Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Dancing Simplicity

There is no reason to deny it: I dance like a douchebag.

Seriously. Force me onto a dance floor after 3 beers or so and you might actually see something like this:

Well, I've had enough. It's time to slay my inner dancing douche. Starting today, Jack is officially a student at a dance studio. That's right. Over the next 3 months I will work to master the basic ballroom dances (waltz, foxtrot, tango...etc), something that will hopefully prepare me for some of the more modern stuff.

I'm actually excited about this. Dancing is not exactly something I enjoy. But there is a great deal of freedom in learning how to do something I've always found unapproachable and totally beyond my control. I'm not sure I would have had the time, the patience, or even the inclination to do this before leaving Biglaw. Just goes to show how a change in perspective can lead to unexpected places.


Anonymous said...

I have never, ever been good at "modern" dancing. Give me some steps and a tempo, though, and I'm set. Enjoy your lessons!

Seriously 40 said...

Cool Jack - love it! BTW, where are you living now? Back in DC? Have you settled in somewhere temporarily?

Jerry Critter said...

Where are you living now, Jack? Are you back in DC or some other place in the country? Just curious.

Become famous and we will get to see you dance on "Dancing with the Stars".

Moti and Amanda said...

Check out contra dancing while you're at it... full of joy and so much fun!

Anonymous said...

Love it! Your journey is so inspiring. The next thing I want to learn to do video games. :) Then maybe I will try dancing. Have fun! @whowuddathunkit

Elizabeth Halt said...

I've always wanted to learn myself. :) If I lived closer to a studio, I'd have signed up ages ago, but maybe next year when my schedule becomes more free will be a good time to learn ..

stiffie said... that first picture from Dirty Dancing?


By the way, dancing isn't just about doing the steps correctly. It's about letting go; allowing your body total freedom of movement. It's a creative energy release.

Although I support the lessons so you don't look like a total ass.

But, seriously, don't get caught up in the "rules." Just go with the flow!

Anonymous said...

I agree with Stiffie. Go with the flow and let your creative inner child win over what your brain is telling you to do.

Dance first. Think later. It's the natural order. ~Samuel Beckett

Jack said...


Well, you are way ahead of me. I first have to understand the concept of tempo and rythm..URghhh


Yup, settled back somewhere in North America for the time being. Heading back to SA when I start my trip.


See my response to Vicky. At the rate I'm going I might be able to addition for DWTS in 2037.

Jack said...


One thing at a time. I first have to understand what rythm actually means...:)


Probably not likely, but you never know.


Having the time is definitely key.

Me said...

I've been dancing pretty much my whole life... Jazz, Modern, Ballroom... I've studied it, wrote reports on it... It's still all with in yourself...

I never understood how it could be criticized... we all dance the way we feel the music...

You have rhythm or you don't... you dance like you don't care or you do... it's all up to you :)

BTW, You can study ballroom dance all you want but our last ballroom dance instructor wasn't that good... I ended up reminding her what moves she was showing us and it was BAD.... VERY BAD... we took classes because we were trying to do a dance for our "wedding dance" and actually? It was more fun dancing to the beat then to a planned out dance :)

Where are you at now?

Nancy said...

Well, at least you have some fancy, schmancy shoes to wear!

Sara Jean said...

Sounds like fun. Then again...I am a girl. ;)

Sara Jean said...

Hi again, I was just reading your "date with jack" post and a thought occured to me: What do you think of the idea that for all that you hated about your lifestyle in a law firm, don't you think that if you hadn't suffered through the hard work, you would have never reached the finacial reward where you could then become the free range individual you are now? Like, if you did all of this on my (and most ppl's) savings, you'd be right back into the system after a short while b/c you'd be so broke and possibly in debt. I think that for as much as you hated your past certainly was the hand that fed you in the end. What do you think? Am I completely wrong? I don't want to live the life of a pompus bitch myself, but...if I knew that as long as I suffered through it for a few years that there'd be a pot of gold at the end so that I could live a dream life...yeah, I'd do it. Who wouldnt? My point is...was it really that bad?

frugal zeitgeist said...

Jack, have you ever taken music lessons? It helps if you have. If you haven't, learn to listen for the beat and that'll tell you whether you're up for a swing, a foxtrot, a waltz, a cha-cha, or whatever. Also, if you lead well, the women will be falling at your feet. No one likes spaghetti arm or the guy who pushes like he's driving a zamboni.

I took lessons for five years and used to go dancing at Windows on the World before it got blown up. Stop by and let's go dancing.

Jack said...


You are right, of course. It's just hard sometimes to let go when I'm always about understanding something well first. I will do my best to let go. Promise


Appropriate quote. I will see what I can do.


My instructor rocks. She seems so supportive and knows how to handle me. So far so good.

Jack said...


No kidding!


Well, not so fun just yet, but it does feel good to start learning this stuff.


It was definitely not for me, that's for sure. But I get your point. IN some ways, it all turned out the best way possible. ON the other hand, not sure years and years of doing something you hate for a payoff that might never come is the way to go either.

Marissa said...


I, for one, don't think you have to live a life you absolutely despise in order to eventually live a life you love. Maybe I've just been lucky, but I've never had to do that.

Granted, I may never get to "retire" in the classic sense of the word. But who knows if I'd even be around to enjoy it anyway? (Uh, not to be morbid or anything...)

But don't get me wrong, I'm not against savings (God, no, savings are great). It's just that, to me, working isn't necessarily antithetical to living a life I'm happy with. In fact, if all goes as I hope it will, my work (I fancy myself a writer) will be an essential part of my "dream."

Until then, though, I'm being realistic in that I will have to continue to take jobs -- at least in temporary spurts, probably doing stuff that doesn't involve my "dream" directly -- to sustain my chosen lifestyle, which happens to involves A LOT of travel and, yes, a few nice things here and there. When it comes down to it, I might be a bit bohemian, but I'm far from a dirty hippie. Hence, my support of savings, I suppose.

However, just because you have a job, doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your soul, happiness, or to use your term, "dreams."

In my opinion, it's all dependent on what you consider your "dream life." If it's jets and platinum rims and Chanel and all-inclusive 5-Star resorts, then maybe the dichotomy you set up applies.

But if it's not -- if it's a life based less on material comforts and more on fulfilling experiences and good personal relationships -- then it need not apply.

To drop a cliché (hmm, there goes my writing cred...), where there's a will, there's a way. Don't buy things you don't need or REALLY want. Don't accumulate debt. And definitely don't fall into the mindset that one needs years of sacrifice and millions of dollars to enjoy life.

Coming from someone who hasn't had to sacrifice my spirit, but has yet to earn a million dollars -- it's possible to enjoy life NOW!

Just my two pesos from Chile, where I recently relocated to learn Spanish and explore the Andes,


Mandira said...

you have no idea how much this post made me smile....

Linda said...

Motivation: learn the samba and dance with every hot girl in Brazil when you go South America :)

Jack said...


It's a date, although you might regret it once you see me in action. It really is weird...I get it 50% of the time and the other 50% I spend trying to catch up or slow down...


Sounds like someone is a simple living adherent in denial. :)


I can only imagine.

Jack said...


That's motivation enough!