This morning I woke feeling tired and with a slight throat problem. I considered this a genuine excuse to not go dancing tonight. It’s Dev’s idea. He mentioned it last night and, as with any suggestion, my initial reaction was ‘no thanks’, but I know that I am in safe hands with him, so why not? I have my dancing shoes with me because I know it will be a great opportunity for me to move my life forward. It wasn’t until I talked to Dev that I realised the possibility that I have made myself ill in order to avoid the dancing. How powerful our unconscious mind can be.
Having Dev here is already proving to be a massive help to me.
Today was a fantastic day. The three of us (me, Karaj and Dev) had a session this morning to talk about Dev’s time in the house. Karaj explained that expectations are futile but that with trust and faith in the process, the creativity will flow. Dev is here to create comedy and already we have made a start. Karaj has told him that he needs a theme and he needs to research his subject. As the research continues the jokes will flow.
That initial session with Karaj and Dev was a great start to our work together. Karaj made it clear that Dev’s visit is not a one-off and that if our collaboration is to be effective he will need to maintain contact either through visits here or invitations for us to visit him. Today Karaj reinforced this by encouraging Dev to create ‘excuses’ for us to get together. After the session Karaj went away for 10 minutes to do something and by the time he came back he had a method for working on the comedy – Dev needs a context for his comedy. This realisation of Karaj’s was created by Dev putting his arse on the line and coming to the house to work with us. He has helped to create a relationship, and it is this relationship which gives rise to the network of interdependence and support which provides the basis for the success of any project.
I had started the day feeling unwell and spent the whole day trying to convince myself that, despite what I seemed to be doing to myself, I would definitely go dancing. I had enough recognition to know that I would be okay, yet there was still the illness and the doubt. In the afternoon Dev phoned up to check that the dance evening was still on. A part of me was still saying I wouldn’t mind if it were cancelled.
It wasn’t cancelled and the two of us went along. I was nervous – I’d never danced before and there were obvious ego problems connected to making a fool of myself. We arrived, bought a drink and sat at the side of the dancefloor waiting for the proceedings to begin. As we were called to the floor my nerves reached their peak. Within 30 seconds of the beginner’s lesson starting, my nerves had begun to dissipate. Within three minutes I was smiling and joking with Dev and my dance partners.
The lesson lasted 45 minutes followed by 15 minutes freestyle during which I could practice what I had learned. It was tricky but there was no room for frustration because everyone I came into contact with was so kind and helpful. After the 15 minutes of ‘freestyle’ dancing I was so excited I didn’t want to stop. I had danced with one of the ‘taxi’ dancers who are there specifically to help people like me with the steps, and in such a short space of time I had made excellent progress.
This was followed by an intermediate class which I sat out and then a further 1½ hours of freestyle. I sat and watched through most of this, lacking the courage to ask anyone to dance. The teacher for the evening came and asked me to dance and I had another dance with the taxi dancer.
The whole evening was fantastic. I had no real expectations – my nerves wouldn’t allow any – and I enjoyed myself immensely. It wasn’t just the enjoyment of the evening which got to me, it was also the realisation that those few hours had opened up a completely new dimension in my life. I wanted to dance and I wanted to learn to dance well. Moreover, I knew I could do it. The benefits of the evening and of future evenings are manyfold:
- Exercise – movement of the entire body to music.
- Contact – physical contact with women within well-defined boundaries in a safe environment. Just what I’ve been looking for.
- Socialising – an opportunity to practice pastiming, being with other people and to improve my observational skills.
- Independence – although Dev was there last night, further attendance will be on my own.
- Reinforcing my maleness – the nature of the dancing means that the male leads and the female follows, which helps to strengthen my image of myself as a man.
- Increased confidence – such experience boosts my self-confidence.
- Laughter – the relaxed, non-competitive atmosphere is great fun and very therapeutic.