And on Day 288, I did, making that day's thing I've never done before was to take a Modern dance class.
Actually the name of the class was, "Liquid Motion," but once I arrived at the class and saw everyone taking their shoes off, I realized that they may have named it something clever, but it was still Modern.
I should've known, based on the description on the website: Liquid Motion is a contemporary movement class that teaches the dancer technique and physicality while executing with great flow. This class is a creative and positive environment that allows the dancer to move through the space with a liquid quality and achieve a great workout.
That's a lot of words to describe a dance class that was all over the place. The warm-up was honestly the only time that I felt like I knew what I was doing, and unfortunately for me, it only lasted 10 minutes.
"Suck in your ab-damn-inals, everyone," the teacher shouted to us. Everyone laughed.
She said it several times, encouraging us to get the best cardio benefit from the class by strengthening our cores. Her intent was serious, but the way she said, "abdominals," was humorous, and all of the dancers in the class laughed. Thank goodness for her comic relief during the warm-up, because that was the only time I laughed during the entire class.
Modern is, by definition, a more abstract, more free-flowing genre of dance. A lot of dancers like it because it's very free and emotionally driven. Moving to the beats of the music as opposed to specific counts is key. While I enjoy watching this kind of dance (usually performances are extremely moving and powerful), I felt strange while taking this class.
I fear that in dance, as in life, I'm in need of a little more structure, and more direction.
I know, I know, it pains me and surprises me to write this about myself as much as it probably does for you to read it. I am as spontaneous, fun-loving, and laid-back as they come and I certainly don't always follow the rules. But I need to know what the rules are. Or in the case of a dance class, what the counts are.
The instructor would just sort of tell us what we were supposed to do while she was doing it herself, but there wasn't a whole lot of direction. We were forced to simply watch her, and then copy. I don't want to be needy and require this much step-by-step instruction, but this was not what I had in mind.
I prefer a class more along the lines of, "Put you hand on your hip on the first count and then in the air on the second count. Walk towards the mirror on counts three and four, then shake your hips on five and six. On seven, kick your right leg and on eight step down." There is a good chance that I'll ignore that instruction completely, or do the wrong thing on the wrong count, but at least I'll know where I stand.
I'm not sure I like this need-for-rules quality about myself, and I'm still sorting through what it exactly means outside the walls of a dance studio, but it was a significant revelation nonetheless.
Dancing, regardless of its form, always brings me joy, so while I struggled in this class, I would've rather been there than anywhere else. But next time, I'm going to try and pay closer attention to those class descriptions.