Thursday, February 10, 2011

Various incongruous thoughts because I cannot get this two-post-a-week thing down, no matter how hard I try.

Resolutions are made to be halfheartedly adhered to, over and over and over again. That's why P90X is still sitting in the bag we brought it home in. It is dusty, but it is there. Just in case.

The elliptical machines at the 24 Day Spa Basketball Court Fitness Warehouse to which I belong are arranged in such a way that you can watch your favorite episode of “Angel” and a random Zoomba session at the same time. Last Saturday, I was rolling the afternoon away at a leisurely backward 8 while Fox News slowly melted my brain when I noticed, out of the corner of my eye, a lone dancer in the otherwise empty classroom. She was prancing around to music provided by a handheld CD player. She was moving in a vaguely familiar manner, all fluttering feet and galloping explosions that spanned the length of the room. She was doing a reel! And suddenly, I was overtaken with a nostalgic curiosity that could only be quelled by an awkward conversation. Why are you Irish dancing in the Zoomba room at 24 Hour Fitness? Do you take classes with other people? Where? Etc.

I climbed down from my machine and saddled toward the door, stopping to fill my water bottle, hoping for a break in her music so I could run in and ask her my questions. Finally, she paused, and I made my entrance, complete with a high-pitched hello, hoping she’d hear me with headphones in her ears. She didn’t. Instead, she started dancing again. And I was standing there, uncomfortably, in the room. Watching. Just me… and her… and everyone outside on their elliptical machines, watching me watch her, feeling sorry for me – trying to fathom how embarrassed I must be. I felt my face getting hot as I debated what to do. I could walk out, just as anxiously as I’d walked in, leaving everyone on the outside to wonder what my motives had been. Or I could stand there until she stopped dancing.

That’s what I did. And when she paused again, I ran up to her, sweating, frantic, desperate to get her attention before the next song started on her CD. “Hi! Iusedtoirishdancebackinstlouisbutnowilivehereanditsbeensolongbutidreallyliketostartagaindoyoutakeclasseswhere?” Gah. I’m cringing right now, in the present tense, just thinking about how horribly awkward I was, and am. But she was nice, and she told me about the classes she takes at a place downtown, twice a week. When we parted ways, she said, “I’ll see you in class!” And I felt triumphant, like that whole ridiculous farce had a purpose and an outcome. I went home and signed up for more information.

And that is all. That’s all I’ve done. I haven’t gone to any classes, and now I’m not sure that I want to. After all, getting up there and dancing in front of people you don’t know? How embarrassing.

But in a related turn of events, I have been complaining, for the past few weeks, about that horrid McDonald’s commercial where the couple does the little hand dance with their lattes, and I guess the trick is that they’re doing all of this crazy stuff while staring straight ahead and occasionally taking a pretend sip. Anyway, I hate it to the point of hiding my eyes when it comes on. Because eye hiding is easier and more immediate than channel changing. But driven by that same insatiable curiosity, I still had to know who that pair of hand dancing latte drinkers was, so I Googled it. And it turns out… hold on to your hats because this is about to come full circle… they’re Irish dancers. Like, hipster Irish dancers who dance to Gnarls Barkley songs and wear neon. Very cool! I’m being 100% sincere right here.

Run from Up & Over It on Vimeo.



And then I gave their hand dancing another chance, and when they’re not holding lattes and schilling fast food, it’s kind of cool too.

Up & Over It YouTube channel

Almost makes me want to go to that class. I’ll show up in an gold lamé unitard and explain that I’m part of the new wave of post-Flatley dancers. It’s worth a try.

In other news, not only am I trying to get back into the dance thing – I’m also trying my hand at producing educational materials. My brother, Joe, who’s Teaching for America in Kansas City, needed a way to get his kids to remember the old Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus Species biological classification thingy. So, he came up with this, and I drew it… poorly, but with markers and love.

2 comments:

Michaela said...

You definitely need to go to the class. The spontaneous jig you preformed at my wedding was a huge highlight and is still very much talked about by everyone. How cool was it that people circled you and clapped along?! You were like Kevin Bacon in Footloose, only instead of prom, it was my wedding reception.

nacho_supreme said...

I second that. And if it inspires you, I'm having my own rash of revisiting-the-activities-that-shaped-my-adolescent-identity! I played my violin a whole 2 times in the last month and have been *thinking about* doing drop-in ballet lessons (thanks Black Swan.) Word to our 90s selves! We're still here! Awkwardly or not, we DO STUFF! Maybe I should buy some new Umbros too, just in case.

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