Monday, July 21, 2008

It's a dance off.

Last week, while watching TV working out at the Y, I discovered something amazing: America's Best Dance Crew. Not only is it a kick-ass dance competition between street gangs (or something like that), it's also hosted by Saved by the Bell star A.C. Slater. I don't think it gets much cooler than that. If you haven't seen it and are a fan of awesome things, you owe it to yourself to check it out.

I couldn't get enough. I wanted to watch more dancing and I wanted to watch it NOW. I cruised by the Redbox on my way home and scanned through the DVD titles until I found exactly what I was looking for: Step Up 2 - The Streets. I hadn't seen Step Up 1 but figured I could probably piece it together. Besides, I wasn't watching for the story; I was watching for the dance.

When Bill came home after work and saw the empty DVD case, he was excited to watch a movie after Liam went to bed. When I told him I already watched it by myself, he looked a little disappointed. That is, until I told him what I rented. Having to sit through Step Up 2 after a long day at the office is even worse than coming home to a messy house, no plans for dinner and a 30 year old wife who wants to be a street dancer.

I do my best to keep things in perspective for him.

Even though I didn't make him watch the movie, he still had to hear me talk about it. A lot. "It's not that it was even a good movie, it's just that, have you ever seen people dance like that? It's awesome. I want to learn to dance like that. Do you think I could learn?"


He didn't even pretend to hesitate.

"Oh, um, do you think it's because I'm too old?"

"No. It's not because you're too old."

Ouch. I figured I should leave well enough alone. Maybe I didn't want to know what he thought about my future as a street dancer. Maybe some dreams, like watching Step Up 2 with microwave popcorn and a mini Coke, are better kept to myself.

Besides, what does he know? I could totally dance like that.

Fast forward one week.

I dropped Liam off at school and started trying to talk myself out of going to the Y. It was a true showdown of good and evil.

The little angel on my shoulder said, "Just do 30 minutes on the treadmill. You can even walk if you want to."

Then the devil interrupted, "In your mood? No way. Go home and watch TV."

Angel: "Exercise is supposed to make you feel better when you're in a bad mood. Just try it."

Devil: "Is there any place to get a donut on the way home? You deserve a treat."

Angel: "You might get to watch America's Best Dance Crew again..."

The angel must have set my car to auto-pilot or something because the next thing I knew I was at the Y. "Stupid angel," I grumbled as I dragged myself through the front door. "Stupid Y." I was already telling myself I could go home if America's Best Dance Crew wasn't on when I randomly stopped at the group fitness room to check the schedule. Just then, an adorable blond bounced through the door and said, "I'm teaching hip hop in 5 minutes. Come to my class!"

How's that for perfect timing? It was as if the universe wanted me to dance. Or at least snap out of my funky mood.

The class was awesome. We popped and locked, walked like pimps, shook our asses like rap video superstars, and danced in a circle (just like 7th grade!).

My eyes were glued to the teacher for most of the class. Because I have the ability to think that what I'm doing and what I'm seeing are the same, this worked out rather well for me. It wasn't until I accidentally caught a glimpse of my own reflection that I realized three things:

1) What the F? I don't look at all like my teacher.

2) Ohhh...that's what Bill was talking about.

3) Holy cow. Could I smile any bigger?

It turns out, hip hop makes me happy! It doesn't matter that my age is just one of the many things standing between me and winning a dance off. Dancing is fun with or without skills. (Trust me...)

Instead of thinking of dance as something I wish I could do, I am going to think of it as something I must do. Especially when I'm in a bad mood. For me, that's ten times better. I don't actually need a dance crew but a new way to shake a bad mood is something I'm always in the market for.

Next time I wake up on the wrong side of the bed I'm gonna take it to the streets!

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