Last year my new years resolution was to try new things. I’m not a resolution type person, but I absolutely loved this one. There is something in me that goes kinda stir crazy if I’m not experiencing as much as I can. Sitting in the house all day on a sunny Saturday is pretty much my worst nightmare. Now, don’t get me wrong, I can lounge around like a sloth with the best of them, but I need at least a few hours out to make me ok with it. If I never do that hike I’ll never know how pretty it is. What if I love scuba diving and I never know because I never do it? What if sailing is the best experience I will ever have and I’ve never given it a shot? If I have some free time I want to try something new.
One of my ideas was to take dance classes. This was scary and kind of a big deal for me. I sort of have PTSD when it comes to dancing. I once had an audition for a commercial that was so terrible you won't even believe it. Basically, my agent at the time, sent me to a audition that said “professional quality dancers” needed. That is not me, that is not - at all - me. But somehow he convinces me to go and I show up and see girls stretching, which was my first sign that I was out of my league. They start lifting their legs to be parallel with their torsos…I’m not exaggerating. Her ankle was next her face, HER FACE! So I’m like, I guess I should stretch, so I start doing these stretches that you might see a runner do before a race and bouncing up and down like a jock. I’m not a jock, I don’t know why I did that except that jock stretches are doable for my level of flexibility - also the constant movement kept me from needing to puke or nervous laugh at flexible leg girl. Whatever, moving on.
Second bad sign was that I was wearing a normal skirt, a borderline pencil skirt. The wardrobe said skirt, I picked an office skirt, so sue me. Well a dancer would know that means one of those dancer skirts, that are flowy, with bloomers. Turns out pencil skirts are tight so when I copy this girl doing a plie squat thing…RRRIIIPPP, yes, my skirt ripped. My cute little pencil skirt ripped right up the butt. Flexible girl looks at me with pity and asks if everything is ok. Of course it is, why wouldn’t it be, at this point I am so beyond my embarrassment threshold I’m not totally conscious of what’s happening.
Now, this whole time I’m doing self-talk to survive this ridiculous experience. I’m thinking, well worse case scenario is I go in there and I dance in front of a guy and a camera, and they laugh at me, and then I leave the country. Best case scenario is they teach me a dance, I can probably copy something…can’t be that hard. No, no, the casting assistant comes out and explains the audition… we will be going in groups of five and doing an improv routine…whatever you want…doesn’t that sound fabulous (insert peppy dancer girl smile)? Soooo you’re telling me I am going in this room with five legitimate professional dancers and making a total ass of myself while I shimmy around and do the sprinkler, because that is all I can do. That. Is. All. I. Can. Do. Ok more self talk, it’s five girls I will never see again, LA is a big city, flexible leg girl will never have to look on me with such pity again.
So we walk in the room and at this point I’m so out of control nervous it’s feeling like an out of body experience. I am last in line, what a relief, I’ll watch the other girls dance and copy them, no big deal. The first girl goes and begins her little routine by spinning - on one leg - three times in a row - while smiling boldly at the camera. What the hell. I don’t even know. I can’t even begin to understand how to do that, actually I’m not totally sure what she did. I have now surrendered the idea of trying to copy these girls and will now just be weird. This is my only option. I will flail my arms around like Pheobe Buffet and try to do some spinny things while I’m at it. Maybe I’ll get a few points for being “out of the box”.
I think that’s probably what I did, I know I got too close to the camera at one point and the guy had to yell at me to scoot back, which was really just the cherry on top. I think I blocked out the rest of the dancing bit. I do remember that when I got home I was telling the story to some of my friends from college and when they asked through tears and laughter if I would demonstrate what my dancing might have looked like, they literally fell off their chairs in silent laughter for at least two minutes…sooooo I just kept doing the dance - just givin' the people what they want, ya know?
I didn’t get the part…shocker I know. It’s horrible to think that somewhere out there is a video of me dancing around like a lunatic. I’m pretty sure it will appear on You Tube one day and this whole thing will come back and haunt me. Just so you know I saw the commercial, and the dancing was so lame. I could have done THAT if you had asked me.
So, that whole story was to say this, after years of intensive therapy (jk) I took a dance class. I tried something new. I loved it, I didn’t regret it, and now I go all the time. For my first one I went with my sister who doesn’t take herself too seriously and has a great time laughing at herself and more often at me, so that helped.
My newest new thing? I’m going to volunteer on an Organic Farm in April for a week. I am giddy with excitement and hoping for a less embarrassing experience. I’ll tell you all about it.