I just wanna dance, dance

It’s been happening for a few months now. I guess it started when Black Swan sparked off a sort-of ballet craze. But all the attention the movie received made me remember what it was like to have my hair gelled up and in a nice,neat bun, wearing my navy blue leotard and dancing.

By ‘it’ , I mean envying girls who stroll about in ballet tights and wear the SOTA Dance shirt. Actually, just seeing someone wearing a SOTA uniform makes me feel envious, the same way I would if I spotted someone wearing an ACS (I) uniform. Perhaps it’s the fact that both schools offer the IB. But I think what makes me feel this way is that I could have gotten in to these schools IF ONLY, IF ONLY I HAD WORKED HARDER.

Of course my memories of ballet are not very pleasant (being bullied by both the teacher and my classmates). I didn’t have the passion and determination to be a good dancer. I never did my splits properly. I guess now it’s too late to play catch up, especially since it’s been …6 years since I’ve had a proper lesson. (not counting the 3 adult ballet ones I attended about 2 months ago)

It’s sad that Ms Chew cared only about her reputation but that’s what ballet teachers are like…they want as many distinctions as possible. I don’t think a Merit is something to be ashamed of. & it certainly doesn’t mean I’ll fail my Grade 5. She made me give up on ballet. I never got to go en pointe. I know a couple of people who dropped ballet before taking their Grade 5 too, but that was out of choice – I was cruelly made to learn the syllabus before being told that I couldn’t take the exam.

okay so you can’t see but well…I realised I got a Pass for Grade 3. So wouldn’t a Merit for Grade 4 mean I’ve improved???

Sometimes I wonder, if I had taken my piano and ballet lessons seriously, would I be pro now? After all I started very early. But I’m still far behind due to lack of interest…and I hardly touch the piano. I know people who practise 4 hours a day…the most I’ve gone was probably an hour- or less. So if there’s something I constantly feel inferior and insecure about, it’s that I could have been done with my Grade 8s long ago. But they’re still incomplete.

In February I kept calling up dance schools to enquire about joining their Grade 6 classes, but I chickened out. I just don’t have enough confidence to dance with girls 6 years my age and with ultra-flat stomachs. The Bulge is not gone, and I can’t dance in a leotard until it is.

Then of course I joined the jazz classes at Jitterbugs…but after seeing the pro dance scholars, I started getting very self-conscious. And one of them (a guy)  usually waits outside for the next class. This is going to sound pathetic but I didn’t go for 2 months because of that…and well, Weitian couldn’t make it for a few classes either so I decided not to go. I know, I’m a sad case.

Further proof that I am part of the near-extinct breed of girls who are 100% awkward around boys?

Today Sharmila & I went for the Dance@Swingapore event.

At the entrance, of course I headed for the queue with the ladies manning the counter. I tend to do that for everything else- restaurants, shops, whatever. If I can avoid being served by male staff, I will.

So we did Burlesque in the morning, which was really fun despite the fact that there was a dude behind me. You get to explore a whole new side of yourself – it’s sexy but not slutty, like in clubs.

Then we rushed off for the Street Jazz class, where Cindy taught us Trad. Jazz. It was fast, but I loved it. I stayed on for Broadway, Sharmila chose Bollywood. We attended 5 minutes of the West Coast Swing class after that before deciding that lunch was a better option.

Lindy Hop….ah, lindy hop. My interest in swing began when there was a workshop at da:ns last year, taught by Sinclair Ang. Rebekah & I went, and I fell in love. Didn’t bother joining any classes though. Too chicken – as usual.

Well, today I was hoping to stick to Sharmila but darn, they made us rotate partners – which is normal for regular classes. 😦 She chose to be the ‘guy’, a.k.a the leader, so poor me had to move on to be spun around by random dudes and the occasional girl.

Some guys were gentle and a bit unsure as well so it wasn’t so bad. One guy was so tall, and he had a genuine accent, so it made me slightly more awkward. Plus, I’ll be unabashedly honest here, I was starting to worry if my armpits were getting sweaty or if I stank. Well, 3 straight hours of dancing…what can I say. I had to be in pretty close contact with the leader, so… yeah, awkward!!!

The first few dudes were okay…then I got someone who obviously knew stuff about lindy hop. He told me where to place my hands and spun me around real quick. Another guy I got after that was equally forceful, and said : ‘Let me do some of the work’. I think it’s because I was pulling away subconsciously…

Okay fine I make a bad follower. Geez. I really like lindy hop though. It’s so cool and carefree and happy. 😦 But perhaps I’m more suited to individual dances.

I may join in October…hopefully by then I’ll have enough courage. Or perhaps I should only join when I get a boyfriend, but who knows when that will be. Oh, on that note, I really like guys who do jazz or lindy hop. Not hip-hop or k-pop.

Well, it’s too late to go pro…but I’m still gonna dance just because it makes me happy (when I’m not busy worrying about the presence of other people).

Oh shuffling for a few minutes makes for a pretty good workout, I realised… still can’t do the Party Rock Anthem routine. Hopefully I’ll master it soon.


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