“Right foot first Gail,” my mother’s voice cut through the soulful music. I was so caught up in the rhythm that I was not following instructions. I didn’t even feel it when I stepped on my mother’s foot. It was interesting watching her hop on one foot as she made her way to our sofa.
I had never seen my mother smile and display such passion as when I asked her to teach me to dance. Now, this was not the wiggling and twisting dancing of my day. It was the “hand dancing” of her day. She was a teenager of the 1950’s and during that time the men would swing, twirl and lift the women off the floor as if they weighed only 15 lbs soaking wet! I loved watching the “swing” dancing on old television programs and I was determined to learn.
What I didn’t know was that my mother was not only teaching me to dance, she was also teaching another vital life lesson. As the first born of seven children, I was born into leadership. I followed her instructions well and she often left me in charge when she had to leave us. I was accustomed to leading and helping her to care for my younger siblings.
“You have got to learn to follow. When you dance with a boy, he has to lead. I know that may be hard for you to hear, but it’s just the way it is. You’ll learn. I promise,” she said. As she sat down and rubbed her sore foot, she laughed until she wept. I remember tears rolling down her cheeks as she beckoned for me to sit beside her. Her hug was my comfort but she was right. I didn’t particularly like the fact that I couldn’t lead.
I did learn to dance with my mother. And I also learned another lesson. Not only could I lead, but I learned to follow. I stopped stepping on Mom’s toes and followed her as we danced the dance in beautiful rhythmic steps. Together, we were poetry in motion; switching between leading and following each other!
If one is to become successful, one must also learn to follow. Success requires balance. One must learn and be open to new ways of doing old tasks. There are times when you lead. There are times when you must follow. If you want Success to abide with you, then you have little choice but to learn how to dance the dance!
©2018 – Dr. Gail Hayes – #drgspeaks #handleyourbusinessgirl