Sunday, June 16, 2019


Man I have the longest thing to write about dance classes so far.

SO. I was prepared to suck, beginner’s mind, yadda. Knowing ahead of time that you’re going to suck is one thing and feeling in the moment like you suck is another thing that required stronger management than I imagined, but I managed it 😤 and after my one-week unlimited pass was up, signed up for a three-week unlimited pass.

Okay so I’m a very specific kind of trainer, you know? For me it’s not about spending [x] time a week sucking at some thing so that in time you won’t suck at it; the thing itself is not important, the person doing the thing is important. So I’m not so much about bringing the person up to the thing, I’m more about finding a thing to spend [x] time a week awash in good feelings. That may seem stupidly warm and fuzzy, but it’s a cold hard world and what are we talking about—an hour, three times a week? So like 1.78% of your week dedicated to warm fuzzies, I don’t think that’s over the top. Okay fine, even assuming that sleep is warm fuzzy time, which is why people friggin love sleep, it’s still only 2.67% of your waking hours. So I gotta ask myself, can I find a better use for my 1.78 / 2.67 percent than intermittently standing lost and frozen at the back of the room. I mean, it’s not like I don’t like running.

The thing is, I only like running. I love dancing. Like love love dancing. If I could only learn these choreographed dances! At this point I was starting to look into Dance Dance Party Party, which is unchoreographed and would be an end run around learning these dances. The only thing about DDPP is the times it’s offered are exactly when I’m already climbing with Splatz. Which is not insurmountable, but my current dance classes work perfectly with my schedule apart from beating my head against the brick wall between me and learning choreographed dances.

The way you learn in these classes is, the teacher dances at the front of the room and you do your best to pick it up—that's it. Which I had a lot of thoughts about. Like I can see how this works for their business model, but I don’t think this is going to work for me. I can see how this could work for some people, but I don’t think this is going to work for me. I’m not a trained or gifted dancer, I can’t just pick shit up; I need somebody to break it down and show me very slowly. It’s fine, everybody’s fine! Everybody’s doing their best, no blame. I’m not going to quit in the middle of my three-week pass; but when that’s used up imma see about redoing my whole damn schedule around DDPP, gnar, wotta pain.

Literally that evening: I GET IT. I’M DOING IT. Not 100%, not even close. But like the difference between when you’re sick and don’t feel like doing anything and then you’re well, just not 100%! So what’s the most important thing I learned here, holy shit I can just pick shit up. I don’t need somebody to break it down and show me slowly. Just because that’s the way that's always worked for me, that’s not the only way that works for me! Becauuuuse my brain is always picking up so much more than I’m conscious of picking up, and processing it in the background, and blurping the partially digested dance back up for the conscious me to do something with.

Or in the words of the Jonas brothers:
I'm a sucker for all the subliminal things
No one knows about you (about you) about you (about you)
And you're making the typical me break my typical rules
It's true, I'm a sucker for you, yeah
(This is one of the dances, I’m not just randomly singing a Jonas Brothers song.)

ANYWAY. All of this is just an intro to the thing I just decided, well, a couple hours ago because it took a while to write all this up. To wit, I made a summer bucket list—boy there’s a whole other long thing to say about that, I wrote a little bit of it on my instagram—and one of the items was to master one complete dance. My favorite teacher very nicely has a public playlist of the songs we dance to, which opened a whole other room of stuff to pick up. Like the names of the songs, helpful for communicating with teacher when you’re trying to figure out a set of steps and she asks what song they’re from ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Or like the words to the songs, the basic structure of the songs, intro outro verse chorus bridge etc etc etc. I have a google document now with the words to all the songs on the current playlist, you know I do.

I ripped two holes in my hands climbing last Wednesday, and the one isn’t quite healed enough to climb on today. So I signed up for an extra dance class, figuring I could work on my bucket list item—sit in the back of the class and write down the steps next to the words for the one song that I have yet to pick to master.

But I just decided, No. I’m not going to do that. I’m going to leave my document at home and in my brain, and just go dance. See how it comes together, whenever it comes together, wherever it comes together.