Then more recently I saw this great quote about being a writer, which I'd also like to think applies to calling contra dances.
“If you find yourself asking yourself (and your friends), "Am I really a writer? Am I really an artist?" chances are you are. The counterfeit innovator is wildly self-confident. The real one is scared to death.”
― Steven Pressfield, The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles
When you just start calling, it will never be perfect, no matter how well-prepared you might feel. The thing is, it doesn't have to be perfect for people to have a really enjoyable dance. I kept having thoughts of, "Others can already do this so well, so why should I submit dancers to calling that is less than that level?" I had the experience of going to a dance with less-than-perfect calling (far less, if we want to be totally honest), but everyone was still having an amazingly good time. Somehow that really inspired me to just go for it. I knew that I could do at least that well with my calling, and probably even a bit better.
I talked with my folk dance instructor. Asked her if she thought I could call a couple dances. She sounded interested and a couple weeks ago in class we danced three contra dances. It has been a long time since I've done any calling, but I love it so much that I am doing this! Partly I am scared to death, but partly I am kind of just done hiding behind that as an excuse to not do it.
So that is that, and here's to hoping for many more!