I love Latin music and recently I was given the opportunity to join a Women’s Salsa formation dance team this winter! Originally, when I signed up for the class I thought it would be fun and nice to connect with some new women, who share the love of dancing and Latin music.

In this process, I learned so much about myself. On the first day of class, my teacher tells us we will have 2 performances. I was a bit intimidated and was like ok, you got this…just keep focused and learning and to remember to stay open. Anyone who knows me, knows I am quite the determined, little lady! We had about 10 weeks to practice. This experience was so many more things than just having fun! I got to work on letting things flow and let go of trying to control every min and to enjoy the process and just be. I also had to embrace some uncomfortable feelings with learning the moves and not getting them perfect, immediately. I love to just get things right away and be an expert in 24 hours…haha, very UNREALISTIC!

My teachers were amazing and patient and took the time to help us when we were struggling with any moves! After 10 weeks, the first performance came and it was hard;  I felt like a little girl. Like a deer caught in the headlights. Here we are, in front of a big dance floor and everyone has their eyes on us. I survived it and we did ok! We got the opportunity to perform again a week later and this one was a lot harder. We had a few performances in this one showcase…and I was really uncomfortable and the audience was even physically closer to us, so it made me more nervous. I got in my head and couldn’t relax and enjoy the experience. I still had a great time dancing, but I let my head be the boss. After looking at what a process this all was and learning a routine and not being an expert overnight, it gave me so much insight.

In this process, I learned to put myself out there and it was very vulnerable and uncomfortable. It also, made me see where sometimes I have unrealistic expectations in life, of myself. Of course, you want to always do your best, but sometimes you need to give yourself space to grow and evolve and not put so much pressure on yourself, to be perfect. It gave me so much perspective, in ways that dancing and performing can challenge you on a personal level. Dancing can be so much more than having fun, moving your body and enjoying the music. I learned there is no space for perfection when being vulnerable.  It can help you feel more comfortable and confident in your body and accept wherever you are, at that moment in time and it allows you an authentic connection to yourself. It helps you love yourself with unconditional eyes, even when your not an expert. To know you are enough in any moment is truly empowering!

This process made me feel like a child and learning something new and loving the experience and all the lessons. I loved it! I will continue to keep pushing myself in uncomfortable ways, and to keep learning to love myself more, in every possible way! I am grateful for this great experience! I think it’s important to always challenge yourself and to be in the space of the unknown and step into the dark; many gifts can be hidden in this.

Thanks,  Jessica and Vaneza @ Windy City Wedding Dance for the opportunity and amazing experience!



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