It isn't just that my breath catches in my throat when I watch her dance. Or that she has envy-inspiring hips that seem to sway or pop with just the perfect amount of sexy. It's even more than her gorgeous personality or brilliant sense of humor.
There's just something about being around her that makes me believe that yes, I too can be a Burlesque-style dancer (in my bedroom with the lights out) and not look like a complete idiot.
Deanne's first routine at J'Adore Dance's Naughty Hotties class this winter is performed to a song called Mercy, by the artist Duffy. Everything about it is sensual, including the choreography Deanne created to go with it.
But it isn't easy.
After two weeks, my alter ego Erotica-D is still trying to wrap her head around the Austin Powers-inspired moves, and she still can't quite look herself in the mirror. But that gut wrenching fear that was lodged in her throat for most of last session's Naughty Hottie class has shrunk to half its size.
I know that part of that has to do with the nine pounds I've lost since January 1. It also helps that I'm back to "dancing" at J'Adore a few times a week - one of my feet isn't looking so "left" anymore. The steps are coming to me a bit faster, with less frustration. And though the mirrors still scare me, I'm not obsessing over what I'm wearing. As much.
But a lot of my comfort has to do with Deanne.
Just when I think I could be starting to look ridiculous, Deanne busts out with a joke, or an analogy, or something that makes me laugh so hard I forget I was just about to be frustrated - or embarrassed - with myself.
Last night, I even when home and (*gulp*) demonstrated a couple of the moves. With Valentine's Day just around the corner, I'm even considering (*gasp!*) practicing the dance and performing it for handsome hubby.
In my flannel PJs of course...
The Book In My Bag Today: Motor Mouth, Janet Evanovich
PS - Naughty Hotties was just one of the classes I tried out at J'Adore Dance last night. To find out who my abs are screaming at this morning, check out me and Karen's fitness blog.