A Thirst To Spend My Fire and Restless Force Tracking My True, Original Course

But often, in the world's most crowded streets,
But often, in the din of strife,
There rises an unspeakable desire
After the knowledge of our buried life;
A thirst to spend our fire and restless force
In tracking out our true, original course;

- Matthew Arnold
The Buried Life


#6 Learn to dance hip hop / #24 Be in a flash dance mob

So, as I was mentioning earlier, I want to dance.  When I wrote the list, I wrote that I wanted to dance hip hop, but I am now realizing that really, I just want to learn to dance... period. Not so much ballet, that doesn't really appeal to me, but everything else, anything else, would be great.

I want to be able to learn choreography in a decent amount of time and try it and remember it and get it.  I want to be able to move my hands and feet together at the same time. Learning this impacts #24, because I have found a flash mob organization, but I have to be able to learn the dance quickly from a video and do it after just a morning of practice.  It also affects #103, because I stand a much better chance of being able to get back on stage if I have the advantage of knowing some dance.

I set out about achieving this goal in January. I think that somewhere in me, I believed that perhaps, because I am musically inclined and have an ear for rhythm, I might have a natural ability and if someone would just show me the steps and stuff, I would be able to get it.  Wow, was that SO not the case.  I started out with a beginners' jazz class at a small studio. This was the perfect class for me -- really small, just a few people, with teachers who were really willing to work with my utter inability to dance and my painful lack of technique.  It was a true beginners class, which was awesome.

Unfortunately, it was also on the same night of the week that my graduate school classes were on, so come February, I had to quit.  I went to about 4 classes before I quit though, and I think I must have learned something. As frustrated as I felt then, I think a few things stuck.

I went to a funk class at my gym tonight and a few of the steps were similar.  In January, simple kick-ball-change steps and padabures were throwing me off horribly. I saw with my eyes what my feet were supposed to do, and conceptualized it in my mind, but somewhere between my head and my feet, there was a lapse in communication, because my feet refused to behave.  How dancers control all of their limbs all at once and make everything do what they want it to do, altogether, is beyond me.

Tonight, however, at the funk class, I nailed the kick-ball-change multiple times (it helped that it was the first step in the sequence) and mostly managed the padabure. The class was really, really hard.  It is a weekly class that had about 30 people in it, many of whom come regularly every week and work on the same routine for several weeks. I was one of the only newbies and it moved really, really fast. We worked on a "warm up" routine that was almost harder than the actual routine, which I think I only got about half of.

Right now, I look terribly ungraceful and miss many steps.  I don't have that natural hip swing or attitude thing going on and it feels very forced to me.  But even in just one hour, I got better. Some of what I learned in January was really helpful, like when the teacher told me over and over again to just focus on the feet before worrying about the hands. Although I felt kind of stupid not trying the hand stuff at some points, when it confused me at all, I tried not to worry about it so I could just work on getting my feet to do what I wanted them to.

I want to go back to the Thursday class. I think if I went regularly, I would learn a lot. It is a little bit pricey and money is tight right now, so I feel kind of guilty spending the money, but I just want this so badly.  The class at my gym is free (well, it is included in what we already pay, which is practically nothing), so at least that is something.  There is also a belly dancing class on Fridays and well... dancing is dancing, so I might check it out.

Maybe all this dancing could help with #67 too. I want terribly to NOT be overweight.

I've gone through moments this year where I have thought to myself, "You are too old for this.  People learn to dance as children, not at 30..." but the woman who teaches the jazz class started when she was much older and at the gym tonight, there were some women who were at least in their fifties, maybe in their sixties, and they appeared to be beginners. There was even a guy who looked like he was probably 70 something. If they can dance... so can I. At least I'm off to a start.

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