Okay, okay, I am probably leaning towards the melodrama with that title, so I should state upfront that this post will be more about dancing than about the Devil. Not sure about moonlight but we’ll see where we end up.
You may think that dancing and the Devil are unusual things to have in the same sentence (for that we can thank Jack Nicholson in his turn as the Joker), but what about accountants and dancing? Confession: I am an accountant and I love dancing. Equal confession: I am really rubbish at it (the dancing, hopefully not the accounting!). I was trying to come up with a list of all of the different dancing styles that I have attempted over the years: salsa (of course), belly dancing (jingly costumes were heaps of fun, as were the scarf dances), flamenco (very dramatic), jazz ballet (okay, that was when I was a kid) (in the eighties), old time dancing – foxtrots and the like (that was forced on me by my parents who did some dance teaching) (also in the eighties) and – the piece de resistance – nightclub dancing (no laughing please). After a dazzling array of classes and sometimes costumes, I can honestly say that I never got to what I would call ‘performance level’ in any of these disciplines, ie where I would have been happy practising my ‘art’ outside the dance studio. But I did have a lot of laughs (when I wasn’t really puffed) (nightclub dancing is a huge cardio workout).
So why did I put myself through this effort and usually embarrassment on a weekly basis? Well, it was outright funny at times and a good social activity, but it was also a deliberate attempt to get out of my comfort zone and try something new. I felt that I was spending a lot of my day at work doing fairly routine things that I was generally quite good at, and I guess I just wanted to exercise my brain as well as my body. They do say that exercising both sides of your brain is good and keeps your mind healthy in later life, and I figured that getting out of my comfort zone with something non threatening like a dance class would make the experience more familiar, so when I had to do it in a more important work situation it wouldn’t be so stressful. And I can certainly say that there was no shortage of non comfort zone opportunities for an introverted accountant across the diverse styles of salsa, nightclub, flamenco and belly dance!
Do you have different activities that you have in your life to take you out of your comfort zone? How do you get your ‘brain exercise’?
I can still remember my Brazilian nightclub dancing teacher giving us a lecture at the start of one class saying that we really needed to “bring it” to classes, like our Brazilian counterparts did (I think that ‘it’ meant attitude). I do try and remember that on the (odd) occasion that I head to a nightclub these days…