I just told her so.

I started taking dance classes a little over a year ago, and I loove it. The desire comes from my heart; I can almost feel it burning.  Over five years ago, I started thinking I wanted to dance.  I used gaze through the windows of an advanced ballet studio near an office where John once worked.  So much grace and raw, composed effort.  Too newbie for that studio, I went by myself to this mildly depressing studio in a Pacific Palisades, CA strip mall.  A beginner’s jazz class, I walked in feeling awkward and left feeling worse.  The teacher was horrible; I don’t even think she looked at me once.  I didn’t know what to wear (fyi – not shorts), and I had the wrong shoes (fyi – not sneakers). I felt invisible, unwelcomed and absolutely talentless.  I unfortunately decided I was wrong about dance. 

When we moved to Moorpark, CA, over two years ago now, I assured myself I’d try to find another dance class, as the nagging had only gotten stronger.  I sought out another beginner’s jazz class, but I always left feeling uninspired and disconnected.  It felt like walking into a room of cliquey girlfriends who were making up a secret routine, and they didn’t much need another buddy.  I kinda liked it better, but not really.  I didn’t stick it out for long.  Maybe it just wasn’t for me?

Until one day, when I was experiencing something called an energy massage… have you ever had one?  It’s a normal massage, but simultaneously, the massage therapist is putting stones or crystals in your palms, lighting certain candles or prompting you with questions.  Sounds a bit “out there”, but actually, it’s totally lovely.  While drifting between sleep and rest, she asked me if anything was coming up for me, as she was massaging a certain tightness from my shoulder.  Strangely, I was envisioning a woman spinning in a flow-y red dress at the time, so I just told her so.  Prompted to meditate on the image for a moment, I found myself explaining to her about my desire to dance.  But, I clarified that I really wanted a class that was for adults, not teens, and I needed a really disciplined and inspiring instructor, who would focus on posture and form, as my long body can get hurt by fast, imprecise movements.  She listened, and we moved on.

On my way home from that massage, I pulled up to the stop sign at Moorpark Ave and High Street.  I was the first car at the light, and I gazed over towards High Street, which is a favorite spot of mine.  It’s the older, historic part of Moorpark, a bit run down, but filled with potential.  I’ve always imagined an Apricot Lane Farms storefront helping to bring it back to life.  Well, guess what I saw on that very street corner?  Yup… A sign for a new dance studio with a large numbers in the window.

When I called, the owner of the studio wanted to make sure I was clear about two things before trying out her beginner’s ballet class: 1) The class was Adults Only.  2) The instructor is extremely focused on posture and technique, so I have to be up for the challenge.

Choking down tears, I signed up immediately, and I’m in loove.  The kinda love that only two “o’s” can describe.  My teacher is perfection.  He’s so rhythmical, structured, effective and funny, with a dry wit that still makes me laugh after I realize he’s used that line many times before.  Dennon Rawles is his name, as he says, turn the lights in the den, on.  I feel truly blessed and lead to have found him.  I take his Ballet, Jazz, Swing and next month Salsa.

This experience taught me… if I just can’t stop thinking about something, coming back to it, even if I’ve fallen down.  It’s out there – somewhere.  I need to just keep looking.

In honor of dancing, which makes me feel fancy, here’s a fuss-free, yet elegant recipe for Fancy Figs.


Click HERE for the Fancy Figs recipe…


  • Sally

    I love this post, Molly! I have had the same urge to learn dance, and I’ve wondered if there might be lots of women who do. I wish adult beginner classes were widespread.

    October 2, 2013
  • Megan Schrecengost

    Molly, I loved reading this. What a pretty journey you are on. You share it so well. I love you!!

    Megan. :)

    October 2, 2013
  • Molly, we are so glad you found us and became so much part of our dance studio world. It’s been beautiful and moving to watch you blossom as a dancer. Your blog brings me to tears. I may be a bit over emotional as I’m a bit overcooked. The parade preparations are a bit over the top. The truck we picked up today is a crazy combination rust, splinters and plain old dirt. We are wrapping it in red table cloths and bows and filling it with waving smiling dancers in the morning. Pictures coming soon. See you on Monday my Lovely for Ballet and Salsa. Life is full! Jean

    October 4, 2013
  • Zach Green

    Great post Molly! I only wish I could have completed the swing class. Dennon is a great teacher.

    October 5, 2013
  • What a lovely and important story, Molly. I was choking back my own tears when I got the part where you realized you had found exactly what you had described to your massage therapist. What a great reminder to not only listen to our hearts, but to find a way to open up, discover exactly what we need, and ask for it. Thanks for sharing.

    October 7, 2013
  • Faith

    Looks yummy, like usual :) Will have to try?

    Would John take a few salsa classes with you? Farmer/salsa dancer–smile :)

    October 8, 2013
  • susie

    Hi Molly!
    Great post!
    The massage sounds amazing. I live very near you. (visited the farm, even. Perfection.)
    Can you private message me the masseuse info?

    Thank you!

    November 3, 2013
  • Sandy Schrecengost

    There is a little fellow in the Bible named Barnabas. He’s a…well, he’s an encourager. That’s what this blog is. Encouragement. To all of us who need to keep looking when the world seems to make us work very hard to find what we know MUST be out there, somewhere. Your words instill the desire to go on looking.

    Thank you Molly for often allowing us to see your tender, resilient, strength.

    January 12, 2014

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