Have you ever found out that you love something in your twenties?
My parents encouraged me to play sports when I was a kid. My Dad went to college on a football scholarship and although we weren’t elite, my brother and I have some natural athletic abilities. He would grow to be 6’4″ and I would not. I played high school football because it is what my Dad and brother did. I was arguably the best 5’10” 160-pound offensive lineman in the state of Illinois.
I wrestled for three years in high school and played baseball. I even played ultimate frisbee for a season in college, but never really applied myself to any of them. I was lost in a sea of athletics.
I Can Dance If I Want To
From my previous posts, you may assume I’m talking about running. But I’m not a good runner either, I just run a lot. It was in a small assembly hall wedding reception that I found my calling… as a dancer.
I never went to a single middle school or high school dance because I was shy and introverted. It wasn’t until 2004 that I found my true calling. My college roommate and his now-wife were getting married and when the music started playing I saw no one was dancing. In my head, I remembered my Dad talking about a time he was in a similar situation and he said, “someone has to get the party going.”
I took the dance floor. I had never been taught to dance, but I had energy. I wanted to just have fun and encourage others to have fun.
I realized I was drawing attention was when my friend’s mother-in-law pulled me aside and asked sternly, “Who are you? Are you a wedding crasher?”
It was that comment that somehow translated to, “you’re killing it on the dance floor.” When in reality it really could have been meant as, “sir, you’re embarrassing everyone here, please leave.”
I knew all the songs that were being played as my Dad played them on the radio during our drives to sporting events. I felt a connection to the music and the rhythm. At this point in my life, I wasn’t in my best shape though, and couldn’t last too long on the dance floor. I remember having to sneak away and catch my breath and drink a couple of waters.
Ignoring the Joy
The wedding was a random, one-off experience I figured. Weddings happen rarely and I wouldn’t really ever dance again. When my wedding came up, my wife and I went to a dance instructor and we learned a choreographed dance to “At Last.” I enjoyed it, but not as much as freestyling.
After our first dance when the party got going, I got to do a few dance moves, but no many as we had people to mingle with. There were a couple of other weddings with intermittent dancing over the next ten years.
Then I went to Mexico…
Ok, it wasn’t real Mexico, it was an all-inclusive resort in Mexico. I worked for a company that took all employees to Mexico every January for five years. It turned in to my annual dance show.
I was in Mexico with other adults and no children and a few all-inclusive cervezas. There was a DJ and music and I just wanted to dance. So I took to the dance floor and my coworkers seemed to enjoy it.
Then come to the holiday party, I was expected to get the party going again. I became the dancing guy. The company also grew from a little under 100 to over 4,000, but I kept dancing until my retirement.
It wasn’t until the past two years that I really understood that I could actually dance whenever I wanted. I didn’t just have to do it to try to put on a show for people.
The Original “Be the Streak”
I decided that I would start an Instagram, looking back it should have been TikTok, where I would just dance to music every day.
I wanted to get other people excited about dancing and life. I also wanted to try to remain anonymous, but interesting. I decided to do it with minimal clothing but trying to remain in a silhouette. It wasn’t until a couple of months later that I realized other people might be thinking I was doing another kind of streaking.
I really enjoyed dancing every day but didn’t enjoy having to set up the video and deal with my posts being taken down for copyright infringement. I stopped making videos months ago, but haven’t stopped dancing.
I don’t dance for long. But I make sure I take the time to turn on some music and dance for at least a minute each day for the last two years.
Be The Streak and dance if you want to.