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practicing trust: lesson two

October 2, 2010

When I’m on the dance floor, I usually don’t think about how much trust goes into leading and following.  But I sure thought about it several days after the elevator incident as I looked at my dance partner standing on the other side of the room waiting for me to come running.

I had just spent a decent chunk of my day dancing with my friend, Adam.  We started with a ballet class.  After that, Adam taught me a few lifts and tricks for swing.  Next, we headed over to St. Pius X where we spoke to high school students about Body Language as part of a Chastity Force conference.  We used dance to demonstrate our main points and taught the kids basic swing at the end of our session.  It was a lot of fun!  The students moved on to the next part of their day, and Adam decided to use our free time to teach me another lift.

“It’s called the Fireman’s Pole,” he said and proceeded to break down the movements.  I had to start on the other side of the dance floor, run toward him, grab hold of his extended hands and jump.  He would whip me around behind him and I was to wrap my legs around his waist.  Then, he would swing me to the front, dip me and I’d jump off.  Not too complicated, right?  But that is when I found myself thinking about the trust required for dancing.

It would have been one thing if Adam were going to catch me at the waist and lift or something like that; going for hand-to-hand contact is much more risky.  The target area is not very large.  What if my depth perception was off and I missed?  What if we didn’t get a good connection and one or both of us strained our arms?  What if he dropped me?  In the elevator, God proved to me that I could trust my own instincts, but He upped the ante on this one – I had to trust someone else!

I set my concerns aside, took a deep breath and ran.  I hit the target and flew through the air.  The entire move was over before I knew it.  It was exhilarating.  We practiced the move a second time only I hesitated right before I reached Adam, which threw off my momentum making it harder for him to swing me around.  We struggled through the move.  We completed it but it sure didn’t look good.

“I don’t know what happened,” Adam said when I was back on solid ground.

I winced.  “It was me.  I totally hesitated.  I don’t know why… I just got nervous…”

He laughed.  “Well, I didn’t drop you, did I?  So let’s try it again.  And just go for it.”  We practiced several more times, each of us gaining confidence with our part.

There is no room for hesitation in dance, which means it’s a perfect way to practice trust.  I have to trust my partner’s lead and he has to trust that I will follow.  I think I can handle several more of those lessons!

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