 16 steps are learned quickly.  Those without tags or restarts are a breeze.  But, they're all learnable.  We can all walk and each dance is merely a combination of all the steps we've ever learned.  We have two feet and we can walk - thus we can dance.

When you start walking - as a beginner - you cannot expect yourself to be able to get through 1 or 3 miles without practice.  There can also be tags and restarts in a walk.  We get sidelined - meet a neighbor and stop for a brief conversation (resulting in a lowering of our heart rate).  We encounter cracks in the sidewalk, those hateful sweet gum balls that require some fancy sidesteps, pain from a corn or a new pair of shoes.   As in dancing, we learn to step around these difficulties to keep a pattern to our stride.  But, it takes time - and practice.

Then, as we progress and gain endurance, we might add a few new 'dance steps' to our routine.  We might add some sprinting (faster walking segments) or some weight training (ankle weights) or add upper body work - swinging our arms or using hand weights. 

Each one of these new 'dance steps' requires learning how to walk with new steps.  We won't do it perfectly the first time - or first 100 times.  But, if we persevere, we'll master the new steps and be able to comfortably incorporate the new steps into our routine.  We'll learn the new dance by building up to it.

*************************** Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude. You can trust the information you find here. It's from a dedicated walker. Trust me and your life will get better! I promise.

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