Thursday, September 21, 2006

up jumped the boogie

Okay, so I officially know what popping and locking are. I thought they were the same thing, but as Andy said, "dude, it's not like they call it poplocking. Duh." Point taken.

I'm sure you're wondering why I bring this up...

um... cause I'm taking hip hop dance lessons. There, I said it.

When you've gotten up off the floor and have stopped laughing hysterically, feel free to read on.

If you've ever seen me dj, you know that I'm a dancing fool - always have been, always will be. As I am regularly known to say, I'd dance to a heart monitor if it were over 120 beats per minute. I took ballet from age 3 to 16, then goth sensibility got in the way of all that nonsense (after all, my sweaty neck kept breaking out from the dog chain that my boyfriend at the time semi-permanently locked around it - all those blotches contrasted terribly with my pasty skin). I actually really miss it still (ballet, that is, not having a sadistic boyfriend), but don't think I could commit to the amount of work it would take to get back to where I was with it.

As a result, over the years I've taken various classes to keep the ants in my pants happy - from Irish dancing to swing dancing to Indian temple dancing - you name it. But all the while, my inner b-girl kept beckoning her blinged-out fingers at me. It's not like I'm necessarily too uncoordinated to hang - I was just really worried about making a gangly-looking ass out of myself... As it stands, I look to the peeps who can do that stuff well with absolute envy - and I can tell you with a fair degree of certainty that I've spent the better part of the last year or two driving my husband crazy with future hip hop danceoff scenarios like, "when I can rock the worm, the fools on that dancefloor are gonna step OFF" or "someday, my robot is gonna kick that robot's metallic ass all the way back to Brooklyn". He just sighs and pats me on the head most days.

So I bit the bullet and signed up through the DC Dance Collective. They're a great group - and with the plan I got, if I just can't nail the wave or the moonwalk, I can take hula or capoiera or any other number of native cultural dances, exploited for the fitness of suburbanites. The people in the class vary - from college kids to middle-aged housewives (snickering may resume now). I have to wonder what the teachers think - I went into it thinking I'd find an aerobics instructor who would say, "Okay HOMIES, let's moonwalk, let's moonwalk, now robot, now robot, to the left, to the right" with Jock Jams playing in the background; but to be honest, the instructors are amazing. They belong to actual hip hop dance "crews" and everything (god I feel so uncoordinated even writing these words - I grew up in Rockville, for god's sake - somewhere, Biggie Smalls is undoubtedly attempting to roll over in his grave...)

If you're wondering how I fared - I don't totally suck at it. I definitely need to figure out some of the mechanics of making one move flow into another, but it's actually not so bad when the instructors break it down, and you do drills with the other people in the class. Everyone looks ridiculous at first, so at least you have, like, 7 other partners in crime with whom to awkwardly "dimestop". Yeah, that's a real term (meaning, to stop dancing on a proverbial dime). But once we've gotten over ourselves, we're not half bad.

All that said, back to my point about popping and locking. You can read all about it here. I learned to pop last night, but haven't quite gotten into the meat of locking just yet. But when I do, I'm gonna Neil Armstrong my moonwalk all over that other crew. Werd.

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