Thursday, March 7, 2013

When You're Wishing You Could Do it, Just Go Ahead and Do It

When it's Wednesday and I tell someone I'm going to dance class, the reaction I get is often something like Gee, I wish I could do that. I can feel the curiosity and the surprise and just a little bit of envy. And sometimes maybe just a little confusion because dance class is for kids, right? But mostly I just get the sense that folks see me as unusual because I'm taking a class as an adult, which is just not something most people do when it's not part of a career development plan or mandated by an employer.

Taking a class for fun seems to be a relative rarity in my age group, but not for lack of desire. Tell someone you're taking a class - not an accounting class but a pottery class or a karate class or a photography class - and their eyes will light up and they'll say (or you'll know they're thinking) Gee, I wish I could do that.

adult tap class

Especially a dance class. But here's the thing about dance class. Once you get past the age where there's a chance you might show promise as a professional dancer and everyone around you is at the same crossroad, once you're past the age where you like putting on a leotard because it's a safe way to radiate a little sex appeal, dance is still there.

It's there if you've danced most of your life like me and you want to come back to it after a break. Dance class is there if you're a total newbie and have always secretly wanted to learn to dance en pointe. It's there if your body is about as different from a prima ballerina's as you can possibly get when you're sticking to the category 'Human'.

The same goes for painting class or canning class or piano lessons or taking French or Swahili or joining a soccer club. You don't have to be six years old to start doing something to have fun or even to get good. It just takes a while, the same way it does when you're six. Next time you're looking at a flyer for community theater auditions or you're thinking about riding horses or fixing your own car and your brain glumly says Gee, I wish I could do that, what I'd like you to do is say Let's do that. 

Because you can. You probably won't be the worst/oldest/fattest/youngest/most inexperienced/awkwardest in the room, I promise. So whatever THAT is, just go ahead and do it.

What have you always wished you could do?


  1. Once my shoulder is fully healed, I want to take one of Yellow Jackets' drop-in stunt/tricking/parkour classes on Friday nights!

  2. Once my shoulder is fully healed, I want to take one of Yellow Jackets' drop-in stunt/tricking/parkour classes on Friday nights!

  3. Great post. I think taking that first step is always the hardest, but like you said, once you get past the initial weirdness, fun takes over and you give yourself permission to just have fun. Followed you from SITS. Have a blessed day.

  4. We need to give ourselves more credit for taking some "me" time and remembering what makes us tick as individuals (not mom-wife-business owner-blahblahblah).
    So far, as a grownup, i have
    - taken a woodworking class
    - stepped up my volunteering (dog rescue)
    - found a mushroom hunting group (morel season in 3 weeks!!)

  5. If I had a nickel for all the blog posts I've read about how important it is for mom to take the time to do pursue a hobby/interest... Yours is the first I've come across where the author is actually doing it!
    I used to have a vision board with my 3 S's: sew, swim, Spanish. Before kids it was a lot easier to take classes and take up new activities. I've done silversmithing and jewelry-making. I love learning, it's brain food for me.

  6. I could not agree more! I have taken so many awesome dance classes as an adult (my favorite though was probably the hip-hop class with a bunch of my girlfriends), in addition to Russian, jewelry metalsmithing, and a craft class. If money were not object, I would definitely take more....I would LOVE to take a woodworking class. I think as adults we sometimes let our fear of failing get in the way, so thanks for the reminder, and I love that you are taking a dance class!

  7. that's a great point! I'd love to take a sewing class but worried I'd look like an idiot. but you're totally right - professionals aren't going to be in a beginners class, it'd all be people like me!

  8. I always wanted to learn to play the piano and learn to swim (yes I live on an island and cannot swim). I intend to find classes for both...soon.


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