In my life, I have this little list of not-quite-resolutions, i.e., things I'd like to attend to someday when other priorities in my life don't cut in line. Taking a dance class has been on that list for many years. I never missed a dance in high school or college, in my single days, I loved clubbing, and weddings, to me, are really an excuse for buttoned-up adults to let loose on the dance floor (thus, the popularity of the conga line.) I always assumed I was a pretty good dancer, but as I got older, I realized I didn't dance very often. When I did dance, I felt more self-conscious. I couldn't move like I used to. I felt like the tin man from Oz, and that's not very sexy.
NYC is THE dance capital of the country, and dance classes abound. So what, then, has held me back? The vision of my uncoordinated self flailing in a sea of perfectly svelte and graceful aspiring Broadway dancers--that's what. I'd researched and bookmarked some of the top studios in town years ago--Broadway Dance and Dance New Amsterdam, for example--but I'd always been suspect of how truly "beginner" the beginner classes were. Did "beginner" mean "I'm a professional ballerina, but have never taken hip-hop" or "I haven't taken a dance class since I was eight." (me)?
Which is why I was so overjoyed to find Broadway Dance's Absolute Beginner Workshops:
They read my mind, I thought. Still doubtful, I had called to confirm that adults who haven't danced since they were eight years old were the core audience for this class, and the girl on the phone had assured me it was so.
A tradition started in 1993, The Absolute Beginner Workshop offers introductory instruction in the beautifully diverse styles of dance — for ADULTS ONLY! This exceptional program will ignite your passion and spirit for dance. If you have always wanted to dance or dreamed of dancing, these workshops are created just for you!
Long story short, I've been taking a ten-week Hip-Hop workshop. I've had three classes so far, and it's exactly what I was looking for. The studios and facilities are immaculate and modern. I love getting there a little early and walking through the halls and watching the other classes in session through the glass windows. Very inspiring.
The class moves at a swift, but manageable pace, which means it doesn't coddle you but it's not leaving you in the dust. There are about 25 people in the class, and I love my instructor (Chio). You start with warm ups, do some basic moves, then work on a routine. You definitely sweat. After my first class, I was sore for days, but my body's getting used to moving in these strange new ways, so now I'm not sore at all. I think you have to be wiling to look like a fool in order to take this class, especially if you haven't had a lot of dance experience, but if you just focus on the instructor and keep telling yourself you can practice the moves later (i.e., your flailing is only temporary)--you'll enjoy yourself. It's so much fun, especially when you start to move like a real dancer.
When I get home from class, I do my routines for City Guy. He laughs and says I don't look very scary yet, but you just wait - seven weeks from now, I'll be fierce, yo!