Get Out of your Comfort Zone (again)

Programs for this blog post

Teach In Spain Program

Authored By:

MariaElena K.

Getting out of your comfort zone is the only way to truly grow. You already took a huge step by moving across the world, so what’s stopping you from doing anything else? 

Last week, while I was scrolling away on my phone I saw my friend Mica comment on a Facebook post. The post was about a dance class being held somewhere but I didn’t read it all. All I knew was that I wanted to go. I instantly texted her asking for the details and if I could tag along. She responded back “Of course! Tonight at 8pm!” I loved the message and sent “Can’t wait!” 

For a moment I was ecstatic. A dance class in Spain! It’s a Cheetah Girls fan dream come true. 

Then the moment passed. Why oh why did I send that text? I haven’t danced in years. How can I keep up?  This is going to be taught in Spanish. How am I even going to follow along? 

After much self deliberation, I swallowed the anxiety and put on my dancing shoes. I met Mica at the metro, still in shock that I’m actually going. The entire ride was filled with word vomit and nerves. Mica gave me an out and told me I could go home. She said,  “Come next time, No biggie”. How could I go after making it all the way here? How could I leave without trying? Quitting before even attempting was something I would talk my friends out of doing. Now I had to talk myself out of it. 

I shook my head no. We approached a small chapel in the center of Principle Pio. There was a small crowd, getting ready for the class. I took a deep breath and smiled as the teacher greeted us. It was time to own it. Own the nerves that have been eating at me for the last few hours, own the awkward feelings and accept the fact that I won’t be perfect at this. The teacher started the lesson with a warm up, introducing us to the moves that we will use in the combination. Easy- Simple. It took me back to the many, many dance classes I've attended in my life. The warm up ended and we paired up. 

Pairing up was terrifying. I explained to my partner I’ve never done this kind of dancing before and he was very supportive. He showed me the beginner steps and told me I did well before we switched partners. As we built up the combination, so did my confidence. We changed partners every so often so we can get as much practice as possible. It must have been after the first full rotation where I realized I needed to drop the nerves. I wasn’t allowing myself to fully pay attention or enjoy what I was doing because I was preoccupied with what these strangers might be thinking of me. 

That’s when it changed. That’s the moment where the nerves rushed out and excitement took its place. I zoned in on the new feet work and channeled my years of dance training. Spinning around and eventually free styling with my partners for the remainder of the class.   

Dancing in this class last monday is easily the most fun I’ve had in Spain so far. All I had to do was get out of my own way. Facing this dancing class allowed me to become more open and confident in trying new things, with friends and alone. I urge you to get out of your own way! Try the things that scare you. Even if you don’t like it, at least you tried and that’s what matters.