September 12, 2012 § 1 Comment
This post seriously deviates from the norm, but lately an old passion has been revitalized, and I thought what better place to share it than here.
I want to talk about dance.
I’ve danced on and off throughout life. I took a few ballet classes in elementary school, but for some reason I never loved it nor did I have the patience to keep going. But I always found myself dancing. In middle school I recorded music videos on a VHS (Britney Spears’ “Oops I Did It Again” and NSYNC’s “It’s Gonna Be Me” to name a couple) just to play and rewind again and again to learn the combinations. Finally, in high school, I discovered dance. And I loved it.
I lacked the technique some of the top dancers at school had—one of my best friends Katie, for instance, had been dancing all her life, and it showed in every move she made. But I could do the choreography. Over four years, I worked my way up from the junior dance troupe to the senior.
Then I went to college, eager to see if I could take dance a step further. When I registered for classes, I had two options: a beginner’s class (we’re talking Ballet 101, which I figured was too basic for me) or an intermediate/advanced class. I opted for the latter. I showed up, and all girls were on pointe, a level I never got to. The choreography was being taught at about twice the speed I was used to, and I couldn’t do a lot of the advanced ballet moves required. I felt so deflated.
I met with a few dance instructors to see what my options were, but of course they weren’t going to hold my hand if I wasn’t where I needed to be. So sadly, I gave up, and pursued another passion: writing, where I had success. And believe me, I am so thrilled to be where I am now.
But I never took any more dance classes aside from workouts like Zumba. Then I graduated, didn’t have free gym access anymore and desperately needed to get my body moving. I found that the only workouts I really enjoyed were those that involved dance of some kind. The Mountain Brook YMCA offered a hip-hop dance class that was pretty easy and great exercise, and then (with my bestie Christina) I discovered one of my true loves—Crunk Fitness, offered for FREE at Railroad Park on Mondays. I was obsessed with the idea of learning hip-hop. The was somewhat challenging, but I could handle it. (And how fab did I feel dancing outside in the middle of downtown Birmingham?) But then I got married (yay!), moved, and Railroad Park was no longer convenient.
I was aching for more dance, and I needed to stay in shape. I researched what gym memberships were in the area, and I found that the UA Rec Center offered a reasonable rate for alumni. And they had a hip hop class.
So I went, and holy smokes—it was hard. The instructor teaches dance at the university, and she was spitting out choreography much more rapidly than I had experienced in a long time. I was a bit downtrodden at first, thinking—again—that I didn’t belong in this class. But after a few days to lick my wounds, I decided to endure the humbling experience and embrace a challenge. I can only get better when the people around me are dance majors, right?
Last night, she taught a jazz class to this song. (I found she teaches lyrical and jazz the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month.)
I have been doing the combination in my head all morning. Last night I could keep up with the choreography (holla!), but some of it demanded flexibility and advanced moves I just didn’t have down.
It seems silly that I didn’t at least keep dancing throughout college. I had missed it so much. I think this class has taught me that it is ok to rediscover passions, to start back from the beginning, and to not quit because I’m not the best at it. I keep feeling like, what’s the point? Why get better? I’m probably about five years older than most of these girls, who are already amazing. I’m not going to do anything with dance, am I?
But then I’ve decided: who cares? It’s wonderful for a workout to do more than keep my body fit. It’s engaging my brain and my soul. My body is sore and it feels amazing. I am so beyond grateful for this discovery.
So yeah, check out some of the ballin’ moves I’ve been learning.
And I’m sorry, I know this post was SUPER cheesy. The end.