“How long did it take you to learn to be a business leader?” my dance instructor asked during our third private lesson, which followed the fifth group session, 10 times strapping on dance shoes ever in my whole life, and a grinning-winch “argh!” as I missed a combination again.
“Thirty years so far,” I answered.
“Then there is good news,” he said. “This won’t take you that long.”
“Just a year or two.”
The combined delight and cruelty of loving to do new things is, from my view, that true art lies in the expression of what you have learned. And finding this art inside one’s self inevitably takes time. It’s built on a basis of fundamental skills. You’d think I’d already “get” this from studying German, going back to university at the age of 40 or certainly the last 10 years as a business owner.
Then again, maybe on the topic of patience, I never learn at all!
I will add, though, that even my unskilled, unartful dance movement brings a great sense of pleasure, to my genuine surprise. Different than 15 years of jogging – pragmatically aimed at eating and staying fit – I can envision wanting to see how well I can dance. If I can express something that is me.
So it will be worth getting over my personal hurdles, be they patience, doubts about my abilities, or – perhaps biggest of all – the sense of vulnerability that will come with using my whole body to show a feeling, tell a story.
Let’s see how long it takes me to learn that.