Pride Goeth Before the Ball

Outform: external appearance

A friend invited a group of us for a gathering at her house. I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but since I lack a refined fashion sense, I threw on my Chacos per usual. (Because whether you go shopping or hiking, they’re perfect, am I right?)

I arrived at her house and walked down a cobblestone stairway before being greeted by a spacious, green backyard and some people playing volleyball in the distance. I was grateful it wasn’t raining, though I knew the mild weather would attract all the mosquitoes. (I’m such a mosquito magnet. UGH!)

I played volleyball for three months in high school, but that was almost seven years ago. And I didn’t grow up in an active, sporting family. I hardly go to the gym and my idea of “booking it” is lounging with a captivating read, so I Volleyball-Summer-Backyard-Friendswas interested to see if my old athletic chops wouldn’t fail me.

I was one of two girls on my team and the other girl clearly played volleyball regularly. She served exquisitely, volleyed every ball, and spiked a few times. I’m usually a pretty confident person, but I noticed I was shaking from adrenaline (or nervousness?). I HATE looking bad and sports always has a way of exposing me. Most of my serves veered off at an embarrassing angle. I didn’t hit the ball hard enough to go to the other side multiple times. I cost our team a few points. (Crazily enough, I managed to spike the ball and punt it to the other side during another play. Needless to say, I didn’t know what the heck I did. Not talent, my friends. Just blessings.)

After a few games, I was ready to go inside and nurse my mosquito bites (and, ahem, pride). I even squinted warily at some of the warrior, athletic beasts and had the audacity to think they probably weren’t as good at writing, dancing, or singing as me. Anything to make ourselves feel better. I may have seemed confident and even decent, but as the old adage goes, “appearances can be deceiving.”

How I managed to be on the winning team all three times, I’ll never know.
~Lina Marie





Sparkling Holiday Formal

dress-picFallal: a bit of finery; a showy article of dress

Remember that blog post a few months back about my first few weeks of ballroom dance class? (Click here to get your memory dancing!) Thankfully, I’ve progressed greatly since then, in my dance moves and becoming a better follower (Hehe! The assertive, tempered Type A, first-born problems are real). It’s been a real ball and a couple weekends ago, I got to attend a post-holiday dance formal!

The beginning of each, monthly ballroom dance events start with a quick crash course of the basic steps to familiarize newbies to the basics and give more experienced dancers a brush up. Several dances were covered. Hustle. Swing. Foxtrot. Rumba (personal favorite). Waltz. The party-goers who’ve been attending classes were able to dance two-step, bachata, cha-cha, and other classics.

The great thing about ballroom dance events is the people you’ve built rapport with in class, you’re able to visit with and get to know better. Of course, there’s the inevitable happening of meeting new faces or vaguely familiar ones seen every week but never intentionally reached out to. There was older gentlemen in particular who dances competitively, and I had an opportunity to gain a few pointers about form and moves from him. Additionally, every dance event has an awesome dance performance from a different genre of dance, so we had a blast watching a two-step routine. The dancers were geared up in cowboy boots and denim!

Dancing (skillfully) the night away is one of my favorite activities. And which girl wouldn’t want to throw on a glittery, teacup dress to twirl around in?! (Even though it was under 20 degrees Fahrenheit outside. Hahaha.)

~Lina Marie