Last night I stepped foot in a dance studio for the first time in my life. I never took ballet or tap lessons as a young girl. I shot BB guns, hung loose on a surfboard and played softball. But I always admired the girls (and boys) who had rhythm and could make their feet move so gracefully without falling on their faces. My lack of coordination and grace prevented me from following any dream of ever becoming a ballerina. I have friends who can dance and I support their talent. But last night I gained a whole new respect for the world of dance and the people that dwell there.
I have a friend who has been dancing all of her life. She currently is a dance instructor at the studio I visited last night. They were offering a hip-hop / break dancing class and my friend, knowing that I like to spice up my exercise routines, asked if I would be interested. So I recruited another friend and we made the one hour commitment to shake our groove 'thang'. Little did I know that it would be one hour of the most intense cardiovascular exertion I have ever experienced! In ONE hour, I perspired more than I would have in five hours of mountain climbing up a 90 degree incline in the Appalachians (not that I’ve ever done that, but you get what I mean)!
The teacher of this class was extremely motivating and talented. He brought us on an adventure through hip hop music history starting with Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” and ending with “Get Low” by Lil Jon and the Eastside Boys. There were a bunch of songs in between like “Ride the White Horse” and “Chicken Noodle Soup.” He played clips of each song while teaching us the respective dance moves. Let me give you a visual...
There are seven of us in the room. All adults; five females, one male and of course the instructor. We are on the second floor of a strip mall. We are in a relatively small room with wood floors, pale yellow walls and a mirror that goes from floor to ceiling covering the wall we are facing. The side wall was a wall of windows. Windows that faced the busy parking lot and a sparkling McDonalds! Windows that gave the world a glimpse of us bustin' a move. At one point we’re dancing to the rhythm of “Chicken Noodle Soup.” Goes a little something like this….
“Chicken noodle soup” Kick to right “Chicken noodle soup” kick to the left, “Chicken Noodle Soup” kick the right “With a soda on the side!” hold your right kick up in the air while pretending to drink a soda with your right hand. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Did I mention that McDonalds was to the right? Gasping for air and wiping sweat from my brow I thought, “screw the soda on the side” and had visions of a Big Mac.
Then it was Hammer time! Remember MC Hammer? Remember his pants? Remember that dance move that put him in a wide ass squat position as he moved back and forth in lobster formation while rolling his shoulders to the beat of “Can’t Touch This”?
Yep, that’s right, we did that. Although my shoulder rolling looked more like some distorted version of a hiccup.
I’m not sure if you’ve ever tried it, but I’m positive you’ve seen it done….THE MOONWALK. Holy Hardness Batman!!!! I tried and tried. My sneakers were sticking to the floor which made the sliding effect I was aiming for quite comical. I took my shoes off thinking my socks would glide over the wood better and maybe it would have worked if my feet didn’t sweat. Sticky, sweaty socks and trying to master the moonwalk; a little baby powder would have been nice. I turned to the side to watch my Moonwalk skills (or lack there of) in the big ol’ unforgiving mirror. I must have been hot because my face is now purple. The instructor kindly reminded me to breathe.
People that dance and make it look easy are amazing. The instructor last night was extremely amazing! I took his card just in case I feel the sudden urge to show off my new skill. We can get together for a dance-off or something.
I love music and I love how the beat makes us want to move our bodies. I love letting loose on the dance floor and I honestly loved taking this class. It was the work out of all work outs and really was enjoyable even though it was unsympathetic to my 36 year old joints (a little sore today). And although I won’t be auditioning for Dancing With the Stars any time soon, I would take another dance class in a heart beat, that is right after I ice this knee.