D.C., Round Two

I often find myself running late to things because I’m too busy dancing. I’ll be five minutes away from departure time and then erroneously put on some Beyonce song.

After this has been done, it’s all over. One song leads to the next and I find myself in a time consuming predicament of, “But wait, this would be a good one,” or, “I should really listen to this song one more time while dancing in some stilettos — that will thoroughly prepare me for my day.”

And although this has the potential to turn a peaceful commute into one where I’m begging the powers of the universe to spare me of red lights, I hope I never see the day that I stop dancing.

I’m currently in the phase of what I’m referring to as “D.C., Round Two.” I arrived in D.C. for “Round One” in early August, and at the time hadn’t the faintest thought in my mind that there would ever be a need for a second go at it. I had just been hired to a job through which I was going to change the world one life at a time. I was going to break down social wrongs and do away with the vast inequities plaguing our country. I knew that this was the job that was going to take me to that place, and I was ecstatic. This was “Round One,” and for three months I pulled every last bit of my heart and soul out of me trying to make it work. I was exhausted daily with only dimmed and blurred memories of what I had moved across the country to do. Although I did a decent job of maintaining the exterior of a summer lake at dusk, beneath that peaceful façade was a treacherous and thrashing undertow. These were the “dark days.”

However, even after what seemed like, say, forty-seven consecutive days of wishing for a debilitating storm or mandated quarantine every time my alarm would chime for the tenth time, irritatingly calling me out of bed, there was one thing of which I refused to let go. Even through the slothfulness, I found time to boogie. And it was through this “gettin’ down” that I came to some grand realizations and prepared myself for career strengthening opportunities.

These periodic jam sessions were when the seeds were planted in my mind for the wisdom that I would obtain upon starting my next new job. During “Round One,” I had the wonderfully exciting opportunity to present my senior research to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. I practiced what I was going to say the night before, and in the morning — I danced. The neat thing about this scenario was the fact that the act of giving my presentation left my legs trembling once again with the desire to dance. And when I got home, I did just that. It felt remarkable to be within in a professional environment that made my heart laugh again and my mind flutter with scholarly thought! This was the beginning of the end for me, which was ultimately the true beginning, the beginning of “Round Two.”

I soon quit the job I moved across the country for and performed a pirouette into the world of the unknown, but each two-step I took laid another building block for the epic return. I started twirling through my professional contacts and discoing into organizations I found groovy. At the point where I was prepared to accept a longer-term stint of temp work, I found myself sitting in a chair for the interview of my dreams. A couple of weeks later, I had a job offer for a position starting after the New Year, just in time for a three-week journey home to wash my energy clean in the Pacific Ocean, while surrounding myself with the love and support of my family who helped me hit the reset button.

Now, I’m not the only one in my family who can bust a move. I happen to think we all have some pretty unique skills. And diverse skills. We accept all forms of movement as ways to release joy and to heal. Therefore, part of my time home also included honing some of the techniques of two nature-inspired movement activities invented with my dad.

First, there is Sea Kelp Dancing™. Sea Kelp Dancing™ is best performed on a large sea rock overlooking or surrounded by the ocean. It involves following the ocean’s waves, while channeling the energy of the sea kelp. Basically, you move your body in the way that the sea kelp would move with the water, while being spiritually grounded to a rock.

After the creation of Sea Kelp Dancing™, we discovered Wave Aerobics™. The best way to understand Wave Aerobics™ is to think of a beach that has large and furious waves that crash onto the shore with power and might, real waves. Once you can visualize this, the rest should come naturally. In Wave Aerobics™, you use your body to become the wave. You mimic its buildup, crashing fury, fast to slow reach out onto the land, and then quick pull back into the ocean’s body. Both Wave Aerobics™ and Sea Kelp Dancing™ are amazing total body workouts that are great for people suffering from joint pains, tightness in the lower back, or even a lack of enthusiasm for exercise!

My dad and I, of course, take this all “very seriously,” and believe that these two nature-inspired dance/exercise routines could really take off. Therefore, we decided to make a couple of demos for our upcoming workout DVDs. The video to the left shows my dad demonstrating Sea Kelp Dancing™. The video on the right is me giving an example of Wave Aerobics™. Please feel free to get in touch if you’d like to learn more.

As you can see, I had some good times moving my body while at home. It’s important to keep moving. And so I kept moving my way right into my first week of “D.C., Round Two,” and boy, was it something to dance about! I am now working for a private consulting firm as a government contractor. More specifically, I’m doing research and providing support for the implementation of federal housing and homelessness programs. I love everything about it. It is such a positive work environment with well-educated, professional, and fun coworkers and management. I get to use my brain on a daily basis for projects that really are changing the social structure of this country. I’m taken seriously and I feel valued. I have a benefits package! It’s all so dreamy. I even found the act of walking around with a cafeteria tray during the noon lunch rush hour, trying to find an open table with my fellow public servants to be utterly romantic. It feels really good. This is the true beginning. Round Two, hello!

I’m so happy that I didn’t let myself stop dancing when the water got murky. Because I kept going, kept finding ways to release my reserve storage of joy, I absorbed a lot of great wisdom. I learned that if you feel like you’re being taken advantage of, you probably are. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Trust your instincts. I learned to never let someone crush the passion and dreams you carry with you, no matter what position of power they may hold. I learned the power of walking away from a bad situation. I learned that walking away can lead to a truly beautiful new opportunity. And so, for everything I learned from “Round One” that allowed me to reach “Round Two,” I dance, and I hope you’ll join me.

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