Episode 365 Jennifer Nash Dancing towards Better Mental Health Transcript

This transcript is from episode 365 with guest Jennifer Nash.

Scott DeLuzio: [00:00:00] Thanks for tuning in to the Drive On Podcast where we are focused on giving hope and strength to the entire military community. Whether you’re a veteran, active duty, guard, reserve, or a family member, this podcast will share inspirational stories and resources that are useful to you. I’m your host, Scott DeLuzio, and now let’s get on with the show.

Hey everybody, welcome back to Drive On. I’m your host, Scott DeLuzio, and today my guest is Dr. Jennifer Nash. Uh, Jennifer brings a unique perspective to the show on, uh, the intersection of, uh, social ballroom dancing and kind of overall well being and, uh, the social aspect and competitive aspect of, uh, of ballroom dancing.

And, uh, she’s going to shed some light on, um, how this can help, um, how dancing can help in various ways. Um, Maybe through community building, um, and working on, uh, being a little more present in the moment, uh, that type of thing [00:01:00] maybe. And with her expertise, she’ll talk about the ways that ballroom dancing can offer hope, uh, relieve stress and foster connections, uh, amongst folks.

And, uh, we can use this as a tool, uh, very similar to a lot of other alternative therapies that might be out there, uh, that, uh, Offer, uh, offer a different perspective from the traditional talk therapies and things like that. Um, you know, it may Or may not be a replacement. It may just be one of those things that you use as a, uh, a thing that, that kind of just helps you along the way.

Um, the way some people use painting or gardening or things along those lines. So, uh, before we get into all of that, I want to first welcome you to the show. Uh, Dr. Nash, thank you for being here.

Jennifer Nash: Oh, thank you so much for having me, Scott. I’m so excited to be here today.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, absolutely. So, um, I want to talk about you a little bit here first and talk about how. You first came across, uh, [00:02:00] ballroom dancing and, um, your background as far as, um, you know, figuring out that kind of therapeutic potential that it has and what kind of inspired you to get into this.

Jennifer Nash: Sure. So I actually came across ballroom dancing later in life. Um, I went through a divorce and I was really searching for something that would help me get back in touch with, you know, my identity. I feel like I had really lost myself during that marriage. And so I wanted a way to rediscover myself, um, in this space of being, you know, a divorced person with a new identity. Um, yet also seeking to find who I really was, you know, at my core. And I found that on the dance floor. And so one night I was looking for something to do, you know, I had all this free time now, you know, cause I was divorced. And so, um, I was looking for something to do and I came across this meetup [00:03:00] and it, it had a dance on Friday night.

And I thought, wow, I haven’t danced in so long, like, you know, for different reasons. And so I’m like, that would be really fun. Like maybe I should go try that. And so I showed up and I, you know, get there and I open the door and the music is playing and, you know, they have the disco ball going and, you know, spinning and the lights are on and, you know, everybody’s laughing and having a good time.

And they’re so engaged. And I thought, wow, like this could really be something that could help me. You know, I just sort of intuitively felt that. Um, and that was what started me on my ballroom dancing journey.

Scott DeLuzio: You know, and it’s interesting that you, you were saying how you, uh, unfortunately went through a divorce and now you’re trying to rediscover who you were, uh, or who you are. And, um, I, I feel like there’s a connection there between, uh, what a lot of veterans go through when they get out of the service is, uh, you know, a lot of, a lot of times they get [00:04:00] in, they’re 18, 19 years old.

Um, haven’t really figured out who they are at that point anyways. And. While they’re in the service, for however long they’ve served, it could be just a few years, it could be a 20 year career, um, basically that whole time they’re being told who they are and what they’re supposed to do and, you know, where they’re supposed to be, what they’re supposed to wear, you know, all this stuff, they’re, they’re being told a lot of this and a lot of their identity gets shaped around being that service member.

Uh, and then, then you Take that uniform off and you, you get out and all of a sudden you go from, uh, one day you are this soldier, Marine, whatever, um, to not being that. And now what are you? What, what, what is a veteran? You know, there’s, there’s no, you know, definite. Oh, I mean, there’s a definition, but there’s no, um, uh, structure around it.

You, you can do just about anything and kind of now you have to rediscover who you are. Um, and. And [00:05:00] kind of put those pieces back together and, and, and figure all that out. So when you mentioned that to me, um, that was, that was something that triggered a little bell here. Like that, that could be something that, uh, some of these folks who are getting out need to figure out, how do I, how do I go out and, Have fun, you know, in a, uh, you know, kind of a social setting like this.


uh, where do I find my group of people? Right. And, and that’s, this is, could be something that, that they get into. Right.

Jennifer Nash: Yeah, yeah, exactly. I think, you know, one of the things that occurred to me was, you know, veterans, like you said, when they’re serving, they’re active service duty people. And then when they get out, they have this title of veteran, but the identity. is a question mark for many of them, I think. And so for me, it was a way for me to redefine, you know, what that identity was and what I wanted it to be, you know, going forward.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. And, and, and you, you [00:06:00] were able to, you had that, that time you were able to go And figure that out and luckily you found this meetup and this group of people. Um, and, and was it just, um, were you searching for something to do or was this just by chance that it just happened to pop up somewhere on, you know, maybe social media or something like that, that, that you were able to find it?

Uh, was this something you were more intentionally looking for?

Jennifer Nash: yeah, you know, so it was both. I, I, I, I wanted to go do something on a Friday night cause I hadn’t, you know, gone out in a really long time and I thought, well, maybe I’ll just search on Meetup. I don’t know why, like it just occurred to me. Maybe I had seen an ad for it on Facebook or whatever it

was. But I went to meet up and it just happened to pop up this, you know, this dance event on a Friday night.

And I thought, well, you know, I was single at the time. Right. So I’m like, well, it should be safe. Right. There’s going to be lots of people there. Um, you know, it was in a good part [00:07:00] of town, all those kinds of things. And it just really, I think was serendipity that it popped up. But I think. I’m also a person who, like, believes that, you know, there aren’t that many coincidences.

Like, you know, that was destined to show up for me at that moment in time, because the universe was actually sending me what I needed to help not only heal from the divorce, but also figure out what my path forward was going to look like and recreating that identity.

Scott DeLuzio: And because that, that divorce is still a part of who you are, right. And you can’t change that and take that away. You can’t get a time machine and go back and, you know, go, go change those things. Right. but you know, so that’s who, that’s who you, part of who you are. Um, and so, you know, that part of that rediscovering, um, it, I always say that we are a sum of all of our past experiences and good, bad, you know, indifferent.

It doesn’t matter what those experiences are. Um, over time, you know, all of those things add up to, [00:08:00] you know, who we are today. So who I am today and who I was when I was 20 are two different people. Um, you know, I, I wasn’t married when I was 20. I w I didn’t have kids when I was 20. I, you know, I, all of these things, uh, added up and changed who I am.

Um, And just like, you know, that divorce change and, and many other experiences that you had changed who you are, but discovering this now, discovering this new, uh, you know, avenue for you to get out and meet people and be social, um, sort of became another Piece of who you are, if that makes sense, right?

Jennifer Nash: Yeah. And it is. And in that, in that way, it, you know, furthered that identity. Um, and at the same time, it took me back to when I was a very young child and my parents had put me into ballet classes. And so I’d had dance in my life at a very early point in my life, but I hadn’t danced for a very [00:09:00] long time after that, you know? So it was funny in a way that it just brought me back to the thing that my body actually, like my cellular memory then remembered, yeah, this is something that I really enjoyed and I really loved and I could express myself and I could just be me. Um, And, and be accepted, you know, for who I was. And, and, uh, it was beautiful.

And so it really helped, it helped me on many different levels.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, that’s great. And you know, I think, um, you know, also from the social aspect of it, there’s, um, you get to meet new people, uh, that there’s that shared experience of the, the, the dance and everything like that. So, um, you know, it makes it a little bit easier to meet. People, as opposed to just going to maybe a singles bar and just walking into a bunch of people you don’t know and have nothing in common with, right?

Um, yeah,

Jennifer Nash: Exactly. And what I, what I always tell people too, is like, you don’t have to go to the bar to find a date. Like [00:10:00] all these single guys, if they’re looking for someone to, you know, Spend some time with or, you know, have in their life. Um, you know, the dance floor is full of usually available women. So it’s a good place to do something like that without, you know, some of the other influences of, you know, alcohol or smoking or things that maybe some people want to stay away from, you know?

Scott DeLuzio: yeah, that’s a, that’s a good point too, because I know there are some people who maybe are struggling with alcohol and they want to try to find something that’s not that, you know, they want to, they want to go in and do something that’s not that. And, um, you know what? What better way to go out and meet people, you know, than, than to go, uh, to a place where there’s, there’s a bunch of people with this, again, a shared interest in, uh, And activity, right?

And in this case, it’s dancing, but, um, you go there and, and all of these people have that interest in this activity and you get to meet, you know, a whole bunch of people there. And I think that’s a cool thing. [00:11:00]

Um, and, and so, so there’s obviously the, the physical aspect of it too, right? So you, you also, you’re out there dancing.

That’s got to have some physical benefits as well, you know, the, the, just the movement and everything is, uh, you know, kind of an, an exercise in and of itself too, right? So you’re kind of checking two boxes off at once, right?

Jennifer Nash: yeah, absolutely. You know, dancing is a great form of cardio activity. Um, and you know, many people when they find if they go dance regularly, you know, they will tone up, they will, you know, they tend to lose weight. Um, and they just have an overall, you know, improved, you know, demeanor and mood and, and well being.

Scott DeLuzio: Honestly, I’m, I’m thinking back, I don’t think I’ve ever seen somebody dancing who had an angry look on their face. You know what I’m saying? Like, uh, just So there’s that physical aspect, but also the mental aspect of it. [00:12:00] I don’t know that you can be unhappy, uh, while, while dance or angry while dancing, like you, I mean, I’m sure somebody could be, but you know, it’s, it’s like a fun thing that people just go out and do and they, they go and enjoy it, you know?

Um, and if you’re, you’re one of those people who are just sitting around and you’re moping around and woe is me, life is. Life sucks, blah, blah, blah, all this kind of stuff. Get out there and go do something, go move and be physical and, you know, move with other people and the music and everything. Like you said, the whole environment, uh, that’s gotta be just uplifting.

Just being around that. No.

Jennifer Nash: Yeah, it very much is, you know, emotional contagion, you know, we catch emotions from other people in milliseconds and you’re on a dance floor and there’s all that positive energy and people are laughing and having a good time and smiling, you know, that sort of infuses you as well. And so you can’t help, but have a good time when you’re out there as well. Um, you know, dance is a way that, you know, our [00:13:00] body, it produces endorphins, which are, you know, feel good chemicals in our brain, um, that increases, you know, feelings of pleasure and, and decreases pain. And so in a lot of ways, like when you dance, you are activating the parts of your brain that help you focus on the positive and focus on what feels good. Um, and you’re. You know, step putting aside, you know, maybe some of those negative feelings or, you know, some of the depression or, you know, some of the anxiety that might be going on. You know, I understand that that happens, you know, quite a bit in the veteran community.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, absolutely. And that’s, that’s one of those things that, um, I, I’ve found personally when I’m doing an activity, uh, where it requires my, my focus and attention and, uh, you know, all of my kind of mental, uh, activities, like focus on that, that particular, uh, activity. So let’s just use painting, for example, or drawing, and I’m, I’m focused on what [00:14:00] I’m doing.

Um, Almost that fog lifts for, you know, even if it’s just temporary, that fog lifts a little bit

and you, you get a, a temporary reprieve from that, you know, whatever has been going on. And, and sure, you know, I’m not, I’m not trying to sugarcoat it and say that this is like the, the cure all for, for every, you know, depression and anxiety and all these kinds of other things.

I’m not trying to say that, but, um, it does, it also lasts for a little bit afterwards. You know, it’s, it’s like when you take a, uh, uh, medicine, like you have a headache or whatever. And it’s like, it’s not like you just get that immediate relief and then boom, it’s gone. You know, it lasts for, you know, a few hours afterwards too.

And, and, Then you start to learn how to be a little bit more present, I think, when, when you’re doing that type of stuff too, right?

Jennifer Nash: Yes, exactly. And, you know, that’s one of the things I love. So much about dancing is that, you know, [00:15:00] so often in our lives, we are thinking about what’s coming up or thinking about our to do list or, you know, thinking about or ruminating about something that happened in the past that we regret or that we wish we could change. And there’s very little being present, like you said, and in the moment. And with dance, it’s amazing for that because you cannot help but be present in the moment. You know, your brain is thinking about what are the steps that I’m trying to do? Where are my arms? You’re, you’re, you’re, you’re also thinking about the timing with the music, like where is the beat?

I need to be on the beat. Um, You’re thinking about what is your partner doing, right? Like, are you paying attention to the lead that you’re being given so that you know what the step is?

Like, there are so many different aspects of ballroom dance that involve different parts of the brain that you cannot help but be present in the moment. And so all of that other stuff, all the other noise just falls away and you’re literally just in the moment [00:16:00] and you’re, you’re moving your body. So you get out of your head and into your body where you can feel the different emotions and feel the different data points. And a lot of times when you’re dancing, those are just fun data points.

You know, they’re, Oh, this feels great. Let’s keep doing it. You know, your brain, it’s sort of like a real positive reinforcing loop in that way.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, and I, I’ve always thought, uh, that physical movement of any sort is, Going to help with any of those, uh, anxiety, depression, that, that type of thing. Um, what, whether it’s, you know, exercising at the gym, going for a walk, dancing, or, uh, you know, even something as small of a movement as is drawing just a pencil on a paper.

Or something where your focus is there and you’re focused on that movement that you have to do to get the, get the drawing just right. I’m not talking about like a little doodle, like a stick figure or something, but when you’re, you’re focused and trying to do something, uh, you know, a certain particular [00:17:00] way.

You take that focus and now you’re focusing on the physical energy that is required to do whatever it is, whatever that task is that you’re trying to do, be it dancing or whatever else. I got, gotta imagine that there’s, and I’m not a doctor, I don’t know the science behind all of this, but I gotta imagine there’s some connection between the brain and that physical activity that helps kind of lift that, that fog, if you will, uh, that, that people sometimes get caught up in, right?

Jennifer Nash: Yeah, I agree. I’m, I’m not a doctor either. I’m not a therapist, so I can’t speak to those aspects of it. Um, I do know that there’s been a lot of research done, you know, on the effects of ballroom dancing and how it helps your health, how it helps your wellbeing, you know, how it alleviates some of the, you know, stress and anxiety. Um, and so, you know, I’m sure your listeners can go out and just do. Do some Googling on, you know, ballroom dance and research on, you know, well being health benefits. [00:18:00] Um,

I think it would be fascinating if they did a study on, you know, that particular thing of like, how does that physical movement actually, um, correlate with, you know, a decrease in depression, for example.

Scott DeLuzio: That would be, that would be great. And I’m, I’m sure there’s something out there. I haven’t seen it, but, um, yeah, because there has to be, uh, you know, I’m, I’m not the, the brightest guy in the world. If I could figure it out, I’m sure some other people can figure it out. Right. Um, um, So you mentioned, um, earlier that you got into like the, the social, you got into it for the social aspect, but there’s also, um, competitive ballroom dancing as well.

Um, and could you talk a little bit about the competitive aspect of ballroom dancing and, um, what that all involves and, and how that, how people might be able to get involved in that?

Jennifer Nash: Sure. So, um, so I started out, you know, going to [00:19:00] that Friday night social dance, you know, which I thought was really fun. And it was so fun for me. Um, and I have a very competitive side to me. And so I was very interested in learning more about, you know, how to learn to dance because when I walked in that door, I mentioned I had danced earlier in my life, but I had done ballet dancing.

So ballroom dance. Completely new to me. I didn’t know how to do it. And so I asked this person who was there. I’m like, Hey, can you teach me how to do that? And she’s like, well, no, I can’t. She’s like, but that guy over in the corner, who’s running the music, like he can, he, he, you know, he, he owns the place. I’m like, okay, that’s great. So I went and talked to him. Um, and I ended up starting to take lessons with him. Well, very quickly, I realized. Um, there is an aspect of this that really appealed to me from a competitive standpoint, that once I found out that I could compete, and there was a sport called dance sport, which is this, which is, you know, the competitive ballroom dance, um, I was just, for lack of a better [00:20:00] term, I was hooked. And so I started taking lessons, you know, multiple times a week. I started learning all of the different styles of dance, which there’s, there’s quite a few of them for the competition. Um, and within like 12 weeks of starting my lessons, you know, I was competing. Um, on the dance floor. And it was just this rush because I was like, Oh, this is so great.

Like I can go out here with my partner, you know, the coach that was teaching me and, you know, we can compete against all these other people. And then we have judges that are ranking us. And, um, you know, of course I want to win. So. It was great. You know, I just, it had, it had a, it gave me an outlet for all of the emotions and all of that energy that had happened from the divorce and really channel that into something that was super positive for me, um, and very healthy, you know, and in a way for me to recover emotionally from that divorce.

And so the competitive barroom dancing, you know, it opened up this whole new world that I didn’t even know existed. Um, and in [00:21:00] many places around the world, you can go dancing every night of the week, you know, social dancing. And every, literally every weekend, there is at least one competition for ballroom dancing somewhere in the United States.

And oftentimes there’s more than one. So it’s a whole nother Avenue and a whole nother world that, you know, opens up of possibilities and opportunity. Um, for people who are competitive and are looking for, you know, maybe that particular challenge, you know, that maybe they are missing, um, that, you know, uh, a life in, you know, the military service gave them. Um, but I, I loved the competitive part of body dancing and I still do, uh, compete. I’m in the process right now of training to compete later this year.

Scott DeLuzio: That’s awesome. And I, I wanted to bring that up because there’s, there’s two sides of, of it. The, the social aspect of just going dancing for the sake of going [00:22:00] dancing. And then there’s a competitive aspect where it’s like, okay, I want to get better so that I can compete and I can win and I can, you know, Continue to get better and, and beat that competition and everything like that.

Because there’s two, two types of people, uh, out there, uh, who might be interested in the dancing. Some people don’t care about the competition and they just want to go out and have a good time and, and find their group of people. Um, I know there’s some people out there who, after they left the military, they’re like, you know what, I don’t want anything to do with the military.

I don’t want to be a part of veterans groups, the VFW or American Legion. I don’t want to be a part of any of that kind of stuff. I don’t, the military was just a time in my life. I don’t want to be a part of and I want to find this new group of people. And maybe you’re a dancer and you enjoy dancing.

Well, go find your, your social group that, that you can go dance with. And now you have found your new group of people. That’s fine. Um, um, but then there’s [00:23:00] the other. People who, and I know there’s a lot of these in the military, just through the, my experience anyways, uh, there’s a lot of competitive, uh, people,

and you know, if you’re gonna do something, you want to do it because you want to be the best, and you want to, you want to win, and you want to, you want to strive to get better, and, and everything like that, and so, so there’s that side of it too, and I think this is just, the reason why I actually wanted to have you on the show is because this is just such a, to me anyways, like an off the wall type Type thing.

Like I would not have thought of it, um, prior to have, having met you, um, uh, and, and having that, that conversation about how this maybe could help people. Um, and I was like, my gosh, where, where has my head been? Like, why didn’t I think of this? But it’s that light bulb moment that people need to have

that it’s like, it just goes off and it’s like, Hey, gee, yeah, this is the thing that will get me off the couch and get me to go, you know, interact with some people.

Um, [00:24:00] you know, because there, sometimes we. You know, especially dealing with depression or, uh, you know, other mental health related things. We tend to isolate and we don’t want to get out and go interact with other people. Um, but if you can find something that’s, that’s fun, that you can actually enjoy and, um, be also somewhat social with, with other people.

Um, I don’t know how you can go dancing and not be somewhat social. You know, anyways, especially if you’re dancing with a partner, you’re going to be somewhat social.

Um, you know, if you’re that type of person and you’re looking for that avenue to get out and go find something to do, um, Why not try it? You know, anyways, you know, what, what can it hurt?


Jennifer Nash: Yeah. You know, a lot of people, what I hear is, Oh, like I, I can’t dance. I have two left feet. Right. Well, I believe anyone can dance. You just need the right teacher [00:25:00] and need to have some patience with yourself. And if you can move your feet. You know, you can dance, and there is actually also wheelchair dancing. So people who, you know, are paralyzed or in wheelchairs, um, they also have an opportunity to not only social dance, but there is also competitive ballroom dancing for wheelchair dancing.

Scott DeLuzio: That’s awesome.

Jennifer Nash: Yeah, I mean, it’s amazing. And, you know, there are many different studios that actually offer courses in that. And then they have like a group that goes and competes.

There’s one, I used to live in Michigan, um, and the Fred Astaire in Bloomfield Hills specifically has a, um, a group of competitive ballroom wheelchair dancers.

So, you know, for, for, for service, you know, for veterans who maybe have, you know, different mobility challenges, you know, there are always options. Um, there, you know, on Dancing With The Stars, there was a, there was this. Competitor on Dancing With The Stars, Amy Purdy, [00:26:00] who had some custom prosthetics, um, because she was missing her legs and her feet. And so she ended up competing on Dancing With The Stars and, and placing very well in the competition.

So, you know, dancing is, is amazing. There are different ways to, you know, welcome people with all different abilities to the dance floor. Um, and that’s one of the things I love about it. You know, it’s very inclusive in that way.

Scott DeLuzio: you know, and one of the questions I was going to ask you was, uh, for folks who might be a little skeptical or just like, eh, you know, this isn’t for me kind of thing. I think you’ve already answered all of that because, you know, even if you’re, uh, in a wheelchair or you have. Uh, you know, prosthetic legs, there’s still a way that you can do it.

And so you can’t use that as an excuse. You don’t get that excuse. Sorry, that we’re, we’re cutting that out, but that doesn’t happen. Um, so

Jennifer Nash: get out. Right.

Scott DeLuzio: yeah, get out there and try it. Right. Um, you know, and, and honestly, with, with anything that, that I talk about on this [00:27:00] show, um, any different types of things that, that folks can get out and do and, and try to help improve their mood.

Um, I always say it may not be for you, but so what go out and give it a try. You can, you can try it. Once, twice, three times and, and be like, you know what? I gave it a good try. It’s just not for me. And move on and find something else. The best thing about that is you’ve discovered something. You’ve discovered what doesn’t work for you.

And so you know how to spend time on that thing if it doesn’t work for you. Right. It, um, I think it was. Thomas Edison, he said, I didn’t fail, uh, 10, 000 times. I found 10, 000 ways that didn’t work. And I, you know, he kept, kept moving forward and continued, uh, to, to advance and, and find eventually something that did work, um, or many somethings that did work right in his case.

Um, but. But that’s, I guess the point is get out there and try [00:28:00] something. And, and if you haven’t tried, uh, dancing, uh, ballroom dancing or any type of dancing, really, I would imagine, um, just get out there and try it. Um, Maybe that’s the thing for you. Um, maybe it’s not, but give it a try anyways. Um, because I think that what you’re talking about earlier, that positive energy, the music, the physical movement in the dancing, um, it, it’s just a great way to relieve stress.

Um, and. Will help I would imagine it’s gonna help overall just improve your mood, right?

Jennifer Nash: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, there is, there is rarely a day that I get off the dance floor and I’m in a bad mood, even if I go on the dance floor, you know, to practice or whatever it is. And I’ve had a lot of things going on that day and I’m not necessarily in the greatest of moods. By the time I get off that dance floor, it’s totally shifted. You know, and it’s like, it’s, it’s just like a, it’s [00:29:00] like, you can push a reset button and have another chance at, you know, deciding how you want to show up for the rest of the day. Um, and for me, that’s always really helpful. You know, we all have very stressful lives and you know, we have a lot going on.

And so taking that moment to sort of press pause, get in that space of moving your body and giving yourself that physical activity and engaging your brain at the same time, um, really just helps shift that. Shift those emotions and shift that mood.

Scott DeLuzio: I wonder and again, I’m not a doctor so I don’t know the details behind all of this, but I wonder if while you’re participating in an activity like dancing It frees up your mind and allows your mind to kind of process some of that stuff that like, like you said, if you want, went onto the dance floor, maybe you had a bad day and something went wrong at work or something, you know, your personal life, whatever, something was just eating, eating at you and you get on the dance floor and you’re, you’re dancing [00:30:00] and everything by the time, you know, uh, you know, hour later or whatever the time period is that you’re out there.

Um, yeah. you just said, you’re, you’re in a better mood, almost like that, that reset button. I wonder if it

gives your brain the ability to process some of that stuff a little bit more, and maybe it helps you figure stuff out too, you know, just to the noise for a while. Don’t sometimes when you’re, you’re so stuck in the weeds of whatever the problem is, you can’t see it for what it is.

And, um, you know, maybe if you just get out of it for a minute, step away from it. That kind of helps. I don’t know if that makes sense or not. Does that seem like it might be something that makes sense?

Jennifer Nash: Yeah, I think it absolutely makes sense You know in a way like I view it as like a detox, you know It’s sort of a detox like I’m not I’m not doom scrolling on my phone, right? I just try to get lost in that because you know We sort of numb in that way as well when we don’t want to address different things We’ll just you know, use the phone and [00:31:00] scroll social media endlessly You know, you don’t sit there and watch TV for hours on end or Binge watch Netflix because you don’t want to deal with how you’re feeling or what you’re thinking about, right?

So you just sort of numb out in that way. Um, so having that space to just let your mind be free, um, and yet still focus and channel that energy and attention into something that helps you feel good, you know, and creates that wellbeing, um, there isn’t space to, you know, stay in that place of negativity.

You can’t beat those two places at one time.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, that’s true. Uh, yeah, you can’t be happy and sad at the same time. You can’t be angry and glad at the same time. You know, like those, they’re like two opposite ends of, uh, you know, of the spectrum there. And, um, You know, so when, when you’re doing something to help improve your mood, you’re going to [00:32:00] improve your mood.

You know, you’re not going to be stuck in that, that

gloomy situation that you might be finding yourself in. Um, and you know, just going back to, you know, talking about veterans for a second. I know, uh, when, when you get out and you’re, you’re trying to figure out who you are, um, it, Sometimes it’s kind of depressing because it’s like you lost that identity, that who you are, whatever.

And I’m not saying that you’re going to go dancing one day and all of a sudden you’re going to become a dancer and that’s your new identity and that that’s all you ever do. And whatever, I don’t know, maybe it will be, maybe you’re great at it and good for you. But, um, but it gives you, Something that you can do.

It’s that, it’s that hobby that you can do after work. It’s that thing you can go look forward to. I’m going to go, you know, be with my people doing this thing, uh, after work or whatever. And, uh, you know, on the weekends or whatever. Um, I think that, [00:33:00] that. Is, gives you that thing to look forward to and it gives you that, that, um, a new sense of purpose maybe even, right?

Jennifer Nash: Yeah, absolutely. You know, there were days where, you know, I’d have so much going on and it was just like, I knew that I had a dance lesson coming up that evening. And so it just sort of made everything that was happening that day, like a little easier to handle because I knew that I had something that I was looking forward to, you know, whether it was the Friday night social dance, whether it was a lesson that evening, you know, whether it was a competition that I was preparing for the following week, whatever it was. Um, but having that, that, Sort of reward in a way, you know, to get through what I needed to get through. And then I could go do something that I loved and had fun at and felt good with, you know, it’s really, there was a, there was this gentleman who would show up at the Friday night social dance all the time. Um, and he was 93 years old. And his son would bring him to the dance and he would come [00:34:00] in and he would dance with all the ladies, you know, um, and then, you know, at the, at, when he was done or when he was tired, you know, his son would take him home and that was his community. That was his way to get out.

That was his event for the week. Um, And, you know, we all looked forward to seeing him there and, you know, it was evident that he delighted in being there, you know, he just had so much fun. And so I think having something that you are excited about and looking forward to, um, that creates that sense of community for you, um, and gives you a purpose, um, I think is really, really important when you’re trying to figure out who am I? and and what does this part of this chapter of my life look like now that maybe I’ve moved on from being an active service duty person

and I’m now stepping into this next chapter? Yeah.

Scott DeLuzio: you

know, I was thinking, uh, about your situation, you know, obviously going through a divorce, you’re single and, and you’re going out there because really you’re, you’re home. There’s no people there, [00:35:00] you know, you’re, you’re going out looking for those people. Right. But I’m also thinking about the other, uh, folks who maybe are married.

Still, and, um, you know, maybe they want to find something that they can do with their spouse and, um, why not go dancing with your spouse? Like that, that could be something that you do too. Right. And, um, it doesn’t have to be a, a singles event. You know, you can go out and dance together with your spouse and, um, that can be an enjoyable thing and may even help.

Improve a marriage too, you know, if you’re, um, you know, if you’re having some, some struggles with, with your marriage. So I don’t know, just, just, you know, try it out again. Like, like I said, give it a try. There’s nothing, no harm. Uh, you, if anything, like you, you’ve wasted an evening, uh, that’s it. That’s the only thing that you’ve, you’ve invested in.

It’s not the end of the world if it, if it’s not for you. Um, you know, just give it a try. Right. Yeah,

Jennifer Nash: that like, you know, [00:36:00] some of the couples that would come for lessons, you know, with the teachers in the studio, you know, they were sort of getting therapy for free. Because You know, it’s a way for them to start, you know, improve communication. Right. And so it’s actually one of the reasons why I started teaching leadership through ballroom dance, because it’s a way to improve communication in a relationship with someone else, whether that’s a romantic partner, whether that’s a platonic partner, whether it’s somebody that, you know, at work, you know, it’s just a great way to improve those interpersonal skills.

You know, there are a lot of people that also go dancing because, you know, maybe they’re shy and you don’t have to talk while you’re dancing. So all you have to do is muster up that courage to, you know, invite someone to dance or you get invited to dance and then you don’t have to talk for like two and a half minutes.

Scott DeLuzio: right.

Jennifer Nash: Who don’t, who are introverted or who are shy, like, also find that this is a, it’s a good way for them to get maybe some of that social interaction that they’re looking for without having to be [00:37:00] so You know, extroverted, you know, when that may be not be their, their preferred style.

Scott DeLuzio: Sure. Yeah. And I, I can totally, um, uh, relate to that. Like that’s kind of describe me right there is I’m, I’m, you know, I do this show and, and a lot of people think I’m, I’m so extroverted cause I’m, I’m out here and I’m talking with, with people, but I’m really not much of an extrovert. Um, I’m, I’m very much introverted.

And, um, you know, the way you described it right there of, you know, just not having to talk to someone for a couple minutes, like, That sounds great to me. Like that, that, that, that sounds a whole lot better than, than, you know, uh, uh, you know, the, the bar scene or whatever, where you’re going out and you, you have to, you have to talk to people.

And if, if you’re not talking there, there’s that awkward silence. It’s like, it’s not awkward. It’s supposed to be silent. You’re not supposed to be taught, you know, um, not to say that you can’t, but it’s just, uh, you know, more accepted that way. So, um, so that, that. That, that does sound like, you know, especially for the [00:38:00] listeners out there who are more introverted, like there you go, the one less excuse that you have.

Jennifer Nash: And you know, for, for the guys that might be worrying about, well, gosh, like all my pickup lines are really rusty. I don’t have any game anymore. Like guys, you don’t need any game. Like it’s just, you know, all you have to say is, may I have this dance and hold out your hand? That’s it. So you don’t have to worry about that part either. And ladies, guys to dance too. It goes both ways.

Scott DeLuzio: it does go both ways. That was something I was going to say, but also, uh, for, for the guys, be that 93 year old guy that you were just talking about, you know, getting up early and, and know what you’re doing. And so when you get to that age, uh, you, you’ll have the dances with all the ladies, all the, the, the young ladies who, who want to dance with you.

And that, that’ll be, um, That’ll, that’ll be something you can look forward to in your, in your, uh, older years, right?

Jennifer Nash: Exactly. Yeah. Yeah.

Scott DeLuzio: well, it’s been a pleasure [00:39:00] talking with you today about, um, uh, kind of the, the power of, of getting out there and, and being social and interacting with other people, dancing, using that physical energy. Um, uh, I know you talked a little bit about, um, you know, some of The stuff that you do now, could you tell people a little bit more about, um, the work that you do and, and where people can go to find, uh, find what it is that you do.

Jennifer Nash: Sure. So, um, by day I’m an executive coach. I’m also a management consultant. I do keynote speaking and I do 360 feedback assessment. And if people would like to learn more about me and the services that I have, they can go to my website which is drjennifernash. com. And there they’ll find a whole bunch of information and they can drop me a note if they would like to get in touch.


Scott DeLuzio: Perfect. And I will have a link to that website in the show notes for folks who want to get in touch and find out more about what it is that you do. And, [00:40:00] um, you know, you, Obviously I talked about the kind of transformative powers of, of dancing and the communication benefits and things like that. So, um, you know, I’m sure there are some people who, who can, um, you know, benefit from that as well.

Um, before we wrap up the show though, um, I, at this point, I like to switch things up a little bit. Kind of change the pace of the show. Um, sometimes I do a little bit of humor. Um, my funny bone tends to be limited to dad jokes. So I’ve been told those are kind of, kind of corny. Um, but I’ve tried to do a little bit of trivia and I I’ve been.

It’s been hit or miss. I don’t know how it’ll go this time, but I’m going to get, I want to do a little bit of trivia with you if you’re okay with that, um, and just to, just to, uh, kind of change the, the, the mood a little bit, change the, the thing I like to, uh, think of it as kind of like having, uh, um, Dessert at the end of a meal at a restaurant, you know, kind of gives you that nice taste in your mouth afterwards.

And, um, you know, cause sometimes some of the [00:41:00] topics that we cover on this show are a little heavy, a little dark and, uh, you know, having, having something, uh, kind of, kind of fun and lighthearted to look forward to at the end of an episode is, uh, it’s kind of what I’m, I’m going for, for here. So if you don’t mind, um, got a few questions here and, and let’s, they’re, they’re all, um, kind of related to, U.

S. history, that type of thing. Not really history, but some of them maybe. We’ll see.

Jennifer Nash: was going to

say, history in terms of

Scott DeLuzio: is kind of the theme of these questions. So let’s go with the first one here. So I asked this one in the last episode that I did trivia on, and We got tripped up on the answer. I want to see if you can, uh, if you can answer this one and see, uh, see what you come up with.

So which two US states do not observe daylight savings time?

Jennifer Nash: Oh. Uh, which two U. S. states [00:42:00] do not observe U. S. daylight savings time? Uh, Hawaii?

Scott DeLuzio: Yep. That’s one of them.

Jennifer Nash: Yeah. And, uh, let’s see, what’s the other one? Alaska?

Scott DeLuzio: No, that’s a good guess.

Jennifer Nash: Yeah. Not

Scott DeLuzio: would, it probably would make sense because of, you know, kind of geographic location and everything, but, uh, Arizona is the other one.

Jennifer Nash: Oh,

Scott DeLuzio: not do daylight savings.


Jennifer Nash: right. That’s right.

Scott DeLuzio: so in the, in the last episode that we did this, uh, I asked this question, um, the guests thought Indiana was one of the states and I looked it up and there had been a whole history with Indiana and daylight savings and.

That’s, like, I, I started questioning myself because there was something in the news, you know, a while back, but they do actually, uh, observe daylight savings, so, um, so I just wanted to clear that up. That’s why I wanted to have this question in today, too. Um, [00:43:00] so, uh, what U. S. city is known as the Windy City?

Jennifer Nash: that would be Chicago.

Scott DeLuzio: There it is. Yep. Got that. Okay. Um, Who is the only U. S. President to serve more than two terms?

Jennifer Nash: Ooh, that’s not my area of expertise. Uh, I honestly don’t know the answer to that


Scott DeLuzio: FDR. He’s, he served three terms. Well, well, he was in office three times, for three elections. So, uh, the last one, I don’t, I don’t believe he finished the full term of the last, that’s one, but he was, he served more than two. So, um, which president is featured on the 20 bill?

Jennifer Nash: Um,

Scott DeLuzio: all have them in our wallet or, you know, in your purse or,

Jennifer Nash: don’t know.

Scott DeLuzio: know, whatever. It’s like we have those, we’ve seen them, but who’s the dude?

Jennifer Nash: Who’s the dude on the 20 bill? Uh, Jackson?

Scott DeLuzio: There it is. Yeah, you got it.

Jennifer Nash: Okay.

Scott DeLuzio: And

Jennifer Nash: Meanwhile, since I have cash in my wallet, you know, like, it’s always [00:44:00] plastic.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, right. That’s true. You know, I was going to say we all, we all have it, but maybe we all had it in our wallets at one point, you know, we don’t carry, I don’t carry that much cash around anymore. Like I have a little bit for, you know, those emergency kind of, kind of things, but everywhere it takes credit cards these days.

So I don’t, I don’t use it as often. I I’ve had the same. bills in my wallet for probably months now. Um, all right. So last question, I think this one’s probably going to be an easy one. Uh, what is the official bird of the United States? There

Jennifer Nash: Uh, the bald eagle. Yeah,

Scott DeLuzio: So I think you got them all, uh, other than Arizona, uh, being so yeah. But you got Hawaii, so I’ll give you that one. Um, so yeah, we got them all. So this is, this is going all right. I think we got, we got the trivia stuff down now. I think the first time I went around with the trivia questions, I think I went a little, uh, a little too difficult of questions.

There were, there were a [00:45:00] little more on the, uh, uh, kind of off the wall kind of questions that didn’t really work out too well, but I think I’ve, I’ve got it down to a point where we can, we can actually have some fun with these questions. So, um, So,

thank you for, for. Playing the trivia, uh, section of this.

I don’t quite have a name for this segment yet, but I’ll, I’ll come up with something. Um, but, uh, but thanks for, for doing that and, and for sharing, uh, everything that you shared about the, the dancing and, uh, kind of the benefits that, that folks can, can get from it.

Jennifer Nash: it’s my pleasure. You know, I love talking about it. I hope that, you know, it inspires at least maybe one person who’s listening to, you know, get up off that couch and go try it. And if you love it, awesome. And if you don’t, that’s okay. But at least you tried it and

you found something. You know, directs you to something else, perhaps.

Scott DeLuzio: That’s right. That’s right. You know, maybe on your way to dancing, you find a sign on a window from, you know, someplace that has something else that [00:46:00] is like, you know what, that’s the thing that I needed. And just like you, when you went to meet up, uh, the meetup website and you’re looking like, that was the thing, the universe.

Put you in that place at that time. And that’s the thing that you needed. Um, you’ll be in the right place at the right time. Um, it may not feel like it in the moment, but, but you’ll, you’ll get there and you’ll find the thing that that’s right for you. So keep looking.

Jennifer Nash: Yeah.

Scott DeLuzio: All right. Thanks again.

Jennifer Nash: All right. Thank you so much, Scott. It was a pleasure.

Scott DeLuzio: Thanks for listening to the Drive On Podcast. If you want to support the show, please check out Scott’s book, Surviving Son on Amazon. All of the sales from that book go directly back into this podcast and work to help veterans in need. You can also follow the Drive On Podcast on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and wherever you listen to podcasts.

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