I think it’s been really interesting to watch the amazingly talented dancer, Nicole, struggle as she learns to do ballroom dancing. I must admit that some of her pouting, getting down on herself, getting frustrated, or whatever you want to call it has been kind of annoying. It’s kind of hard for me to watch someone who dances so amazing being so hard on herself. Not that I want her to be arrogant about it either, but let’s just say that those moments don’t put Nicole in the best light.
However, last night I finally understood what she’s really going through. Nicole described it really well. It’s not easy for her to learn to dance ballroom the way she does. When she said that I started having flashbacks. I got taken back to when I was 19 years old and understood exactly what she meant.
You see, when I was 19 I went on a mission for my church to Italy. Before going to Italy I went to a missionary training center for 2 months where Italian was fed to us like a firehose. The learning process was much like Dancing with the Stars. Only difference was that we were learning a language and their learning to dance Well, and there were probably a few other differences as well, but you get the point.
I remember those first couple weeks were incredibly intense and REALLY hard. What’s interesting is that I’d had 2 years of Italian in high school (great high school huh?). I’m sure that most of you reading this know how well the high school’s do at teaching language. Yeah, I couldn’t speak much at all thanks to high school language classes. However, I did have a little bit of base vocabulary and pronunciation which the other people in my class didn’t have. Does this sound a bit like Nicole? It does to me.
What’s really interesting is that despite my past language experience I worked my butt off and it was REALLY hard to learn a new language. However, I didn’t realize how much easier it was for me than my classmates until my final week of classes. We had to stay an extra week because of visa issues and so we got a chance to teach Italian to a brand new class of missionaries. When we went into this brand new class of people who knew NO Italian, I realized just how hard it was for them to go from nothing (something that I didn’t have to experience since I knew at least a little something). That’s not to say I didn’t work hard or that it was easy for me. It most certainly wasn’t, but I can easily say it was even harder for other people who are going from nothing.
I couldn’t help but understand what Nicole was saying. She’s working her butt off and ballroom dancing IS really hard for her. The problem is that she just doesn’t realize how much harder it would be for her if she was going from 0 dance training.