So my summer lovin’ series is off to an amazing start with a series of Gagagraphy classes that were being offered by the amazing Academy of All Things Awesome! My lovely friend Erika (of podcast episode 6 fame) organizes all kinds of awesomeness at her new bar Sous Bas (including my How to Rock Your Breakup workshop series!), and these classes were an incredible way to dance my butt off and relive my cheerleading glory days! Now you may be saying to yourself “but Heather, you’ve done classes like these before – I thought this was a summer of NEW adventures?”, and I totally get why you’d think that. But the thing is that I’VE changed so much since the first time I took a class with the AOATA that I felt like it warranted a brand spanking new post!

Sometimes I think back to those early days of solo adventuring in May of 2015 and become so incredibly proud of myself, because here’s the thing – I was still SUPER sad about my marriage breaking up, and was still really in my own head about a lot of things in those early days, but I still went out and DID it. I went to dance classes and worried so much that people would think I wasn’t good that I made sure to tell the instructors (and anyone else who would listen, for that matter) about my psoriatic arthritis, just so I had an excuse if I messed up. I worried about what people thought of me, worried about what I was wearing, worried about being judged. The truth is that I really didn’t love myself that much in those days, and it showed.

Going to these classes and meeting new people, gaining confidence, finding something I loved doing, it was all a step-by-step, brick-by-brick way to start loving myself. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I can look back on those experiences now and so clearly see that they really shaped who I am today. What’s different about when I dance now? I’m in the front row, I’m dancing my heart out, I’m literally pretending I’m Lady Gaga and I’M LOVING LIFE. The freedom that comes from loving yourself enough not to worry about what others might think of you, or be saying about you, is truly like having the heaviest weight in the world lifted off your shoulders. It’s not a perfect recipe of course, you know from other blog posts that I still struggle with self-confidence and self-love at times, but for the most part, I’m living life centre stage.

The dance in the video above was my first week out with some amazing new people on June 13th, and one of the biggest compliments I received was from one of those initial participants the following week. We were about to start the dance for Gaga and Beyoncé’s EPIC Telephone video when she came up to me and said she thought I totally killed our Just Dance routine the week before, and that this week she wanted to be less timid and shy and more OUT THERE with her moves like I had been! I couldn’t help but smile knowing that I had inspired someone to lose a little bit of the self-doubt cage that was holding them back, and to embrace their inner Gaga. Cheers to more fun at tomorrow night’s Born This Way class – I have a feeling it’ll be the best one yet! XO