Here’s the thing about dancing: whether you’re good or bad, trained or just a bedroom mirror dancer (you know what I’m talking about…), I don’t know anyone who can dance and not feel better afterwards. It makes everyone smile! And the fact that it’s good for you is this tiny, tiny bonus that comes after all of the fun of just moving.
Dancing is something I have loved since I was a little girl. My parents always tell the story of how I would dance to Fleetwood Mac’s Tango in the Night album (which had a green album cover) and Dire Straits’ Brothers in Arms (which had a blue album cover) when I was 2 years old. I didn’t know the names so I would just say “Greeny” or “Bluey” and that meant I wanted the CD on so I could get my groove on. I was the original Dancing Baby (c’mon, people, tell me you watched Ally McBeal?) – or at least I sure thought I was.
I’m not saying I’m any good at dancing. I don’t have two left feet but I sure as heck couldn’t impress anyone with my developpes or arabesques either. I just like to move. In the Caribbean, you learn to dance pretty fast. We have street dances to celebrate everything and music is everywhere and a big part of our culture. On the rare occasions when I don’t feel like dancing, if a soca or calypso song comes on that will get me on my feet.
We ALL love to dance – why else are dance movies so popular? They keep coming! I’ll watch ANY dance movie, no matter how crappy it sounds. Ballroom, hip hop, ballet…any movie, I will watch. I’m always dragging my friends along to the movies to watch high school dance movies that we probably should have outgrown a few years ago. My favourite growing up was Flashdance. And while I don’t think good movies need to be remade, I’m excited about the remake of Footloose coming out just because it means I get to go to the movies again to watch amazing dancing on a huge screen.
Later this month a hip hop course is starting at my local dance centre and I’ll be there with bells on. Choreography is a whole other ball game compared to just dancing on the club floor or in your living room, but if you go to a class that’s tailored to your level and you go with a positive attitude, it’s a whole lot of fun. Just prepare to laugh at yourself big time. I went to a Pussycat Dolls-style dance class last winter and at one point in the routine we were on our hands and knees with the instruction to “whip our hair like Beyonce”. It was hilarious watching myself – and everyone else – end up with chunks of hair in our mouths and not looking sexy at all. And the next day I might have had some whiplash. But I sure was sweating by the end of class, so you can’t deny it gets your heart rate up.
If you’re ever looking for a fitness activity to help you bust out of some workout boredom, check out a dance class. And better yet, go with friends. I still appreciate my friend saying encouragingly, “Wow, you look just like Beyonce” even though she was suppressing giggles the whole time (hey, I got my own back when it was her turn!). It’s always a good time, and that, of course, is the best thing about dance.
1. Do you love to dance? Have you ever taken a class for fun?
2. What’s your favourite dance movie?