FOUND IT! Yahoo!! High kick!! Beginners hip-hop, woot!! Check it off my list :)
Cold and rainy Saturday inspired me to get my lazy ass out of bed and finally make good on my promise to check out a class at ODC Dance. I've found that when those rare moments come along where you say to yourself "you know, today is the day I could..." ya gotta grab them. Cling to them. Tie those suckers down and say "it's just me and you little moment, we're making the most of this!" They are truly fleeting and it is so easy to get sucked into day to day routine and think "maybe another day..." when really today is THE day. Today is the only day we have. When the motivation/inspiration hits me like this, I'm so grateful I'm living today to seize the opportunity.
I loved the class basically from the moment I entered. For one thing, it was the most eclectic mix of students I'd ever seen in a studio; teenagers, soccer moms, skinny girls, chubby boys, men old enough to be my dad and men old old enough to be my GRANDFATHER (I'm not kidding), short, tall, brown, white. It became apparent early on that many of these folks were regulars as the instructor, Micaya, knew them by name (new goal; have Micaya know me by name).
I toss my things into the pile on the bleachers, find an open spot on the huge studio floor and am immediately filled with energy and excitement. The beats start blasting and the class begins...
"Hey all!! Welcome, welcome, welcome...so glad to have you here! Man, some days you just feel it, you know? Some days you just gotta DANCE. Today is one of those days for me...it's gonna be epic. I'm declaring this space a drama free zone; no stress, no worries, no judgment, no ego...no radiation!" (Probably too soon for a Japan joke...but we all still chuckled) "You ready?! Let's move!"
And move we did. Holy sore muscles today.
When I tell you that every person in the class gave every move their every effort...I'm serious. No one cared what they looked like. No one meekly followed along, hoping not to make a fool of themselves. It took me a few minutes to get out of my own head, mildly consumed with how rusty I felt/looked, but by the end of the class I was miles ahead in letting go of my ego than when the music first started. I still feel I was a little more skinny-white-girl-cheerleader than bad-ass-hip hop performer....but baby steps, right? I loved watching women twice my age get into the moves, release all inhibitions and dance with their whole hearts...their whole beings.
At one point during the lesson Micaya showed us a move, had us imitate, then began applauding and laughing. "Well, you all did that wrong! But you know what I've learned? You've gotta celebrate failure! Failure is it, you know? Failure is how we grow and learn and dance is no exception...we all have to start somewhere and stumble along. Let's celebrate that failure and try again!!"
This woman was exactly what I needed.
By the end of the class I was a complete sweaty mess. My hair was matted in ways I couldn't repeat with an entire bottle of gel. My face was completely makeup-less and beat red...and I didn't care. I had stretched my muscles in ways they hadn't been stretched in months (side note: I was thrilled to learn I can still do a bridge...my lower back now hates me a bit...but I didn't break in half or give birth to something. Winner!) I was exhausted and exhilarated. I had no idea how much I missed expressing myself through the art of booty dropping and I have to admit; it made me a little sad to know I had been depriving myself of a real mind, body, soul passion for pretty remedial reasons. That behavior officially stops now.
Right after leading a calming cool-down Micaya sat cross legged on the floor with us and said "I'm so grateful you all came out today. I'm grateful every time I walk into my class and see people ready to move with me, but I'm especially grateful on days like today--it's cold and rainy and you all still got here. You made it here. You showed up. That's so awesome and I'm so, so grateful."
Ahh, a grateful gal after my own heart.
I walked down the stairs to exit the facility, pausing at the reception desk to slap down my credit card. "Can I buy your 12 class package?" $120 later and I've got myself a dance class. I'm so ready to push myself. I'm so ready to fail, look silly. To treat my body to the exercise it needs and deserves.
I'm ready to show up.
In love, light, gratitude, twirls and back bends,