Hip Hop Mama

I finally returned to the gym today, but I wasn’t really in the mood for my usual 40-minute torture workout on the elliptical machine. I noticed that there was a hip hop class and I was intrigued. Perhaps inspired by my two girls’ dancing to the “High School Musical” soundtrack every night, I decided to swallow my pride and give it a try.

I am not a good dancer. I am able to clap to a beat, but that’s about the extent of it. My husband and I took dance classes together before our wedding. Ballroom, rock ‘n roll, you name it. The lessons were useless. Our wedding waltz was charmingly laughable. His excuse was deafness in one ear. I had no such excuse – my ears are fine.

The class this morning was filled with women of all colors, young and old, thin and fat. And looks are truly deceiving. Some of the women you would think least likely to be able to carry a beat were amazing dancers. The 40-something Jewish mom, a Rubenesque woman with greasy hair pulled back in a ponytail, a tiny Asian woman… It was a celebration of girl power, for sure.

We danced (I’m using that word extremely loosely) to Timbaland’s “The Way I Are.” We learned about 15 different moves. And I realized that I have absolutely no coordination. The woman in front of me was a natural, and I tried to follow her lead. But as soon as I mastered a few steps, I was rarely able to remember what came next. The teacher initially threw watchful glances my way, but after about 1/2 hour, she had turned her attention to more promising candidates. By the end of the session, my mind was mush and my body ached all over.

In spite of my fatigue and awkward moves, I felt exhilarated. The thing is, I won’t be able to return to this class any time soon, since I will be tapping my feet to the beat of computer keys in my new office starting next week. However, the gym offers a beginners’ hip hop class on Saturdays. Maybe there’s hope for me yet.

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