Sunday, October 2, 2011

International Dance Fest

At exactly 7:57, dance class began "on time." Here, "on time" is the old standby of "early" and starting class when it actually is supposed to begin is called "late." S and I had entered the room slightly before that, arriving earlier than we usually have, so we staked our claim to the front of the room, opposite from where we stood last session. We saw only one familiar face from The Clique, two familiar women from St. Catherine's who look like they are sisters, and two or three other familiars from previous sessions. Sprinkled in were some new people. Oh, and the woman who once wrapped her jacket around her head to avoid a stank coming from the pool was there too.

Cabalero was the first dance, and Jean went right into slide stepping to the side. At first, I thought she was mispronouncing Caballero, what I thought was the Spanish word for "cowboy." When the song came on, I heard it was Italian, so she was not mispronouncing it. Also, cabalero means gentleman. I should probably brush up on my bilinguality.

See those arms? We didn't do any of that.

This dance included the famous dance club step. Come on, everyone knows the dance club step! It looks exactly like a lindy step, but this session, we're calling it the dance club step. Jean comes up with some interesting dance step names occasionally and acts as if everyone calls them that and everyone will recognize what she's talking about (as in when she changed the name of a coaster step to a sailor step and then began using them interchangeably).

As we learned the first few steps, a second woman from the Clique was coming in. Jean peered out the door and said, Oh, here she comes. Then she started to teach a step and stopped herself saying, Let's wait for her. So we all waited for one person before we kept going. The woman asked if she was late and Jean said, no you're on time, but we all know by now that on time IS late.

In our newer spot that is closer to the piano that no one is allowed to play because it is old (it is old, yet it always makes it to class--that's for S), I could see myself and the people behind me in the reflection of the glass doors in the front of the room. That's when I noticed what I became fixated on for the rest of the class. I couldn't help it. I turned to S, patted the top of my head, and asked her, What's going on up here?

I'm not the only one who was distracted because S knew exactly what I was talking about. A very tall woman with short white hair had a black hair clip directly in the middle of her head. It wasn't holding any hair up or back. It was just kind of attached. S wondered, maybe she forgot it was there. I was like, no it's definitely a choice and I'm not sure the reasoning behind it.

As we danced, I couldn't keep my eyes off of it. I had a lot of free time to ponder it since we kept doing the same steps over and over and over and over when some of the newer people--and some of the older ones--couldn't get the dance. This was not a difficult dance. Plus, if you mess up, which I did several times, it is easy to get right back into it. It got to the point where every time we turned and I could see it in the reflection or in front of me, I was laughing. S kept telling me to watch myself, but I couldn't shake the giggles.

The first woman from the Clique pointed at S and I across the room after the first time we did the dance to music and told us that we were in the wrong spot. She said she's used to the young ones being in the back so she knew what she was doing when she turned around. Somehow, everyone knew who she meant when she said, the young ones.

The woman with the hair clip went to the bathroom during a break in music. S was like, she's going to see it in the mirror and take it out. I was like, No she's going to see it in the mirror and think it looks good. Sure enough, she came back out with it in tact, exactly where she'd had it. And that made me laugh even harder. I might be going to Hell.

The next dance was French Toast. The first step was, as Jean described, like a slice of bread, flat to the side, because that's what you make French Toast out of. So the step is bread. Then she did a dance club step. She said, It's really the dance club step, but it's also like bread. Okay then. It was a very short dance to a longish song, but cute enough and everyone got it. The only time I got confused was when Jean was calling out the steps and started shouted, Bread! every time we did the dance club step.

Man, I wish I had a green screen and those glasses.

To break up several people's despair at not being able to catch on to either dance, Jean chose to do a song that she thought most people would know. It's a fun dance that I don't remember the name of even though we've done it a lot. Everyone pretty much caught on and spirits lifted a whole lot. I don't like spending a lot of time on dances I already know because it's a class and I like to learn in class, but a quick break into something familiar is nice.

Then we went back to Cabalero and Jean retaught the dance club step. She said, everytime you do this, it's a dance club step. And then S mumbled behind me, Except for when you call it "BREAD." And then I completely lost it, between that comment and the prominent hair clip, I lost it. Then during the dance, I got lost a little because I was figuring out what the singer was saying. I came up with: you have to wait for the cowboy to come home to the house. That's the gist of it anyway.

Towards the end of class, Jean decided to teach us a quick dance with a Latin flair. This dance contained a lot of steps and was in some ways more difficult than Cabalero and definitely harder than French Toast. Why she chose to teach it only one time through and quickly put the music on with not much time left, I have no idea other than she's Jean and that's what she does. After confusing everyone, she asked what song she should do last because we had a few minutes left, and someone in the back asked to do the song that everyone already knows. We did that so everyone left with smiles.

On our way out, S got the idea to ask Jean to teach us two songs that people did at the beach that we didn't know. I wasn't asking because anything I suggest goes onto the list of Stuff We'll Never Do Again. So S asked, Do you know Jessie's Boys? Jean said, No, no one is doing that dance so I'm not going to learn it to teach something no one does. Heh heh. But wait, it gets better. S asked, How about Raise Your Glass? Jean gives her an automatic flat out, No. Then S goes, Awwww, and Jean goes, I don't like the words in that song. Heeeeheeeeheeeeeeeee. And THAT'S how to end class on a high note!

For S to learn:

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