Dancing through my pages is a natural for me. When I’m working on a novel or meeting a deadline, I may lose track of time and miss lunch or dinner. At some point, you must take a break. It’s not good for you to sit so long. Get up from the chair you’ve become glued to, turn on the music and dance.
It could save you from a heart attack or a stroke. You need the exercise. You might be surprised how well dancing and writing blend. There are plots upon plots to be found on the dance floor. Characters to build a novel upon abound, not only for a romance novel, but also for a mystery. Jealously is seething. Students often fall in love with their instructors and are terribly jealous of the other students. Competition is at its highest, especially when in training for a competition. A ballroom dance floor is the perfect setting for a budding romance to form or a murder plot to hatch. If you think you have writer’s block, I guarantee when you leave the studio, it will disappear.
Other than both dancing and writing are creative endeavors, there are similarities between the two. Both require a flow, a rhythm and balance. My mother was a dancer as well as a gifted artist, my grandfather, a musician who not only sang, but also played many different instruments. Exposed to the creative arts at a very young age, I have always loved dancing, drawing, and telling stories. So, why not combine all of them? Once I decided I could do that, I signed up at a well known dance studio for a dance class, expecting to learn enough to begin a novel in which the heroine was a dancer. Five weeks of lessons soon turned into five years of lessons and dance competitions, national and international.
A year or so later, “Dying to Dance” a romantic suspense, was born. Currently, its sequel, “A Sharp Turn in Destiny,” a romantic suspense as well is taking shape. Did I mention, I also signed up for additional ballroom dance lessons? I can’t tell you the murder’s occupation, but I can tell you that the heroine is a dance instructor.
If you have a little time, need some exercise, or would like to lose weight dancing is a perfect activity to become involved in. For those of you who have just moved into a new town, it’s a great way to meet people.
If you think this sounds like fun, sign up for a few lessons. The first thing you need is a pair of dance shoes for the type of dance you plan to take. If you take ballroom as I do, you may choose smooth or rhythm or both. I wanted to learn both as well as Flamingo dancing. Now, I have my favorites which, are the tango, the rumba, and the waltz. I could build a novel around each of them.
As far as what to wear, in the beginning, just a skirt and blouse or a pair of pants and shirt is fine. Later, you can purchase a full dance wardrobe if you like. So, call a dance studio tomorrow, make an appointment and get started on your adventure.
Weslynn McCallister, pseudonym, Jamie Cortland was born in Evansville, Indiana and raised in Roswell, New Mexico. Today, she lives in the southwest.
A published novelist and an award winning poet, she is a member of Sisters in Crime, the Mystery Writers of America, and is a founding member of the Florida Writers Association.
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