So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

Me: I think we should take dance lessons.

Husband: Really? *long silence* Are we going to a wedding or something?

Me: *pointed look*

Husband: *put-upon sigh* Fine. But I am not doing anything to set this up.

That was four years ago. Our dance instructor teaches in a semester format, and by December of our first semester, my husband was already asking what kind of dance would be offered the following January and where we could buy dance shoes. He went from feeling like he was suffering through something on my behalf to loving a new activity. That is the first reason we dance – it is something totally different than anything else we do, and we love it.

Our second reason is for the dates. Not just the few times we have scheduled someone else to watch the kids so we can go to a bar or dance hall, but the lessons themselves. This is dedicated time together with other adults. No kids allowed. I love my children, but with my two chatterboxes around it is hard to get a word in edgewise – especially if my husband and I want to talk to each other. For one hour every week during classes, we are together. And you have to touch. It can be just holding hands for a swing class, or sultry looks for cha-cha, or a lot more for tango, but there is an intimacy in dance that we often forget. Or, more likely, simply do not make time for in our daily lives. Between work, laundry, homework, more laundry, making dinner, and a million other little things, I often get to the end of the week and wonder how much time I spent actually being with my husband. (If one of us is snoring, it does not count.) When we dance, we don’t necessarily even talk much to each other – especially if we are learning something new. It turns out I cannot use motor skills and my motor mouth at the same time. That is okay too. We have time to talk on the drive to and from lessons, and now that the kids are a little older we sometimes have drinks with friends after class. In the middle, we have an entire hour of just being together. Marriage is hard. It is nice to remind myself that I actually like to be with him.

Number three is the exercise. Some dances are more intense than others. An East Coast Swing for three and a half minutes leaves me winded. (Although that might have more to do with my tendency to dust off a bottle of wine more often than my running shoes.) I could tango for twenty minutes without a problem. Usually exercise, at least for me, feels like a chore. Dancing is fun. There are other couples there – a sort of accountability system, because they always ask after us if we miss a class. We laugh. We make funny, and sometimes really terrible, jokes. We, or rather I, typically make a fool of myself at least once. And that is okay. We are learning together. There is at least one new couple in every beginner class I have taken, and some couples that have been dancing for twenty years or more. We all make mistakes. We all have the opportunity to learn, to teach, and to try something new.

For me, there is also a mental component. I have written before about my concern that I may develop Alzheimer’s one day. Dance is also exercise for the mind. There are steps to remember and forms and holds. Studies by the Department of Neurobiology at Harvard and Columbia University have shown that dance increases brain activity, improves memory, and strengthens connections between neurons in the brain.* When I dance, it makes me more physically and mentally healthy. Preventative care for my thighs and my thoughts.

Of course, there are also the clothes. Who doesn’t want excuse to wear fishnets and a feather boa – and still be the most underdressed woman in the room? There are sequins and fringe and even ridiculous costumes. Because, when dancing, flamboyant is never ridiculous.

It isn’t for everyone. There are plenty of couples and singles who have come for a few lessons and then do not return. But the majority stay. Basic East Coast Swing one semester. Country two-step the next. Then maybe take time off as life gets busy before picking up another class again. There is always the opportunity to find a new passion in your life, and maybe remember the passion in your marriage too.

As my instructor often says, “It doesn’t get any better than this.”

If you are interested in dance Central Nebraska, there are classes offered in Lexington, Kearney, Grand Island, Holdrege, and many other communities. Structured dances are held all year long across the state, from Miller to Grand Island, and there are plenty of places with good dance floors – or even really wide aisles – where you can try out your moves.

For dance information in Kearney – check out Kearney Park and Rec

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-athletes-way/201310/why-is-dancing-so-good-your-brain

Suzanne Brodine

Suzanne Brodine is an independent author and freelance writer, and a grant writer for economic and community development. After ten years in local government positions, she is slowly transitioning to make a career out of a passion for using words to create and inspire. Suzanne writes fiction under the name, Susan Amund. Her first novel is available on Amazon, and ongoing serial works may be read on her website, http://susanamund.com/. Suzanne is a mother of two girls and attributes her ability to go after her dreams to the support of her husband.

I Thought Our Friendship Would Be Unbreakable

In: Friendship, Journal, Relationships
Two friends selfie

The message notification pinged on my phone. A woman, once one of my best friends, was reaching out to me via Facebook. Her message simply read, “Wanted to catch up and see how life was treating you!”  I had very conflicting feelings. It seemed with that one single message, a flood of memories surfaced. Some held some great moments and laughter. Other memories held disappointment and hurt of a friendship that simply had run its course. Out of morbid curiosity, I clicked on her profile page to see how the years had been treating her. She was divorced and still...

Keep Reading

The First 10 Years: How Two Broken People Kept Their Marriage from Breaking

In: Journal, Marriage, Relationships
The First Ten Years: How Two Broken People Kept Their Marriage from Breaking www.herviewfromhome.com

We met online in October of 2005, by way of a spam email ad I was THIS CLOSE to marking as trash. Meet Single Christians! My cheese alert siren sounded loudly, but for some reason, I unchecked the delete box and clicked through to the site. We met face-to-face that Thanksgiving. As I awaited your arrival in my mother’s kitchen, my dad whispered to my little brother, “Hide your valuables. Stacy has some guy she met online coming for Thanksgiving dinner.” We embraced for the first time in my parents’ driveway. I was wearing my black cashmere sweater with the...

Keep Reading

To The Mother Who Is Overwhelmed

In: Inspiration, Motherhood
Tired woman with coffee sitting at table

I have this one head. It is a normal sized head. It didn’t get bigger because I had children. Just like I didn’t grow an extra arm with the birth of each child. I mean, while that would be nice, it’s just not the case. We keep our one self. And the children we add on each add on to our weight in this life. And the head didn’t grow more heads because we become a wife to someone. Or a boss to someone. We carry the weight of motherhood. The decisions we must make each day—fight the shorts battle...

Keep Reading

You’re a Little Less Baby Today Than Yesterday

In: Journal, Motherhood
Toddler sleeping in mother's arms

Tiny sparkles are nestled in the wispy hair falling across her brow, shaken free of the princess costume she pulled over her head this morning. She’s swathed in pink: a satiny pink dress-up bodice, a fluffy, pink, slightly-less-glittery-than-it-was-two-hours-ago tulle skirt, a worn, soft pink baby blanket. She’s slowed long enough to crawl into my lap, blinking heavy eyelids. She’s a little less baby today than she was only yesterday.  Soon, she’ll be too big, too busy for my arms.  But today, I’m rocking a princess. The early years will be filled with exploration and adventure. She’ll climb atop counters and...

Keep Reading

Dear Husband, I Loved You First

In: Marriage, Motherhood, Relationships
Man and woman kissing in love

Dear husband, I loved you first. But often, you get the last of me. I remember you picking me up for our first date. I spent a whole hour getting ready for you. Making sure every hair was in place and my make-up was perfect. When you see me now at the end of the day, the make-up that is left on my face is smeared. My hair is more than likely in a ponytail or some rat’s nest on the top of my head. And my outfit, 100% has someone’s bodily fluids smeared somewhere. But there were days when...

Keep Reading

Stop Being a Butthole Wife

In: Grief, Journal, Marriage, Relationships
Man and woman sit on the end of a dock with arms around each other

Stop being a butthole wife. No, I’m serious. End it.  Let’s start with the laundry angst. I get it, the guy can’t find the hamper. It’s maddening. It’s insanity. Why, why, must he leave piles of clothes scattered, the same way that the toddler does, right? I mean, grow up and help out around here, man. There is no laundry fairy. What if that pile of laundry is a gift in disguise from a God you can’t (yet) see? Don’t roll your eyes, hear me out on this one. I was a butthole wife. Until my husband died. The day...

Keep Reading

I Can’t Be Everyone’s Chick-fil-A Sauce

In: Friendship, Journal, Living, Relationships
woman smiling in the sun

A couple of friends and I went and grabbed lunch at Chick-fil-A a couple of weeks ago. It was delightful. We spent roughly $20 apiece, and our kids ran in and out of the play area barefoot and stinky and begged us for ice cream, to which we responded, “Not until you finish your nuggets,” to which they responded with a whine, and then ran off again like a bolt of crazy energy. One friend had to climb into the play tubes a few times to save her 22-month-old, but it was still worth every penny. Every. Single. One. Even...

Keep Reading

Love Notes From My Mother in Heaven

In: Faith, Grief, Journal, Living
Woman smelling bunch of flowers

Twelve years have passed since my mother exclaimed, “I’ve died and gone to Heaven!” as she leaned back in her big donut-shaped tube and splashed her toes, enjoying the serenity of the river.  Twelve years since I stood on the shore of that same river, 45 minutes later, watching to see if the hopeful EMT would be able to revive my mother as she floated toward his outstretched hands. Twelve years ago, I stood alone in my bedroom, weak and trembling, as I opened my mother’s Bible and all the little keepsakes she’d stowed inside tumbled to the floor.  It...

Keep Reading

Sometimes Friendships End, No Matter How Hard You Try

In: Friendship, Journal, Relationships
Sad woman alone without a friend

I tried. We say these words for two reasons. One: for our own justification that we made an effort to complete a task; and two: to admit that we fell short of that task. I wrote those words in an e-mail tonight to a friend I had for nearly 25 years after not speaking to her for eight months. It was the third e-mail I’ve sent over the past few weeks to try to reconcile with a woman who was more of a sister to me at some points than my own biological sister was. It’s sad when we drift...

Keep Reading

Goodbye to the House That Built Me

In: Grown Children, Journal, Living, Relationships
Ranch style home as seen from the curb

In the winter of 1985, while I was halfway done growing in my mom’s belly, my parents moved into a little brown 3 bedroom/1.5 bath that was halfway between the school and the prison in which my dad worked as a corrections officer. I would be the first baby they brought home to their new house, joining my older sister. I’d take my first steps across the brown shag carpet that the previous owner had installed. The back bedroom was mine, and mom plastered Smurf-themed wallpaper on the accent wall to try to get me to sleep in there every...

Keep Reading

 5 Secrets to Connect with Your Kids

FREE EMAIL BONUS

Proven techniques to build REAL connections