Step by Step

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Writing is a lot like dancing. It takes patience, requires one to stretch, must be done on a regular basis, and the effort usually produces good feelings.

It seems like I’ve been writing since I was five, but I didn’t take up dance until I was an adult—more specifically, a “very adult.”

For the past eight years or so, I’ve taken a class called “Very Adult Jazz” at the East Boulder Rec Center in Boulder. I dance with a small group of movers and shakers. It’s like a book club where you meet once a week to contemplate the notes and move through the piece. You explore a story as a choreographed number with a beginning, middle and end.

I’ve had a number of amazing dance instructors including Judy Kreith, who is now spreading her wings as a writer and filmmaker. I’m sure Judy would say, “Dancing is a lot like writing.”

Dance instructor, Judy Kreith

Dance instructor, Judy Kreith

I’ve also taken “No Fear Phat Funk” beginning jazz with Nancy Cranbourne, and “Country Line Dancing” with Rickie Steinman.

Dance has introduced me to a whole new vocabulary. You’ve got the dance moves that are punctuated with accent marks such as chassé, pas de bourree,́ plié, and relevé.

You’ve got the non-accent terms such as ball change, grapevine, fan kick, jazz square, hoof, brush, stomp and scuff. It’s crazy fun.

Most of the other dancers in my class took ballet or tap as kids, so they have a leg up, so to speak. But I’m learning.

One day, while stretching at the bar, I realized that writing is a lot like dancing because, no matter what, you need to work on it over time and you usually get better day by day, moment by moment, step by step. You need to be able to work well with others, follow directions, learn new things, and then give it your best shot. And if you fall, you just get right back up.

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