So I thought I would be all sneaky and take a break from boring old pole and slip into a Bellyqueen class this week.
I was there two relaxing minutes before the worst possible opening words of a class EVER were uttered:
“Today we’re working on improv!”
Cue me running screaming from the classroom.
Of course, I didn’t do that. I just shot a death glare at my friend for not warning me ahead of time, BECAUSE I FUCKING HATE MAKING THINGS UP.
IT IS VERY SCARY.
Anyway, luckily, we did this thing first where we made a circle and faced OUTSIDE–as in, no eye contact with anyone! And then we just listened to the music and attempted to dance. With no mirrors! (I cheated though, because I was facing a window).
We did that for three minutes or so, then faced the circle again, sheepishly.
Our (terrific) instructor Natalie then had us do silly stuff like trace the letters of our names with arm or leg movements to help us break out of our usual ruts.
(I take this to mean that while watching everyone, she noticed that we were all just doing variations on “snake arms” for the whole 3 minutes).
An aside: it’s hard to feel like you have permission to try new anything you haven’t done a million times in a class. There’s a lot of self imposed pressure to do the “right” things. But how boring is that?
We turned around again (me furiously avoiding my reflection in that damn window), and this time Natalie called out sections of the body–upper, lower, everything. I thought I would run out of ideas, but really focusing just on one part, even one movement, like a bump or drop, or figure eight, was really freeing and I started coming up with moves I haven’t tried in years. The pressure to do ALL THE THINGS at once was lifted. I found myself popping out new really pretty hand gestures or foot movements, and even layering facial expressions (!!!). I don’t usually have the confidence to commit to just one movement, but having permission–wow, it was great. Sloooooowing down felt amazing.
We turned around and Natalie did a winky sort of smile and said, “Less is more, isn’t it?”
Ugh, yes Natalie, you know-it-all bitch! (Just kidding, she was great, I just hate having to learn really simple lessons and feel like a dummy).
Anyway she must have known I was thinking smug thoughts because she immediately paired us off FOR MY WORST NIGHTMARE: unbroken eye contact with a partner while improv-ing for half of an INFINITE song.
I died several deaths in that minute and a half, but, I survived, and my friend K and I are now closer friends. I, I guess we had dance sex?
I think I’ll be much more comfortable making the minimal eye contact (that I always avoid) in any kind of dance now. And wow, what a lesson in having confidence in doing LESS… this validates my theory on Lindsay Lohan!!!
New four week course!!!! Starting this Thursday!!!! (AKA tomorrow), SO SIGN YOUR ASS UP.