I have to admit, my self-esteem hit rock bottom with the West African dance class.
And so I went to Hip Hop the next day, feeling just a tad more fragile than when I first started…
I am a human being. And I’ve taken a lot of ground on my self-esteem so that I don’t beat myself up as much for making mistakes. So after a couple of days of moving such stray thoughts “I am so uncoordinated,” “I suck,” and “I can’t do this” to empty and meaningless, I gave in.
Also, I was exhausted from doing more dancing and physical activity than I’ve done in a long time. I almost took the day off, but Hip Hop was shorter than the rest (1 hour compared to 1.5 hours like the rest) and one of my most anticipated classes.
Hip Hop was the most crowded class of the ones I sampled, which meant I had lots of people to copy, lots of other people to hide behind, and lots of people struggling with the same thing I was. Honestly, it was great. At first, I was bewildered by the astounding number of moves that I was being asked to perform, but I started putting them together, getting out of my head about whether I was doing it right or not (and setting aside the sinking feeling that I was doing it wrong), and just getting to the backbone of dance, which is enjoying moving my body to music.
And the extra beautiful cherry topping of hip hop is that they encourage you to put your individual flair on the dance moves. So while I don’t have the range of motion or coordination of the instructor or some of the more advanced dancers I was watching, I could put my own spin on things and then it was MINE. And the only thing that really mattered wasn’t whether I nailed the move, but that I owned it just because I said I owned it.
So I owned hip hop.
NOTE: As a budding filmmaker, I am highly inspired by how invigorating dance is. I want to shoot a series of Dance Gives Me Life videos around Washington, D.C. I want to showcase the city, showcase different kinds of dance, and most of all, showcase how dance gives me and others life! If you’re a dance or a filmmaker local to Washington, DC and this sounds invigorating to you, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.