This time last year, Ryan’s sister Renee (shoutout to a badass lady!) invited me to join her in a new dance krewe that was just getting started. Now, Renee is an extremely talented, professional, dancer, so I was both flattered and slightly concerned that she was extending the invitation to me. I go the occasional dance class to get my shake on, but I hadn’t performed in front of an audience in years, and certainly had never danced professionally. Who in their right mind would want me in their dance group, or…krewe. Wait, what the heck was a dance krewe?
Renee assured me that I did not need to be a professional dancer, that a dance krewe was a New Orleans thing that was a lot of fun, and that I’d get to hang out with a group of cool women. Trepidatious but curious, I decided to give it a go.
Big Apple Babes – the name of this particular dance krewe – is the brain child of Liz Beeson and Rebecca Duckert. Liz and Rebecca both moved to New York City from New Orleans and wanted to bring the magic of a positive, inclusive, FUN environment for women who love to dance, with them to their new city. They couldn’t find anything like what they left in the Big Easy, so they just started their own thing. (Awesome, right?!)
And so, last summer, I found myself donning a platinum wig, costume and glitter (so much glitter) to march and dance around New York City in front of thousands of people. By any measure, it is one of the kookiest things I’ve ever been a part of, but it’s also one of the most wonderful. I got to know Renee so much better, I met more than a dozen fabulous women, and found the courage to embrace a silliness about myself that I had always been a little embarrassed about.
I didn’t think I’d be able to commit to another year of the krewe, but as the season approached, I knew I wanted to keep this incredible outlet in my life. I’m busy. You are too. It can be really difficult to justify adding one more thing to a packed schedule – particularly if it isn’t directly connected to some kind of achievement.
But here’s the thing: saying yes to one kooky activity is like a gateway drug for opening your mind to other opportunities. Over the past year, I’ve been thinking more creatively and giving credence to some of my wildest ideas – ones I might have pushed aside in the past. Yes, there’s more to it than that, but saying yes to one wildly unconventional opportunity definitely shifted my perspective.
I’m not alone! Recently, a friend of mine who is the master of saying “yes” to kooky stuff (short film contests, cabarets, you name it), put the wheels in motion to start a podcast. Another friend texted me after slaying a trapeze class to see if I’d be interested in signing up for a Tough Mudder because she’d caught the new challenge bug.
Doing something kooky, simply because it will be fun and different, might not change your life tomorrow, but I bet it will change you. Why not give it a try?
What’s one kooky thing you’ve wanted to say yes to?
P.S. If you’d like to learn more about New Orleans style dance krewe/troupe/team/groups, check out this great article.