Thursday, July 8, 2010

More fizzle than sizzle

One of my favourite scenes from Dirty Dancing is Jennifer Grey's introduction to the employee after-hours party. Dressed somewhat conservatively, "Baby" takes in the grinding, the drinking, the laughing with a slack jaw of wonderment. When asked by the hunky Patrick Swayze why she's there, she says: I carried a watermelon.

That scene sums up Baby's awkwardness, her sudden plunge into the unknown. She's frightened, but excited. (And hey, who wouldn't be after watching Patrick's sexy dance moves!)

Of course, before long, Baby's learning the Meringue.

I can totally relate.

I learned the Meringue last night, too! Kind of.

It was Salsa Burn evening at J'Adore Dance and in addition to the salsa sway, my sassy instructor Mel guided our class through a couple of Meringue steps. And some Cha Cha moves. My brain went into latin dance overload.

I assumed Fit Hop would provide the most challenging "choreography" in this dance challenge, but I've never felt less coordinated than while trying to learn the footwork for the Meringue. Or maybe it was the Cha Cha. It's all a bit of a blur this morning.

And once I kind of figured out each basic step, Mel added arms - I might as well have been carrying a watermelon. Shakira I am not.

But this is not your typical dance studio, and while Jessica's hope is that people will be inspired by movement, her philosophy also encourages a commitment to total body wellness. So, amidst the slightly confusing dance steps, Mel infused typical workout moves - like a song's worth of squats and lunges, and some abdominal exercises that have me groaning today.

If Fit Hop is a series of exaggerated pops, latin dance is more focused on smooth, sexy motion. It's hard to say whether my hips simply won't move like that, or whether the giant mirror is simply mocking me. In my opinion, I look kind of ridiculous.

It isn't Mel's fault. Like Jessica in Fit Hope, Mel did break down the steps into what should have been digestible bites. Perhaps I just ate too much before going to class.

Tonight would have been my first Naughty Hotties session - truthfully, the class I am fearing most. But the day job calls and I'm heading out of town. Although I'm excited to spend time with the young writers at WordsWorth, I'm a little sad to miss Naughty Hotties. I have a feeling I'm going to need every second of class time.

I'm hopeful my boss won't mind me taking up some space in our shared dorm tonight to practice the Meringue. Cha cha cha!

The Book In My Bag Today: Haunted, Kelley Armstrong


  1. OMG Dawn, you're hilarious :) :) $50 says you look way better than you think you do. I love this journey you're on!

  2. I like how you said "I can totally relate."
    LOL! Good for you for getting it done! Rock it out:)

  3. I love dirty dancing- its my go-to romance. 'Nobody puts baby in the corner'. Have fun cha cha - ing this weekend!

  4. Megs - I'll take that bet! Thank you for your support - I love this journey, too. Though I'm scared!

    Thanks Candy. xo

    CQG - Best. Line. Ever. I shall practice my cha cha and think of you.

  5. Dawn I am so proud of you for taking this journey and your honesty.

    As adults we often don't try thing we don't think we will master in the first 5 seconds LOL But this comes from a lifetime of embarrassments and hurt that has made us insecure and fearful of being vulnerable. Remember how we worked as kids learning to ride bikes, skate, an swim? We kept trying and trying and enjoyed the journey. Enjoy this and be proud you are willing to be vulnerable as you are growing so much because of it.

    As for Latin dances, they are the trickiest at first because the rhythms are not something we are familiar with in western culture. But the great news is that once you learn them, it is actually becomes one of the easiest as the steps are all based from the same basic steps. I know, I know, you are doubting me now but I can point you to some clients who had the same doubts and are now some of my best students.

    Love you!

  6. Awww Jess. So many reasons to love you! Thank you. I admit I wasn't expecting latin dance to feel so daunting. I look forward to the growth - and losing some of this vulnerability. As I was blow-drying my hair this morning, I was cha cha-ing....not well, but at least I was trying. Thanks for this Jess - it's a fun, and scary challenge. xoxo

  7. I'm laying bets that Naughty Hottie will be the one that loosens up those Italian hips of yours. Salsa and Fit Hop, piece of cake after that Mia Bella

  8. LOL @ Jamie. My Italian hips feel a bit rusty these past couple of days but if anyone can shake them loose (aside from, ahem, my hubby) it will be Jessica's Naught Hottie class :-P

  9. I admire your bravery. The highlight of any wedding I attend is everybody watching me try to hustle. I can not do it no matter how hard I try. I am probably the worst dancer in the world. If I walked into J'Adore Dance it would be hypocritical.

  10. As a non-Latin who loves Latin dancing, I encourage you to go with it. I learned back in my 20s and still grab any opportunity I can to Meringue, Salsa, or Mambo whenever I can ;-)

  11. Naughty Hottie is an awesome class, I am sure you will love it. I did the spring session and liked it so much I'm taking it again. It's a great class to let loose- you can work hard and get a great workout, or just have fun- it's all up to you. I was worried at my first class too, as I'm a bit bigger and didn't really know how I could ever feel sexy dancing- but I realized that having curves is an excellent advantage, and something to be flaunted.

  12. that class sounds tough, fun, nerve-wracking and exhilarating all at the same time!

  13. I just read the book post- how are you liking the series? I'm just about to start "Personal Demons" and have loved every book so far.

  14. * Sorry for not responding earlier everyone. Limited internet access last two days :-)

    RT - "If I walked into J'Adore Dance it would be hypocritical" - LOL. The "love" part definitely isn't my issue.

    Wendy - I'm sticking it out - but thank you for your encouragement. I think when I get it (note the "when" not "if" - progress!) I'll love it.

    Deadliest - Thank you! I totally needed your comment. I'm excited - and scared - for Naughy Hotties. LOL But knowing someone (other than Jess) has done it and survived is very helpful. With respect to Kelley Armstrong...I LOVE her. This series is amazing. Haunted is one of my favourite in the series so far, but I LOVED Bitten.

    Mi - very good descriptors. Wish you were here to dance with me :-)

  15. Love the new template ... cha, cha, cha!

  16. I wish I could dance. Good on you! I'm sure you'll do fantastically.

  17. It's not your fault Dawn, I mean, everybody loves naughty hotties. So, you are hereby forgiven. And latin dances are really cool, right? I love them too!
    I'm better at cha cha cha or lambada then samba, which might be a disgrace for a brasilian...oh well.

  18. Thanks, Jan. :-)

    WW - Your confidence is touching. And hopefully not misplaced :-P

    Clara - latin dances ARE really cool. I'd love to see your cha-cha :-)