Is it time to shuffle off?
I started tap dance lessons last fall, and I’m not sure I want to continue. I do love the shoes, but the lessons? I'm frustrated. The decision now is, how do I move forward? Will I move forward?
Starting a new hobby is an exciting adventure. But it can also be rife with doubt, confusion, and questions.
• What does it cost to get started?
• Are you willing (or able) to make the investment?
• Can (and will) you commit the time it will take to master, create, or perform whatever it is?
And what about that learning curve? Is it relatively low? If it’s steep, will you be able to push through the frustration of being a beginner?
I never dreamed of being a tap dancer, so I was surprised when the listing for “Tap Dance: Beginner” caught my eye. The schedule was good (Saturday mornings from 10:00 - 11:00), and the price was reasonable: $12/lesson for drop-in, less if you sign up for the full eight week session. And shoes. Prices start at $25, though for beginners in the class I was starting, smooth-soled shoes are acceptable.
But I wanted the shoes.
It took three orders on Amazon to get a pair that fit properly and I was ready.
I was dizzy after the first class, excited after the second, and felt doubt creeping in after the third. The fourth was the best. We learned some new steps and the routine at the end brought things together nicely. I felt like I was starting to get it.
And then there was the fifth class.
We start each class with warm-up exercises, a review of steps we’ve already learned, and the introduction of new steps. The second half hour is when it all comes together in a short routine. Or should.
It was tough. The routine was too complex for this beginner. I couldn’t remember the order of the steps, I missed the beat (more than once), and found myself making simple steps just to stay in line with the other dancers. I was discouraged.
And the next class wasn’t much better. Or the next.
So I'm asking myself, "Is tap dance right for me?" I don’t know.
What I do know is that I'm not alone. Starting a new hobby can be frustrating. When things get tough, do we stick it out, or let it go?
The answer, I think, can only be found by asking ourselves the right questions.
Do you have the right tools?
The right teacher?
Have you done the prep or practice that’s required to improve?
Do you care about this enough to keep going?
Is there something else you’d rather be doing?
Is it worth another try?
Is tap dance for me? I don’t know.
I'm trying to answer the questions honestly. Am I practicing enough between classes? No. Is it worth another try? Yes.
I'm not sure if I'm in the right class, so I’ve decided to look for another. I’m also looking at online lessons to boost my practice because I’m not ready to give up.
I really like the shoes.
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