Wednesday, February 2, 2011

LifeList : Hip Hop Dance Class

I have always wanted to take a Hip Hop Dance class. Seriously. It sounds crazy, especially if you knew me in my "punk" years. But, it's true and I've always been too embarrassed to actually do it for the following 3 reasons:

  1. I am super, super white and I dance like I am super, super white.
  2. Every class that I have seen has some crazy awesome girl in it who should be teaching the class. I don't need to stand near that kind of performance, thanks.
  3. I am fairly certain that my 1 year of Jr High Cheerleading in 8th grade knocked any rhythmic dance skills I may have had right out of me. I am left with the ability to only do very stiff armed cheerleading moves. And the pogo.

So, for years I've suppressed the urge to dance. What I do a clubs (on the rare occasions I find myself in a club or club-type place) is not horrible – for the record I do NOT dance like Elaine from Seinfeld thankyouverymuch – but it's definitely not great either.

When I started my new job at Big Computer Company and I found out that they had a Hip Hop Dance class at their fitness center, I was stoked. What better place to take a Hip Hop class than at a Big Computer Company?! "There is NO way," I said to myself, "that I will be the most awkward person in the class here!"

Well, it turns out I was half right. There are people in this class that are more awkward that me, but like, awkward in an awkward-in0everything-they-do kind of way. And at my first class I am momentarily reassured by their presence and I'm not too nervous... Then the music starts. All these awkward guys must take this really seriously because they are good. And I am awful and lost and rather gangly.

The format of the class is that they work on a new routine each month, so of course I was lost on my first day, because I showed up part way through the month. But a few classes go by and I start to get better, at least I feel like I begin to pick things up quicker. And I start to feel pretty good about myself. Which is when I find out that the classes are recorded and posted to YouTube so that we can practice at home – no, seriously. And that's when I see myself in the video, visible through the mirror in the room, trying to do the routine and horribly failing. At one point, I do that thing that little kids do when they are overwhelmed: I stop and put my hands up around my face and freak out. I do this on video.

This is where I freak out. It's hard to see but that is panic on my face.

But, you know what? I'm having a blast and I love it. I love that I'm not that great but that no one cares because we are all doing this for ourselves – no recitals or performances, it's just us. And I lvoe that I can laugh at myself and that I've made some friends in the class and we laugh at each other when we can't figure out a move.

I've also realized that my suspicions about Cheerleading are true. I am amazing at these stiff-arm-movement parts of the routine. By contrast, there is this one girl who I usually watch when I get lost, who cannot get these movement right. I'm there, "That's the ONE part I can do!" So, she keeps asking me how it goes and I get excited because I'm good at something. And when I celebrate because I nailed it, everyone laughs because they know it's my little victory. It's fun.

I couldn't be bothered to find a pic of me when I was 13, so here's one 14 years later proving my boobs have not grown in that time at all!

I've been doing this for a little while now and I really do feel like I'm getting better. Once I got comfortable with the people and the format of the class, and got shoes that didn't make me fall on my face, things started improving. And then I hurt my back and had to miss a week of classes. So, last night, when I finally got back to class, I was behind and this was the last time we would be doing this routine. I just wanted to catch up with everyone and learn the end before we moved on...

So there's this move, right at the end, where we had to hop on one foot, keep the other straight out, and move our ams up and down – yes, it looked about as weird as I am describing it. And I could not do it right. At all. Not matter how hard I tried, this was not happening. You know how when Kermit The Frog gets excited and he flails his arms about? That's about how I looked doing this move.

This isn't actually me. It's Kermit, but I get the confusion.

The good new is that I'm fairly certain that no one got video proof of me doing that move. In fact, let's just pretend it never happened.

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