I’ve always dreamed of knowing how to partner dance: country two-step, waltz, tango, cha cha, rumba… all of them. I love each one. I took one introduction to ballroom dance class in college about 13 years ago and just loved it. Recently, my husband and I started taking private lessons at the Rockin’ Horse Dance Barn to learn the Jitterbug. When they said they were going as a group on a cruise to Alaska in August around my birthday, I just couldn’t resist. A cruise to Alaska with dancing every night?! Too much fun!! I booked my whole family!
I really appreciate that my husband learned the Jitterbug with me and that he was willing to go on this cruise, too. He doesn’t enjoy dancing as much as I do so initially I worried that he wouldn’t dance with me and I only really knew one dance and many of the other folks had been taking lessons at the Barn for years. Early in the trip I decided I was going to participate in the dancing even if he didn’t want to, and that it was okay if he didn’t (I wasn’t going to blame him). I really wanted to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity so I did a 68 Second Focus Jam on it.
What’s a 68 Second Focus Jam, you ask? It’s when you focus on conjuring the thoughts, visions and feelings of what you desire for 68 seconds WITHOUT interruption. The practice was introduced by Abraham-Hicks and is based in Law of Attraction. This site has a good in-depth description of the practice (though “Focus Jam” is just what I call it, I think Abraham calls it “The 68 second rule”). Think it’s easy? Well, try it out and see. It’s amazing how quickly distracting, doubting and discouraging thoughts can creep in.
Start out with the goal to do it for 17 seconds. The idea is if you can keep a thought, which is just a vibration, and you believe that things of similar vibration are attracted to each other, than you will attract another thought that is similar to the first after 17 seconds. The longer you go without interrupting, the energy builds exponentially until you begin attracting on the physical vibration level. Remember, all things are vibrating and all things were thoughts before they were things. Regardless if you believe all that, it’s certainly a fun process that feels great. There’s an enthusiasm and energy that builds inside of me when I get on a role with my 68 Second Focus Jam and I believe there is a great power in the intention that I am setting with my jams.
So I jammed on the idea that I would be happily dancing (with whomever) during my trip. It felt great. Early in the trip, I proceeded to learn three new partner dances from the trip coordinator who was also the Barn’s dance instructor. At first I didn’t know anyone other than the folks at the Barn we’d met during our private lessons, but everyone was very welcoming and encouraged me to come dance. With a few lessons and some great new friends I was dancing almost every night. The guys asked me to dance and showed me some new moves and their ladies were kind enough to share. There was lots of line dancing too and some general booty-shaking as well. Not to mention that it was enjoyable to watch the beautiful dancers spin around the dance floor and listen to the lovely music.
My story could have happily ended there, but it didn’t. It just so happened that the cruise line was partnering with Dancing with the Stars and was having a friendly competition. There were three opportunities to join the competition. Anyone who wanted could come to an open 30 minute dance lesson and if the judges liked you while you were practicing, they pulled you out of the crowd after the lesson. They pulled four people out of the crowd and those four got to dance with one of the cruise’s professional dancers. The judges scored your dance and the crowd cheered for extra points. The top two went on to the finals. I got picked for the waltz (the other two dances were the Samba and the Jive). I think I got entertainment points from the audience because I totally elbowed my professional partner in the face and knocked off his glasses in the middle of the performance! I was terrified and forgot the dance after the first two moves. Did I mention we learned about 15 moves in 30 minutes? I did watch the video after and I actually did ok despite the ocular accident. Anyway, I was thrilled and amazed that I won the semifinals.
Of course I hadn’t brought anything to dance the waltz in on stage in front of a thousand people! They said to wear whatever you were comfortable in and so I knew I didn’t HAVE to find something, but I wanted to. We stopped in Sitka, the smallest port town of the three and I just loved its quaint feel. Turns out their “fancy ladies’ dress store” went out of business… no surprise there. So I went to the consignment store. There I found the most beautiful silver, evening gown, complete with broach and frilly skirt edge. It fit me like a glove. I also needed a bra that would work with a halter top; the sales lady said they had about 30 but only in one size. My size, wouldn’t you know? The dress was a bit wrinkled with a minor stain, but thankfully the cruise had dry cleaning. Total cost of my new DWTS costume? $32.00.
I practiced my dance as much as I could thanks to new friends who had video-taped the semi-finals and were willing to help. When the time came, I donned my new gown, let my hair down and swayed my heart out to Adel’s “One and Only”. It was magical and something I’ll never forget. I didn’t win, but it didn’t matter. I enjoyed every moment.
Did I dream that I would be dancing with a professional dancer in Dancing with the Stars At Sea? No, I didn’t dream that specifically. Creating with your imagination isn’t really about custom designing every moment of your life. At least, not for me. I used my imagination for fun and to get me close to realizing the essence of my desire. It was fun and energizing to jam for 68 seconds on gliding joyously around the dance floor. It was equally fun to be surprised by how that dream was realized. I want to continue to be pleasantly surprised by how my life unfolds, knowing that it’s always working out for me.
If you want, you can view my full DWTS at Sea performance.