Friday, July 16, 2010

Let's Dance

As all of you know, or can predict by my tendencies to fall down randomly or flail my arms like a blind pelican, I am no dancer by any means. My body just doesn't move like I want it to. It's like my brain tells my feet to move to the beat, one shimmy to the left and my feet rebel. It's a messed up situation.

Either way, dancing to me, and 99.9% of the world, is an expression of emotion.

Angry? I'm going to power thrash and head bang till every ounce of aggression is just a headache and minor neck injury away.

Depressed? Watch me emo sway back and forth to some Elliot Smith. Hands to the side, head down, feet shuffling out the pain.

Happy? Let's freak out with a ton of Britney Spears-esque jumps and a grand ball gown spin around via Princess Diaries.

Bladder full? There's an app... er... dance for that.

Lustful/Crushing/In Love? Even though I am more likely to injure my partner, slow dancing is my favorite. An ex and I used to slow dance in the middle of my dorm room without any music just because we could.

Of course, I've mastered some standard dances in my time- the lawn mower, the refrigerator, the grocery shopper. Sometimes, when I've stretched, I can do the sprinkler or the worm. I like it when my dances are a reflection of the true human spirit or the chores we endure on the weekends.

That being said, I under only nagging circumstances dance in public. You wanna see me bust a move? Ask for a private show, buddy, cause home girl dont do that. As I said early, I am a wreck of a dancer. A Lucy Ricardo of the dance floor. Two left feet, hands, arms, face, hips, etc.

Gerry Fleck: I can't dance, I can't dance, I've got two left feet!
Cookie Fleck: I thought he was kidding.
Gerry Fleck
: But I wasn't. I was born with two left feet.

But this week, I went to DanceDance PartyParty, a dance "class" for women only. Basically, it's a full hour of dancing non-stop. There are no dance rules, no overly energetic Barbie Dolls to mimic and follow. The lights are dim, there's no talking, and the music is picked by one of the session goers. All you have to do is let go, turn off your brain, and dance.

My experience was amazing. There were about 20 girls in a small, traditional dance studios. Each claimed a spot on the floor and laid their water bottles and changes of clothes next to them. The den mom took my money and I chatted with some of the more outgoing ladies. There were grown women in their 40s to teenagers in homecoming dresses. Some looked like professional ballet dancers with tiny, delicate bodies, while the rest of us ranged from normal to Amazonian. There was an instant comfort level just in the diversity of the room.

When the session started, the DJ introduced her playlist, the den mom turned off the lights and reminded us of the no talking and NO JUDGEMENT rule, and we began to stretch. The first and last songs are warm ups and cool downs and the music was "Beautiful Girl" and a Moby song. Then the playlist begins to blast in to KISSFM tunes, some old Janet Jackson, and a couple of other tunes I had not heard of.

At first, you feel so silly. Even though you can only make out figures of the other dancers in the dark, it is uneasy to just let yourself go. I took the cop-0ut by closing my eyes and turning towards walls and corners. About two songs in, I was totally in to it and I could easily drop all insecurities by feeling free to move through the room, winding my way through the girls as they equally flailed and jumped to a Lady Gaga song.

About half way through, I could not believe how much I was sweating... I would equate it to running about 2 miles or a full hour with Jillian Michaels.

But as I left the studio, I felt something totally different compared to leaving the other classes I take... I felt totally alive and in person. I felt a strange euphoria take over my exhausted body. It certainly wasn't just the endorphins. It was a spiritual awaking one gets when he or she learns to let go. In all my years of meditation and yoga, I have never felt anything remotely like that.

So, maybe to find yourself, to let go of your insecurities, and to express your bottled up emotions all it takes is an hour in a dark studio with a bunch of like-minded gals. At least, this time, no one was hurt.


  1. this is a real class?! where did you find it? oh my GOODNESS this sounds like so much fun! a dance party can solve more than its share of life's problems!

  2. Yep. It's a class. Check out the link.

    I actually found it about three years ago on some workout website. Now that I finally live in the city, I can try it out. And it is so worth the five bucks!

  3. soooo coooool. I hope to definitely check that out someday!!

    also, to put on a youtube video: go to the youtube page and underneath the video it will say "embed code" or something like that, and then when you are writing an entry click the html tab and paste the code and there you go :-)!

  4. Oh my goodness, this sounds amazing! I wanna go!