Re: Take the lead

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If you’re live around Toronto, join our dance classes on Tuesdays & Fridays! 🙂

It was my second Forró dance class when my fellow beginner dance partner and I learned how to spin. After practicing the basics a few more times, it suddenly occurred to me that learning how to dance is closely similar to learning how to be in a harmonious relationship. You need open communication, trust, intimacy and confidence in yourself and each other to gracefully move around the dance floor. Granted, you may step on each other’s feet once or twice, literally, but that’s totally fine because it’s far more important to follow the same rhythm.

Before realizing this, I knew my own shortcomings when it comes to being in a romantic relationship. Though I must say, there were four key aspects that I clearly need to work on as a dancer and partner.

The Value of Taking a Pause

In Forró, the beat goes like this: 1, 2, 3, PAUSE, 1, 2, 3, PAUSE, 1, 2, 3, PAUSE. The pause may not seem like a significant thing when it’s written like this but it is. I learned this the hard way by not taking a pause and setting a pace that was faster than my dance partner’s. Our instructor says that, “you fall into the pause, it has a heavier weight while the other steps/beats are lighter.” Not taking that important pause made it more difficult for my partner and I to mirror each other’s steps, and since my pace was faster, I inevitably messed up our rhythm. I needed to slow down instead of anticipating my next step because my partner is supposed to be leading me not the other way around.

Relationships are similar in a sense that we fall in love with our partners slowly.

All of that attraction and desire is present within the first few months, but if we don’t slow down and take our time enjoying each other’s company and learning about one another beyond superficialities, that fire burns relatively quickly. Leaving thinking about what could have been instead of what is.

Letting Someone Else Take Control

Growing up I was taught to be self-sufficient and independent. If I was hungry, I’ll go get something to eat or cook for myself. If there’s an assignment that I need to get done, I’ll to do it myself. I hope you can immediately see how this can be a problem in a partner dance where the control is not entirely mine.

In Forró, the man is responsible for taking the lead, guiding the woman between bases and spins. There’s an unspoken communication between each other, a sort of letting go that I was initially reluctant to do. Part of it is learning to rely on someone else, trusting him. Both of which, I have a problem doing easily outside of dance. Thing is, the moment I let my dance partner take the lead was the exact moment I started to enjoy myself. It wasn’t just about learning how to dance anymore, I was dancing.

In a relationship, at times it may be difficult to trust your partner because trust is such a fragile thing. We’re emotionally invested and hopeful that the person we are choosing to trust will not take that gesture for granted. After all, we do not only trust them to take care of our toes, our hearts too.

Stop Thinking Too Much!

While the instructors were teaching us more complicated spins and steps, I found myself thinking too much about where my feet should go or if I’m spinning in the right direction or whether I was off beat again. Doing so made it more difficult for my body to actually learn the steps and spins.

Similarly, we can get so caught up with what’s in our heads instead of what’s in our hearts sometimes that soon enough we end up in a downward spiral. Questioning every little detail that may or may not matter as much as we think it does. If only we took the time to pause and recognize that all of the thoughts in our head are mere thoughts. They only stop being thoughts when we act on them.

Intimacy

Intimacy isn’t just a physical thing it’s a transcendent connection.

My dance partner and I would sway for a minute or so to get a sense of the rhythm of the song. Often times, you’ll see dancers close their eyes to feel the music and to let intimacy build with their partner. Creating this connection to the music and your partner keeps you in synch as you dance around the dance floor.

It’s a culmination of letting go of your inhibitions, trust, being receptive of open communication and building a connection.

By all means, I won’t be a great Forró dancer right away. It takes practice and changing habits to have the skill level I want to have. I’m also not shy to admit that I haven’t been the greatest girlfriend/partner either, but I’m working on it.

Baby steps.

Always,

K

P.S. My apologies for the photos, our dance social kept going as it rained.

Re: What makes you extraordinary? 3/3

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Angelica & I’s photo together over the summer beautifully sums up the kind of sweet and caring individual that she is. Grateful for our conversations and friendship! Keep being amazing love! 🙂

I was careful about introducing this project because I realized early on that our loved ones come in many forms. It could be a friend, a family member or romantic significant other. So I asked a couple of my friends to think of someone extraordinary. They didn’t have to tell me who it was right away. I simply wanted them to think of that person first. Then I asked them what makes the person they are thinking of extraordinary?

Angelica’s response:

“I think that they’re the strongest and most resilient person I know.”

Who were you thinking of?

“Mama.”

And…

Vicky’s response:

“My sister is extraordinary because she cares about other people and their well-being to the point where she compromises herself sometimes. She is artistic and creative in ways I’ll never comprehend haha. And even though, she’s just 13, the way she deals with conflict and people in general is something I’m still learning.”

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From pexels.com

Granted, I am still a closet romantic so I asked a dear couple, married for 54 years the same question to cap off this project. Bruce responds by sending me a speech he had written 30-40 years ago. It starts, “As I think of how grateful I am for my wife, I realized that her love and companionship alone make me very rich…” Of course, I read this like the love letter it became all these years. Bruce talked about his appreciation for her support and the significant role she had played in his life as her husband, the father of their children and as a professional. He concludes by saying that, “my wife is truly an individual person. I find this quality most exciting. She fulfills a demanding church stewardship of her own and derives great personal satisfaction from her achievement. She is also involved in a number of activities of self-improvement…I find these too supportive to me because I am proud to be the companion to this beautiful and exciting person-my wife!”

This project started as a reminder for myself and for everyone around me that even when you don’t feel your best self, someone out there sees you for who you are and who you are striving to be. It was a privilege to get such awesome responses to equally amazing individuals. I can only hope that someone in cyber space was inspired even just a little bit.

You are extraordinary. Don’t forget that.

 

Always,

K

Re: Using Love Languages to find the perfect gifts for your loved ones

I thought about writing a Valentine’s Day gift guide for those celebrating the day, but are Valentine’s Day gifts too anticipated? Should it be the only time of the year we show our appreciation to our loved ones? Obviously not! So why the fuss? Others may say that Valentine’s Day is a commercial holiday created by the retail industry. Sure, that could be a reason, but a rather important detail is missed here. Whether you agree with that reason or not, we receive and show our love differently. There are those who prefer to receive love through gifts and there are others who might not be fully satisfied with chocolates and roses.

Out of my curiosity, Mr. Ko and I took a love languages questionnaire a couple months ago. A friend had talked to me about the questionnaire about a year ago and I recall taking the test when I did a quick search of my own. It does take some time to complete the questionnaire since there are definitely more than a handful of questions to answer. That being said, the results ranked the 5 love language according to how I would like to receive love, and you know what? Receiving gifts was at the bottom of the bottom of my list! So, before rampaging the stores for the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for your significant other, why not take the quiz together and share with each other the best ways you would like to receive love. Doing so, will also help you gain a better understanding about each other.

 

Always,

K

 

P.S. There are 5 love languages:

  1. Words of Affirmation – e.g. verbally telling your significant other how you feel
  2. Acts of Service – e.g. reliably doing what your said you were going to do; acts speak louder than words
  3. Receiving gifts – e.g. give a tangible gift
  4. Quality Time – e.g. scheduling some time out of your busy days for each other
  5. Physical Touch – e.g. giving your significant other hugs or holding their hand

 

Having this in mind, there are various ways that you can show your loved ones how much you appreciate and love them this Valentine’s Day season (or everyday).