Attending the Biweekly Hip Hop Dance Class at My Gym
I was standing at the far end of the room, watching him in the mirror, trying to get my body to relax. This is not ballet, Danielle. This is not ballet or even jazz. This is hip hop, loosen up. But the body wouldn't listen and it seemed it was in cahoots with my brain. I simply couldn't remember the steps. Sure, he had only shown us once or twice and really fast at that, but everyone else had remembered them and was doing them no problem. For a few minutes I thought maybe I was getting old. This was it. The ol' physical fitness was already down the drain at 25. Well, that's what you get for not taking care of yourself. You can't just neglect your body for 5 or 6 years and then expect to jump right back into it with all the facilities still up to par.
And then I thought maybe it wasn't just my body. Perhaps it was simply a lack of training. We simply don't memorize in the West like they do here. All these women have been memorizing things their entire lives. All of their schooling is based on tests which can only be passed using rote memory! I mean, instead of being able to sound out words, my principal keeps asking me if it wouldn't sound better if they just memorized the books. I mean, sure, it might sound natural, but it wouldn't mean they could read. So maybe I was really just mentally deficient in my memorization skills. So, I tried to stop using my brain so much. Feel the movement. Ignore the way this particular combination scrunches your back fat like that. Feel the way your feet should go, stop watching everyone else, watch yourself. Feel the dance, feel the rhythm. I was giving myself the Patrick Swayze Dirty Dancing pep talk and it was getting ridiculous. It wasn't helping. I flailed and attempted to hip hop my way through the hour.
After class, all the ladies retired to the gym locker room.
Nice Girl 1 began undressing, pulling her shirt off and discarding her bra into her locker.
"How did you like the class?" she asked in English so beautiful it made me want to hug her, bra or no.
"It was fun, but I feel like a total loser. I can't remember any of the moves!"
"No! You can dance," she assured me as her pants dropped to the floor. "I saw you!"
"Oh no. Please don't look at me. It's bad enough that I have to look at me in that mirror."
Nice Girl 2 turned her perky bare breasts in my direction, jealousy brimming over before I could make my eyes find her face: "We come on Tuesdays."
"Almost all of us come on Tuesdays."
Nice Girl 1 was completely naked by this point. She grabbed her shower towel and said, "Yes, it's the same dance. So, maybe you will do better if you come on Tuesdays, too."
"It's the same dance?" I was so relieved! I wasn't an absolute moron with an inferior Western memory! I was a normal girl who did her best to look as exposed as possible* in her large sports bra and panties the size of both Nice Girls.
"See you next week!" Nice Girl 1 walked into the shower room and I told myself that next time, I would take all my clothes off.
Tonight, we did parts of the same dance over again. And we learned some new stuff. And I was decent. I still made the most mistakes of anyone, but heck, it was fun and I burned an hour's worth of calories. My nudity was up to everything but the panties this time in the locker room, so that was an improvement. The thing is, I don't shower there, so there's really no reason for me to get naked. I live right down the street and that way I don't have to haul shower stuff to the gym and back. But next time, I might just!
*Have you ever stood with someone or several persons, all undressing? It feels weird to be dressed. It's better to be half-dressed or even to pretend you're in the process of undressing than to be fully clothed while naked Korean goddesses stand around and chat. Weird how wearing clothes can make you more uncomfortable than not wearing clothes. Naked together is better than clothed alone!