So, I ditched contemporary class and decided to do hip-hop instead. I had totally been waxing rhapsodic about my experience in contemporary that first week, too… after rolling in the deep with Adele I was pretty excited. But turns out that our ballet teacher was just subbing the first week and is not the one regularly teaching it. I tried it the following week with the assigned teacher and it was a totally different experience. Not bad… just not what I was looking for.

I heard the bass pumping from the other studio where the hip-hop class was taking place and decided I would try that the following week. “Try” being a euphemism. I knew I wasn’t coming back. I took hip hop with the same teacher over the summer and knew I liked her class and would have more fun spending that hour of dance over there. Felt kind of guilty about abandoning my friends in contemporary, but I figured that I’m spending good money on classes and I want to go to something that leaves me feeling pumped instead of irritated. As I’ve mentioned in comments on other dance blogs, dance is, to me, what yoga is to other people… the one place I can go and be totally in the moment and leave feeling refreshed (even if I’m physically exhausted). Plus, I used to get some hip-hop in another group I was in, which I’ve since left, and I’ve been missing that outlet. Apparently I’ve become a big fan of shaking my money-maker and getting down with my bad self. Ballet is great, but they generally frown on shaking one’s badonkadonk.

It’s kind of funny, though, to think back to the first hip-hop class I ever took. I was in high school, it was summer vacation, and the dance studio I attended organized a trip to a dance conference nearby. It was in a hotel which, as an aside, was kind of a ridiculous set-up for dancing. There was one big room that had a wooden floor… it wasn’t sprung, but at least the floor worked for most dance types. But they also had classes going on in another large conference room which was carpeted. Yeah. That was interesting. Anyway, one afternoon there was a hip-hop class in the carpeted room. All my friends wanted to try it (this was mid-90s, so hip-hop was kind of a new concept in our little white-bread world) and the other class taking place at the time must not have sounded too interesting so I agreed to go. And… I hated it. With a passion. Got all grumpy about having to do it and I think dropped out about halfway through to watch everyone else. Vowed never to do anything like that again.

Funny that now all these years later I find myself craving that outlet where I can do the sharp dance moves, be all bad-ass… the things I eschewed as a teenage bunhead-wannabe. It’s not that I love ballet any less than I did then. In fact, I think I love it all the more. Maybe it’s more the fact that I’ve grown up and can embrace the sexiness. I’m pretty sure I wasn’t feeling sexy at 16 (you’re welcome, Mom and Dad!). That and I was more than a little prissy. Let my ramrod straight posture go so I could dance hunched over? Yeah… no. Now I find I can bounce between the two just fine. Last night I changed from my pointe shoes and flowered chiffon skirt to jazz pants and shoes, went from working on making my balance look ethereal and my waltzes look graceful to popping my hips and spinning on my knees, all without batting an eye.

Funny how your perceptions change over time! Something goes from foreign and weird, to delicious and energizing. And at least I still have my lyrical class for the times when I want to roll around on the floor being angsty. 😉 I’m pretty sure there’s a dance form for every emotion one might want to express!


One thought on “Defector

  1. Kaija says:

    This is great…I have been thinking a lot lately about my own personal evolution with my activities and my self-image. I think I felt about ballet the way you felt about hip-hop back in the day…:”I wouldn’t like all that stiff prissy pink girly froufy stuff like ballet…I’m too tall, too big, too undisciplined, too tomboyish…” and stuck to sports and such. Now, years later, with a yearning for a new physical challenge, a mental break from my work, and a new emotional outlet, I have fallen in LOVE with ballet and can’t imagine my life without it. I’m glad my self-confidence and openness to trying new things have changed with time and experience. I have yet to try other dance style, but your posts about contemporary and hip-hop are giving me the itch!

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