One day my friend Shaunna posed an interesting question: "Why would you ever stop doing something you love so much?" Referring to dancing. I gave my usual excuses: Lack of opportunity, lack of money, lack of time.
The life, which gradually filled my closet with t-shirts bearing such kick ass sayings as, "Dancing isn't just a sport, it's an attitude," which I wore with pride, allowed me to become way too comfortable and spend far too many hours of the day in spandex and forced me to be under Nazi rule for more than three years of my life, began when I was about 13. Now, the actual dancing began long before that, but I didn't start living "the life" until the early teens.
High school is when I was introduced to the infamous Blonde Bomber, also known as my high school drill team coach as well as the "Nazi" and "the life" kicked into high gear. The fact that this woman used every scare tactic just short of strapping alcohol monitoring bracelets to us and having drug sniffing dogs follow us around, made us an incredible team, but mostly because we were all pretty sure she was somehow above the law and misbehaving team members would actually be shackled upside down to the brick wall of a secret dungeon never to be seen again. I suppose it's the only way to get a mob of bitchy, hormonal teenage girls to do anything besides be a gigantic pain in the ass.
Sometimes, to this day, I wake up late and my heart stops for a second until I realize that if I'm a few minutes late to work, my employer will not publicly humiliate me by making the rest of my co-workers run laps around the parking lot while I watch them as punishment. Yes, that woman had and probably still has the compassion and the vengeance of a dictator.
However the upside is that it's that same "mediocrity is unacceptable" attitude that was drilled into our minds and bodies during that time that now never allows me to half ass anything...an upside, except when it runs my life and causes me to kick my own ass.
Doing nothing except dancing was quickly, but not completely replaced with going to the gym, drinking beer, being a sorority girl and playing with boys once I hit college, with only a few opportunities through the university's dance program and sorority events to dance. Then it completely disappeared when I became an "adult" (the meaning of which has not yet been defined), until I stumbled upon an adult jazz class last year. Now we're back to the not half assing anything again because I took the class as if I had never taken a hiatus from the sport - kicking to my face, leaping to the height of skyscrapers, forcing my now less flexible legs into the splits....and while I was complimented by the instructor and other students, I couldn't walk for three days afterwards. My body said "fuck you old woman, you're not 17 anymore" then sent shooting pains through my neck, legs, abs, arms, ass everytime I attempted to do anything remotely human such as breathe...or just exist. I considered investing in a wheelchair by the second day, but held onto the fact that I knew shit would buff itself out eventually.
However, my horrendous work schedule made sure that was the first and only class I attended. I couldn't afford to pay 450 million dollars in tuition to show up late and kick my own ass with a bunch of annoying 16-year-olds, which are apparently that studio's definition of adults.
Since high kicking in my kitchen and pirouetting in my socks across my parent's hardwood floor wasn't cutting it anymore, I recently decided to look for another option.
A few weeks ago I discovered a studio in Westport called City in Motion that not only offers adult jazz class, but a burlesque workshop session. Factor in the time and money excuses, both of which I have more of now, and I decided to check it out last night. Besides the fact that my once graceful body used to practically lift itself off the ground and I now have the urge to release a loud "UUUUUHHH!" everytime I flung myself somewhat gimpily into the air, and the slight fear that I would be robbed at gunpoint by a group of 13-year-old thug ganstas while walking to the front door of the studio, this class is exactly what I'm looking for. The cost is reasonable, I'm definitely not the oldest one in class and while I was pretty sure I could feel my legs starting to separate from my pelvis last night and would wake up today wanting to do nothing but lay in a vat of IcyHot, I'm surprisingly just fine. There's a little tightness here and there, but no shooting pains in my ass. Score! I suppose warming up for 45 minutes probably helped. I'm officially dancing again - only once a week, but you have to start somewhere.
I'd like to try the burlesque class, but I'm a little scared since the class description specifically says "women only" and "all comfort levels welcome," which makes me wonder: Will there be live lesbian sex scenes and bare boobies flopping about?
Eh, what's life anyway if you don't take a risk once in a while right?