I have had exactly three moments in my life where I was singled out as the person who got it “right.”
The first time was during an SFU choir practice:
“That’s right! She’s the only one out of all of you who sang the note exactly right!” our choir director cried out, pointing his finger at me. “Do it again!”
I felt like a fraud when I had to explain that I couldn’t replicate the note because it had been a complete fluke that I’d hit it in the first place.
The second time I was spotlighted was this year, during a salsa dance party at the Polish Dance Hall. I was taking a Latin burlesque class that was included with the cover price. We were at a part of the choreography where the group had been split in half and had to strut up to each other and strike a specific pose dramatically.
I did the pose, and the instructor came over to me and called out, “Yea baby! That‘s the way you do it!” Show it to us again!”
This time, I actually felt confident that I could repeat it, but I chickened out at the thought of possibly screwing up the move in front of 30+ people. I ended up chuckling nervously while shaking my head.
Th instructor gave me this look that said “Well someone doesn’t know how to have fun!” and I felt like a loser again.
Yesterday was my third time being put on the spot.
It was during my final Zouk class, and my friend and I were practicing a very cool move known as the hesitation. (See the 0:17 mark in the video below for a demo of the hesitation, by Diego and Daniella, my dance teachers.)
I like the hesitation a lot because it’s one of those flowy, fluid movements that make you feel like a dancer when you do them. You just throw your whole body into the move and hope you look good.
Anyways — my friend told me he wasn’t getting the move, so I told him, “It’s easy, just toss my hand up like this…” and we proceeded to do the move correctly.
That’s when I heard Diego’s voice cry out, “That’s right! That’s exactly what it’s supposed to look like!”
My brain squeaked, “Ack!” when I noticed that Diego was now behind us, waiting to watch us attempt the move a second time.
The pressure was on.
I let my muscle memory do the work, and finally relaxed when we didn’t mess the move up.
“Perfect — you did the move perfectly! That’s exactly what it’s supposed to look like!” was Diego’s comment.
And that was how I finally managed to do well on demand.
Zouk is my favourite dance, so I am pretty happy that I can at least do this dance right! It has been my favourite dance class from the very first lesson because it is the only dance I have not had to fight for. The hips feel natural to me; the movement feels organic (rather than forced). The dance is my glass slipper that just “fits.”
It is such a refreshing change to the struggles I have pushed through with every other dance I have tackled in the past. I almost cried having to relearn the correct hips for bachata (and later merengue), after I’d found out I’d been doing them wrong — and it took me almost a year to get my hips right for salsa. So please do not read this blog thinking I have not worked my ass off to get to the point where I am. Dancing has been equal parts tears and laughter for me all along.
I wish my studio offered a Zouk styling class so I could learn all the intricacies that give Zouk its signature look. Maybe I will have to YouTube it. 😦
I really hope Zouk becomes popular in Vancouver soon. Apparently, my dance studio is the only one that teaches it in Western Canada, so I’m glad I was able to catch the lessons this time around. I recommend that everyone try it, because everyone I know who has taken some of the classes thinks it is uber-cool. It is a dance to fall in love with. 🙂
Go figure that the perfect dance for me is the one that no one here dances. 😛