Last night I took my first dance class in over a year, and while I’d like to say it was life-altering, it was not. I was hoping for an experience similar to the episode of Fresh Prince where Vivian goes to the dance audition, complete with white unitard and studio audience cheers, but it was more like that one episode that never aired, because nothing funny happened.
The only noteworthy aspect of the class was that all of the other students were total grump monsters. I didn’t notice until about halfway through class when we started to do some standing center work. As I was struggling a bit to remember the phrase (a recurring problem of mine, which may have something to do with my inability to actually pay attention at certain points in a dance class…I truly believe I fall asleep with my eyes open), I let out a little chuckle of embarrassment. I looked around to see if anyone had noticed that I was messing up, or if anyone was getting stuck at the same spot. People were confused, no doubt, but their faces were made of stone.
What made this all the more strange was the sweet, perky instructor. Now, it’s no secret that I’m not a huge fan of “enthusiasm,” but I found her demeanor to be quite pleasing after a day at work. But these people all looked as though they’d just gotten horrible news, like their dog had diabetes or they’re pregnant again. I was like, cheer up, already.
The thing I love most about being an adult is that outside of work, I don’t have to do anything but pay my rent and be minimally hygienic. This is why I haven’t taken class for a year. I spent so much of my life “having” to go to dance class, that I just decided to give myself a freaking break.
As a high school student, I remember praying on my way home from school that there would be a tornado so that I would not have to go to ballet class. That’s right, I actively asked God for a natural disaster so as to prevent myself from putting on tights and being subject to an old, Russian screambag.
But now, I go to class when I want, and so do the other people in the class. No one is forcing you to be here, I wanted to say to the woman beside me, grabbing her shoulders and shaking her like a rag doll. But I didn’t, because of studio rules. It’s strange. I always remember the adults in my dance classes, particularly modern dance, being really easygoing and kind. But these guys were total buzzkills.
In college, I can remember shouting and gyrating on the side of the dance floor while my friends went across, dancing to the driving drum beats. And here, there were driving drum beats, and even a semi-interesting combination, but there was no shouting (except for when a middle-aged woman stubbed her toe on the piano) and certainly no gyrating (except for when I got bored and pretended I was in a music video). I really want to take class again, but not if these crab apples are going to make me feel like I just left a wake.