Tag Archives: stanford

Got My (Social) Dance Skills Back

I caught the dance bug in college at a dance party where people started doing swing dance. I was bummed that I couldn’t participate so I resolved to take one of the social dance classes at Stanford. I took beginner and intermediate Social Dance, and also took more advanced classes to hone my swing and hustle skills. After college, I continued to go to the dance scene at Stanford.

As the years went by, I went dancing less and less until I hadn’t gone for years. Even when I had opportunities, I couldn’t go because I couldn’t find my dance shoes.

Last month, a friend told me she was going to take dance classes at a dance studio not too far from my apartment. I figured it would be fun to take dance with friends, so I signed up for Intermediate East Coast Swing and Intermediate Cha Cha. I went shopping for new dance shoes but my friend told me that they weren’t required at the ballroom.
During the first class, I wore tennis shoes. I had so completely forgotten how to dance that I couldn’t even remember the basic steps of EC Swing was triple-step triple-step rock-step! If dancing was talking, I was stuttering on the dance floor. It was so pathetic. I felt so bad for my partners. I felt out of my league.

In the cha cha class, I couldn’t even get the basic steps there either. The instructor had to pull me aside to go through the steps. He asked me if I had ever taken cha cha. Yes, I did, but it was years ago and I forgot how to do it.

Before the second class tonight, I was more prepared. I had found my dance shoes. I also trimmed my fingernails so I didn’t have to worry about scratching my dance partners. Having the dance shoes helped me move better on the dance floor, especially when spinning. With short nails, I didn’t have to worry about hurting my partners. Those two things improved the experience for me.

I remembered more of the swing stuff so I had a better time in the class. I was still unsure of the cha cha steps, so my friend went through it with me. I felt lost at the beginning of the class and regretted signing up for cha cha. In the middle of class, I finally got it and ended up having a better time. The instructor also didn’t have to help me out individually during class.

As I left the dance place to go home, I felt really great. It’s so fun to dance when I can go through the patterns. I wasn’t perfect by any means, but I made a huge improvement from the previous class. There’s also that positive feeling that results from physical activity. Plus I liked the music that was playing in the car as I drove home.

They say it’s like riding a bicycle… you never forget. Well, last week I rode a (borrowed) bicycle for the first time in about 3 years and I also struggled with it. I almost gave up but forced myself to practice until I got it. Part of the problem is that I’m used to bikes with hand brakes and it freaked me out to brake by back pedaling.

Blood vs Sperm Donation

Today, the Stanford Blood Mobile stopped by Google, making it convenient for us to donate blood without having to go far. When I got back to my cubicle, my coworkers were talking and asking about blood donation… how do you feel? how much blood? how much is a pint? what blood type? Someone asked if they paid more if you have a rarer blood type. I replied, “I guess they could give you more cookies.” :)

It was then pointed out how guys could make $75 by donating sperm. That doesn’t seem right when you think about it. I’m donating blood that could save lives. The sperm donation can contribute to creating life but it’s not exactly critical. And then there are all those issues that could come up with anonymous sperm donations… like a man having all these kids he doesn’t know about. And what if those kids, who would be half-siblings, met and hooked up? ew.

Not that I’m advocating commercializing blood donation… I’m willing to do it for free. It does make you wonder about society’s priorities when life-saving donations are not monetarily compensated when sperm donations are. That’s pretty good money too. I could buy a new Wii game and have some change left over.