Saturday, December 11, 2010

Let's Dance More!

I have just reconciled myself to the fact that the cold is going to be the least of my problems with my current Flash Mob endeavor.

Information trickles in every day or two. First came the video, so we can learn the dance. Then information about optional rehearsals. Then an MP3 with the actual music. I’ve never been a part of anything like this, so receiving the emails is its own kind of thrill.

At first we were told we would be wearing matching t-shirts and were asked to give our t-shirt size when we signed up. At the time, I was still deluding myself into thinking this might be an indoor event, so I asked for an Adult Small. When I finally came to accept that we would be mobbing out of doors, I sent back an email begging for a Medium, so I could layer, layer, layer underneath.

A few days ago I started out the arduous process of learning the dance. As you might recall from my previous post, this is the part I’m not good at. If you’ve ever learned a dance routine, you may remember that at first the steps are demonstrated very, very slowly. Like you’re underwater. This instruction seems as if it has nothing to do with anything once you pick up the tempo and dance at the right speed. It’s not like learning the Slow Version and the Fast Version. It’s more like learning two different dances entirely.

My first and second attempts were bombs. I couldn’t get through the whole routine – couldn’t remember it, couldn’t execute it, just plain couldn’t. I stopped dancing and started studying the video. I took notes, writing everything down. This is how I have to learn things – by writing it and rewriting it. This afternoon I decided I was going to learn the routine start to finish no matter what.

I set up the MP-3 and had my 11-year-old assist me both as step caller and musical director. The kid happens to be an incredible dancer, so he also gave me a few tips. I found a spot to practice and I ran the steps over and over and over again, all the while shedding layers of clothing – first my hoodie, then my long-sleeve, until finally I was down to my t-shirt and ready to put on a pair of shorts.

After 45 minutes, I kind of knew the steps – but I was completely wrung out. We will be rehearsing for two hours before the event and I really don’t know if I can make it. My husband said, “If you can spin for an hour, you can do this.”


The 11-year-old said, “Just find a spot in the middle and toward the back so not too many people will see you.”


When I told the teenager what I was going to be doing he said, “What are you doing that for?”

I refrained from sharing with him my secret wish to be a back-up dancer and just said, “I thought it would be a fun story for you to tell your grandchildren.”

“I’m not even telling my children you did this,” he said.

My aching legs. My snotty kids. It all makes dancing in the cold seem like a walk in the park.

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