Wednesday, July 28, 2010

WWJD?

Every time I dye my hair red, I think of Jagger.

Not Mick. But rather the protagonist in one of my works in progress, Heartless. Jagger's a tough chick, not afraid to squeeze into a leather pantsuit and kick some serious ass. She couldn't care less if her fiery halo of hair is matted, or if her mascara is trailing from her eyes like Alice Cooper. Mirrors do not frighten her.

It's been far too long since Jagger and I spent quality time together, so I decided to take her to Dance Hall Fit Hop class last night.

I suspect our friendship took a serious blow.

As Jagger is often fond of saying, she doesn't dance. She likes racquetball and running, high-impact exercises that serve a dual purpose - building up her cardio and working through the frustrations of her day job.

But last night dance instructor extraordinaire Jessica offered up a few words of advice for me and my feisty heroine. Low impact exercise is better for you.

*Pause*

It's true. That pop, pop, pop you might hear when you run is not the same "pop" Jessica encourages in dance. And yet, I sweat so much last night red hair dye left a trail from my neck to the middle of my back. Totally unsexy.

But Jagger doesn't care about vanity. She's more interested in the challenge. So as I took to the floor for the second week of hell Dance Hall, I thought: What would Jagger do? (WWJD)

In reality, she'd avoid dancing at all costs. That and elephants. But if the story warranted it - or her yummy sidekick Torek challenged her - Jagger would rise to the occasion. She wouldn't give a crap about how she looked while learning the steps. She'd simply get it done.

I tried that.

I don't have near the amount of confidence Jagger does, but having lived vicariously through her adventures for about, oh, 80,000 words, I've picked up a trick or two.

Somewhere near the half way mark of Dance Hall last night I stopped worrying about the mirror and focussed, REALLY focussed, on the actual steps. My arms are beginning to move in tandem with my feet, and even though I falter when the beat changes from eight counts to two, I feel somewhat less ridiculous than I did three classes ago.

I also hurt. Every muscle - especially my hips and abs - are singing the "Achy Breaky" blues. Off key, of course because I can't sing either.

If Jagger actually danced her way off the page and into the studio, I have little doubt she'd be just as clunky. Like me, she doesn't quite feel the beat true dancers do. Her hips are more accustomed to pivoting versus swaying (or even popping), and she certainly does not know how to "wind" (WTF? I'll never get THAT step!) - but she'll keep practicing. Her personal drive to compete - to *win* - will make her push her body to the extreme. And then she'll kick it up a notch.

Because that's what Jagger does.

Unfortunately for Jessica, Jagger is also quite adept at using a bow, and this morning, I have little doubt she's pointed one of her black arrows at J'Adore Dance. I'd recommend ducking.

The Book In My Bag Today: Wicked Lovely, Melissa Marr

27 comments:

  1. Love it. And I have those wings. :)

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  2. Megan - really? Where did you find them? I totally wanted to go as "Jagger" for Halloween but I'm having trouble finding a cross bow (fake) and these wings....

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  3. Woot!

    Welcome back, Jagger!

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  4. Wow your Dance Hall class sounds awesome. You guys don't actually groove to Dancehall music do you? That would rock even harder.

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  5. Oooo you tell Jagger she is messing with the wrong chick! LOL! Dancers are a lot tougher then people give us credit for, don't mess with the Jess! Ha ha!

    Dawn I noticed I BIG change last night when you stopped focusing on the mirror and started focusing on the dance. THAT is what dance is all about! Feeling it! Doing it! Being present! And you know what? You looked better when you did :)

    And if it is any consolation my abs and hips are screaming a bit today too, but to me that is music to my ears ;)

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  6. Donna - she isn't TOTALLY back but she's starting...mostly because she misses you :-) <3

    Matthew - we DO have some pretty awesome tunes. Not that I hear most of them over my inner voice trying to count out the steps or deflect self criticism...

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  7. LOL@ Jess - Did I mention Jagger has a RECURVE bow? It's like uber scary and her black arrows are lethal. Lethal, I say. Seriously, though, I DID notice a difference. I'm glad to know my muscles aren't the only ones aching!

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  8. haha! great post!

    and i can't wait to meet jagger! let me know when i finally can!

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  9. Recurve Bow, Shmecurve bow! My booty pops could deflect anything! Ha ha! I have buns of steel! And I also have fiery red hair and like to squeeze into tight black pant! Ba ha ha! Jagger meet your nemesis!

    See you at Burn tonight!

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  10. Mi, I'm cleaning up the text and will fire off the first few chapters soon. I'm anxious for you to meet her :-)

    Jess, I have no doubt your booty-o-steel could deflect anything. She'll have to fire when you least expect it. Gulp. Forgot about you coming to Burn tonight. I'll be the one hobbling.

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  11. It must be nice to have a host of characters to draw inspiration from. Although I suspect it's the other way around and they are inspired by you.

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  12. Love that you take your characters to dance class with you. You should make them drive so you can have a post dance scotch!

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  13. You know Jagger so well. I'm ashamed to say I don't think I know any of my MCs as well as you know Jagger. (And I feel now like I know her, too. Well done.) I'm going to start asking myself WWMCD to see if it helps character development. At the very least, I might find the inspiration to take on the world.

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  14. RT - You are SO sweet. I am sending BIG hugs your way. Mwah!

    Jan - why didn't I think of that? I'm totally bringing the margarita mix next week!

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  15. Wendy - Thank you. I don't know ALL of my characters with such depth, but Jagger is special to me. If only my other protag carried as much sentiment... I often ask What would Jagger do? And it help me to learn. Hope the tactic works for you so you CAN take on the world <3

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  16. *wants to be bad ass like Jagger*

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  17. Dawn, at least you're grooving with the pain, that's got to count for something. Jagger sounds like a badass I'd like to know.

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  18. Crimey - I agree - pain is way more tolerable with a soundtrack :-D I'd very much like for you to meet Jagger...

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  19. You are making me want to dance in a bad way. I've got 'pop' envy.

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  20. CQG - let's make a deal...you come here and dance and I'll go hang out in France. Fair trade?

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  21. Jagger sounds badass. And so do you.

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  22. Jagger - what a great name for a feisty woman. Makes me think of a dagger, and I won't be messing with that either!

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  23. Thanks Vicki. Jagger also means huntress, which she definitely is :-)

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  24. Dawn, I think I got the wings at Target or Fred Meyer two years ago for Halloween.

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