I went back to the pool today, and this time got a swimming lesson from the friend who didn't make it yesterday. My technique is pretty poor all around. No one ever taught me how to breathe while swimming, or apparently more than one kind of kick, or how my arms are supposed to move in a freestyle stroke. I think the extent of my swimming lessons was a summer of lessons, long enough to learn how to tread water, float, and get from one end of the pool to the other without help or doggy-paddling.
I suspect I'll be making this a routine and trying to mix days I swim with friends with days I swim on my own to practice technique without people watching me. I might make the solo days a morning thing, provided I make time for it.
Swimming feels great, even with how much I have to learn. I took a shower afterwards and brought my shampoo and conditioner with me (think I might be adding leave-in conditioner later and/or acquiring a cap, because my hair is going to be really unruly otherwise). I just felt good afterward, and my skin ended up at that stage where my nerves feel really alive, nothing hurts (even the parts that were hurting prior to swimming), and clothing feels good but not necessary. I've had that happen with dance before, only I took a shower back at my dorm and then sat in my room naked because of how good it felt.
In short: I don't know why I didn't find an exercise routine of some kind after I stopped taking dance classes, because physical exertion makes me feel so good.