Dance Performance Declared “the bomb… dot com”

I suppose now is as good a time as any to report that I’ve been taking dance classes since September. I have never danced before that in my life (except for a short stint at the age of 4), but for some reason, I’ve always felt like I should be a dancer. Maybe it’s because I’m so little and have so much energy…I don’t really know. The closest I came was a year of gymnastics, but after being unable to do a cartwheel even with a year’s work, I gave up. So this year, I decided that it was time for another try to get my body to move.

On top of just a general desire to dance, I’ve had a few influences in my life that have led me to this point. 1) My best friend Kelly was a cheerleader back in the elementary/high school days, and I’d always get her to teach me her cheers. I never wanted the stereotype that went along with it, but I loooved the moves. 2) Towards the end of my college career, I watched a lot of dancing, and I even wrote two compositions for dancers. Watching the whole process was such a joy that I wanted to get out there and move to my music! 3) As I grow as a conductor, I’ve found that I love the listening and critiquing part of conducting, and I feel totally self-conscious about the waving my arms part.  How do I learn to feel more comfortable in my own body?

So all of these things led to the goodness that is DANCE. It has been a wonderful path! I started in the fall by taking an Intro to Dance class that included 2 weeks of ballet, 2 weeks of jazz, and 2 weeks of modern. I learned that I am totally disinterested in ballet and extremely inflexible. Simultaneously, I took a 6 week Intro to Hip Hop class. I laughed at myself the whole time. After that, I continued to take drop-in Hip Hop and Jazz classes, and I signed up for an Intro to Social Ballroom class that did 2 weeks of waltz, 2 weeks of foxtrot, and 2 weeks of swing. The information on the class said you didn’t have to sign up with a partner, so I didn’t. Turns out the class was comprised of about 5 30-year-old couples…and ME. Sounds lame, but in the end, I mostly danced with the instructor, which was awesome. I love ballroom!

Finally, I decided maybe I was ready for a performance class rather than my random weekly drop-in classes. I scrolled through my options, and then I saw it:

“Jackson Tribute Hip-Hop Performance Class”

I knew it was for me, and after I checked with my housemates and closest friends, IMG_6300I signed up for this 10-week class, excited to dance to Michael, Janet, and the Jackson 5 and perform after lots of hard work!  We rehearsed diligently every Tuesday evening from 9-11:30pm, and finally performed this past weekend!  All of our hard work paid off, though it’s hard to imagine that 10 weeks of work results in a 10 minute performance.  We danced to a medley of songs, including: Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough, Beat It, ABC, Control, Billy Jean, What Have You Done For Me Lately, Pretty Young Thing, The Way You Make Me Feel, Smooth Criminal, and Thriller!!  Phew.

My mom asked me if I’ll be auditioning for the next season of So You Think You Can Dance.  I don’t know how good she’s imagining I am, but I’d like to remind everyone that I still laugh at myself while I dance.  Even so, considering the fact that I had never danced before September, I’m quite proud of our accomplished performance.  After all, my housemates did decide it was the bomb dot com…

IMG_6228

(check out more photos on my Flickr site, and stop by to watch a DVD of the performance!

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7 thoughts on “Dance Performance Declared “the bomb… dot com”

  1. Oh, Amanda, I love it! I danced for 10 years–from age 3 to 13–and I’ve missed it ever since I quit. I still bust out some of my moves when no one’s looking. . .and even sometimes when they are. 😉 You’re right–being little and having a lot of energy definitely contributes to the urge to dance! Have fun, girl!

  2. Wait, are you freaking serious? You’re just a few months into your hip hop dance career?

    Damn girl, you’re a natural at picking up choreo. Some of that stuff (Smooth Criminal, hello?) was pretty tough stuff. You best stay at it.

    -Tito

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