No Inferiority, Just Superiority

Eleanor Roosevelt said " No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."

What a fabulous line. Often we feel inferior to someone who is better dressed than us. I have a friend whenever she is in the presence of her friend Sheila who is always designer dressed and hair salon coiffed, she feels she cannot be herself and she must dress up to equal Sheila. She feels intimidated by Sheila who always looks like she stepped out of Vogue magazine.

Bethany should not feel this way because she always looks to me well dressed and well coiffed herself. Bethany is a marvelous person and quite accomplished in her nursing field whereas Sheila works in a decorating store. Her only claim to fame is helping rich people pick out the drapery material and wallpaper rolls to enhance the walls of their new million dollar homes.

Bethany helps people to recover and gives them hope in dealing with their life threatening diseases at the hospital where she works and has been working for twenty-five years.

So Eleanor was right because we are consenting to others to admire us or else we feel intimidated. Many of us feel that way in our ballroom dancing. We feel inferior because someone who has been dancing for twenty-five years looks quite lovely on the dance floor. We are new at it; they think and feel very uncomfortable getting out there and dancing when the experienced couple does their thing.

We should not feel that way. We are competent and will succeed in this love called ballroom dancing. Like my professor told me way back in 1968 when I took my first test at college level at age thirty-three, "Mrs. Clayman, you can and will do better." I did and still do and his words of wisdom inspired me throughout the following forty some years in everything I do and attempt to do.

Do not let anyone take away your desire to dance because they steer your thoughts to defeat.

They are efficient in making others feel inferior because in reality they are the inferior ones and we are the superior folks because we try. We try even when the times may not be right for starting something new due to finances and the recession. We try and we are winners of the first sort because we went out and did something special for us and our health and our minds and souls.

We are the beneficiaries of doing something for our bodies and our hearts and our overall mental health. Ballroom dancing is very addictive and once we feel the addiction, we are overwhelmed with happiness in looking forward to a new lesson, going to a dance and dressing up in nice clothes where we will be seen by others in the similar situation.

My grandson who will be four next week when he saw the ceramic shoe on my hallway foyer table in January 2009 said it was a ‘lost shoe." To him it was a real shoe sitting on the table and he was announcing it to be lost because there was only one. It was an intelligent appraisal of what he saw.

To you and me as adults it was an ornament in a foyer put there to look pretty. His assumption was that it had belonged to someone and was sitting there maybe waiting to be claimed.

Claim we do when we go out and ballroom dance and reward out recreation time with learning, absorbing and happiness.

We need no claim ticket for the lost shoe because we are not lost. We have found a hobby that helps our health and I mean both physical and mental. When we ballroom dance our minds are activated into learning and being happy because we are doing something new and fabulous that will lead us in happy environments.

We are LUCKY because we found this thing that stimulates us and keeps us going in social and daily activities.

Dancing lights a fire under us and fired up we are. The flames are good flames and we become hot and happy.

Eleanor Roosevelt was right when she said no one can make us feel inferior without our consent. We do not consent to inferiority, we consent to superiority because we are exceptional seniors and we are successful, Sophocles said "success is the reward of toil." Reginald Leach said "You must set yourself on fire."

The reward of the toil we do on ballroom dancing will make us feel blessed. Blessed with our family, our children, our grandchildren and our hobby-our dancing which makes us feel complete.

I have just lost sixty-two pounds with the Weight Watchers program. I am due the accolades because I took the Weight Watchers program and made it work for me and I was successful with the labor of dieting, exercising and cutting down on unnecessary eating. Dancing is a good exercise when doing Weight Watchers.

So setting ourselves with being ‘fired’ up and being rewarded for our toil makes us complete and our reward is the greatest thing we can reap. No one can make us dancers feel inferior because we are now and forever quite superior in a nice way, not an obnoxious way.

We are super seniors and delightful dancers and exceptional enterprising examples of happiness in a senior world.

Keep on Dancing

You can email me at

Elita Sohmer Clayman
August 2009


Published by René Zgraggen
Montgomery, AL