Tag Archives: dance

A spark of ambition in a world too content

Everybody has a dream–something they aspire to achieve–whether it’s to travel the world before the age of 40 or to write a novel.

While we all have this in common, only a handful of us ever make these dreams of ours a reality. We put effort into painting the pictures in our heads, but when it comes down to putting in the actual effort, the real effort, most of us take a step back. Maybe we’re afraid that if we do make our dream happen, it won’t live up to what it was in our heads.

Maybe we are just afraid to fail. Maybe that fear alone is enough to keep us content looking at that pretty picture that hangs only in your head.

I’m guilty of that.

Coulda, shoulda, woulda. That’s my mentality most of the time. It’s so easy to think that way when most of the people around me have a similar mentality. We sit around talking about what we will one day do with our lives, but we don’t make strides toward making those things happen.

This could (and would) be misconstrued as the norm–something everyone in the world feels/thinks/does, too– except it’s not, and I’m reminded of that when I meet inspiring people or reconnect with some of my overly ambitious friends.

A particularly driven friend of mine I’ve known since 6th grade. She works in retail, as well as a dancer, and does photography, choreography, video directing/producing on the side. She is the most ambitious person I know. She constantly wants to better herself and continue improving and learning.

Having people in my life like that provides me with little reminders that I too can make my dreams happen. Everyone can. We just need to be willing to go for it! We shouldn’t just settle for ‘content.’ We should push ourselves to attain what we really want.

First step? Declaring what you really want.

I’m starting small but here are the things I will cross off my fairly simple yet personally daunting mental to-do list:

  • Pick a direction for this blog and stick with it
  • Start a podcast
  • Start working on story ideas

 

 

 

 

 

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Hoop dancing: Why I started and Why you Should, too

I started the summer with the motivation to find a new hobby.

I’ve never been a person who followed through or stuck anything out (as you can see from my sporadic blog posts). When I was five, my mom signed me up for gymnastics, but after frustrating my teachers with how inflexible I was, I quit. When I was eight, I joined a recreational soccer team, but after always being the girl kicking the ball in the wrong direction, I quit.

I never tried to improve through practice. When the going got tough, I got going.

But I had a good feeling about this summer. I wanted to find a new hobby and stick with it. If I failed at it, then at least I can say I tried my best.

I was at a friend’s BBQ when I saw an orange plastic hula hoop leaning against the fence. I had had a few drinks and decided to pick it up and play with it. I swung it around my waist and my arms, I skipped around with it, tossed it into the air a bit, danced with it, all while trying to hold conversations with people. That hoop and I were inseparable the rest of the night.

I remember thinking, in my drunken state, “this hoop is now my favorite accessory.”

I guess it was obvious to my friend that I had taken a liking to her hoop, so she let me have it.

The next day, I was busy looking up videos of hoop dancing, learning about the different ways to dance with a hoop, the different types of hoops. I was completely fascinated.

I ended up buying a ‘legit’ hoop.

Yes, there are different types of hoops! Check out what I mean here, here, and here.

I’m proud to say that I have been practicing semi-regularly throughout the summer and have gotten better!

Hooping is a lot of fun. Here are some cool reasons why you should give hoop dancing a try:

Cardio

Any type of movement will get your heart rate up, but finding something that makes it enjoyable is key. Hoop dancing targets your abs and even your arms by lifting and moving the hoop up, down, or off your body.

Confidence

Self-esteem comes from feeling good about yourself. Learning a new skill is a great way to give yourself a thumbs-up. When you master one move, you feel proud and more confident about learning the next move, and so on. Plus, anything involving moving the waist makes you feel sexy which could lead to confidence ;).

Socialization

Like with many niche hobbies, there will always be a group of people out there with the same interests. Hooping has a huge following, and depending on your location and the time of year, you may find yourself much closer to a troop of hoopers than you think. Summertime is prime time for music festivals where you’re likely to see some hoopers showing off their skills to the beat of the live music. With enough practice, you could be grabbing your hoop and joining them.

Fun at Parties

Every party needs a hula hoop. A boring event could easily be transformed with a hoop. Throw on some music, get your hoop, and get ready to see jaws drop when you show your friends what you have been practicing. Even if you aren’t where you want to be just yet in terms of skill level, your friends will definitely be impressed.

Ballroom dancing makes you smart

Hop off the treadmill, put down the puzzle, slip into some heels and get ready to dance your way to a firmer body and brain.

This semester I’m taking a ballroom dancing class.

In this class, not only do we learn the waltz, foxtrot and all that good stuff, but we also learn the benefits of dancing–not by reading about them in a book, but by actually getting up and moving.

We all know that dancing is good for you, because it can be a form of cardio that gets your heart pumping, but did you also know that dancing gets the brain pumping, too?

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