Thursday, February 15, 2007

Tall Poppies! Where's my scythe?

Sorry guys, you may have to click on the picture to enlarge it a bit.
Also, if you haven't seen Bring It On, "spirit fingers" will make no sense to you whatsoever :)

Perhaps I am a little scarred from past experience, but I am extremely wary of people who say they "dance". By this, I mean people who have dabbled in dance, but do not do it professionally. Professional and/or accomplished dancers that I have met are usually quite self-effacing.

Dabblers, on the other hand, tend to be very showy, even show-ponyish. They strive to monopolise everyone's attention, brag loudly and boorishly about past dance events, and perform unasked-for mini-recitals at the drop of a hat. Any hat.

At parties they will take over the centre of the dance floor and execute elaborate dance moves that threaten your eyesight and sanity. Expansive hand gestures and flourishes, smouldering looks, toe-pointing, shoulder-throwing, back-arching, high kicks . . . the litany of atrocities goes on. Meanwhile, you're thinking, Dude, I just came here to get drunk and do the Robot!

I remember being at a certain party with Nicky and observing such behaviour, which made Nicky remark, "I don't know if I should applaud or throw money!"

Luckily, after midnight the show ponies wandered off somewhere else (audience was dwindling) and we got to do the drunken Robot on the deserted dance floor after all. Hee!

Anyway, back to my story . . .

SO. As you can imagine, when I got to the third session of my hip hop ADULT BEGINNERS dance class yesterday (I've capitalised those words for a reason), and found a show-pony dance dabbler locked into the front and centre position, I rolled my eyes so far back that I could see my medulla oblongata.

See, usually, I enjoy this class. There are a lot of everyday people there, big and small and medium girls (and one guy who does the whole class with a big grin on his face :). Normal people, like you and me, who just like hip hop and want to learn a routine to use at clubs or parties.

For me, the icing on the cake is this super-perky Filipino lady in her 40s, who throws herself into the class with reckless abandon and is everybody's best friend. If something is a little tricky she will look around and make eye contact with someone (usually me) and screech, "Aaah! Too hard!", but then gamely try to break-dance anyway.

It's a relatively level playing field. We're not pros, and we don't assume that we'll ever be pros. We just want to have fun and not look like total tools at the next party we go to. This is not the casting call for Cats.

And then GiWT showed up.

First of all, GiWT arrived, in 35 degree (Celsius) weather and an un-airconditioned studio, wearing shorts with black shoes . . . AND WHITE TIGHTS. Hence the name GiWT (Girl in White Tights).

Before class started, she went off by herself and sat in the deserted front studio to do some "special" (I can only presume) stretches. When the instructor arrived, she immediately took up the front and centre position, as I mentioned before.

As class progressed, and we swapped lines so people could have their turn near the front, I noticed that whenever GiWT went past a mirror, she would pause, look intensely into her own eyes (I SWEAR I am not making this up), do a little head flick, and then spin around into her "ready postion" (legs spread and spirit fingers ready), with one leg pulsing to an imaginary beat.

In the lulls where the instructor was showing us the next moves, or when we split into groups of two, and one group watched while the other danced (or attempted to :), GiWT would launch into her own special take on the dance moves, but in that self-conscious I-am-a-première-danseure kind of way.

When we danced as a group, she would take extra long jumps to the side, despite us being crammed into our lines and trying our best not to hit each other. Sigh.

I mean, really, lady, if you think you are a professional dancer, PLEASE go to a professional studio and show your pony off there. Give it a good gallop if you want. There is really no need to grace us lowly beginners with your bludgeoning burgeoning talent.

I fondly imagined the following dialogue:

GiWT: "Oh, tralalala! Terpsichore, muse of dance, fills me with her magic! It is spilling out and I must express it!"

an9ie: "Yeah? Well, express yourself somewhere else. Melpomene* wants you to shut it."

GiWT: "But my wellspring of inspiration! It runneth over! I must show EVERYONE my talent!"

an9ie: "Oh lawd. Do NOT make me ask Thalia** to set up a turkey slapping for you. Because I will DO it, sister."

Actually, this is a bit of a long shot. Let's replace "Terpsichore" with "Fiddy Cent", and "wellspring" with "Candy Shop" instead. There, that's more realistic! Hee!

* Muse of tragedy
** Muse of comedy and bucolic poetry ***
*** Hooray for Wikipedia!


Juliness said...

Oh my dear, however did you remain silent? I would have at least belly-laughed out loud at the kicky turn w/ spirit fingers prefaced by the smouldering gaze.

(By the way, are spirit fingers in the same family as jazz hands?)

an9ie said...

I think they're related. Aren't jazz hands when you frame your face in your palms, fingers splayed? Whereas spirit fingers is doing this crazy finger wiggling thing?

We need Jack from Will & Grace to show us the difference!

Blandwagon said...

Dude, I just came here to get drunk and do the Robot!

Would you mind if I borrowed this to use as my epitaph?

an9ie said...

Borrow away, Blandy!