CASTLETON, VIRGINIA – I need a new hobby.
My last hobby, swing dancing, died a very silly death.
(silly= absurd, ridiculous, comical, not serious)
Let me explain.
I’ve been involved off and on with partner dancing (ballroom, Latin and swing) since I was a kid and my mom told the bus driver to drop me off at the dance studio after school. (I wanted to take karate.)
Then I taught beginners one summer during college at Strictly Dancing in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Then again at the Arthur Murray studio in Beverly Hills when I first moved to California.
And over the years, wherever I’ve lived, I’ve popped in and out of classes and dances and studios.
But I’d never before in all my travels over the years witnessed the Circus Maximus Silliness that’s currently going on in one ballroom in Baltimore.
You see, in every single lesson I’ve attended or taught, they all began the same way:
“Men on this side of the room. Women on this side.”
But not in Baltimore, USA in 2019.
Now they say, “If you feeeeel like a leader today, stand over here. And if you feeeeeel like a follower, stand over here.”
Well, that’s just silly.
Life is complicated.
But at least I was always knew where the boys and girls were going to stand.
I wish it was so simple with language.
For example, how do you answer the question, Are you fluent in English?
It’s not so simple, is it?
The other person wants a yes/no answer, but you know you can talk about some things and not others… you know you’re better than you used to be, but there’s so much more to learn… and then someone from Scotland asks you a simple question and you feel like a beginner again…
Instead, here’s the question I prefer, Is English helping you or is it holding you back?
For most of my students, English is a barrier. An obstacle. There’s something they want in life, and English is in the way, blocking them, holding them back.
Jan wants a job at his company’s international office. But English is in the way.
Petra can correct her kids’ English homework. English is helping her.
I don’t usually recommend teacher videos on Youtube (you’re welcome), but I found one last week I really enjoyed. This lady really got it right. Check it out when you have a free moment and want to feel inspired.