Friday, January 22, 2016

Jazz Class Groupon

I really did it this time. Blame the Groupon. 

Let's just skip the details and get to the mortifying part. I decided in my infinite wisdom to take a "Jazz Class" last night. Jazz class is part of my childhood and for some reason I was feeling rather good about myself in that" I can fit into my skinny jeans, I can conquer the world kind of way." I've been dieting like a mad woman for this ridiculous weekend High School reunion. I tried on the sequin outfit I wore to the last reunion and it fit! I mean it really fit. Not in the way that you have to hold your breathe.

So just because the jeans fit doesn't necessarily mean we move on to the lycra and the leg warmers that have been under the bed for 10 years.( for good reason)
But no one told me this. I "suited up" and went to the dance studio. I should have known by the sign this wasn't going to be exactly what I expected. The studio was called "Celestial Expressions" and the girl on the billboard looked more like a gumby rubber toy than a dancer.
So the perky desk clerk "Tammy" says" Hello can I help you? " So obviously she thinks I'm a Mary Kay Sales person and in no way would ever be signing up for jazz class. I say" I'm here for the class"
Tammy:"What class?"
Me: The jazz class at 7:00pm.
Tammy; Look of terror on her face tries to hide her horror at my parachute pants. "Ohhhhh I'm A.Right down the hall. Tiffini will be with you in 5 minutes."

Tiffini is the teachers name, so I can assume she's just graduated from 12th grade at best. If the teacher was named Madam Olga or Dawn or Jennifer then there was a fighting chance she would be even close to my age. Not Tiffini! Tiffini's are cute perky girls with pony tails and like pink bubble gum ice cream for dinner and never gain an ounce. I know this. I used to be her!

So I walk into the studio and there were literally 3 girls there. When I say girls I mean girls as in high school . They were in a huddle discussing the trauma of the new school uniform policy and how 10th grade was going to be much more demanding than 9th. The tall girl in the middle looked my way as if to say" Haven't I babysat for one of your kids?"

They continued their conversation without inviting me so I sat down on the floor and searched for my phone so I could look popular. I immediately went to my facebook. I'm very well liked on facebook and everyone loves me. That is why I carry my phone with me everywhere in case of moments like these.

So I hear one of them say to the others," I know, it;s like um so rad cause I like um get to do the thing like everyday."
The other girls who speak her language nodded in total agreement understanding every word she said.

So after 9 unbearably long minutes Tiffini(I'm so beautiful and skinny and I eat cupcakes for breakfast) walks in. She's clearly old..I mean like 20 maybe old?
She says" Ok guys welcome to Jazz basic. I'm Tiff and we're going to do a lot of floor work and turns and leaps tonight. Let's start our warm up with an oldie but goodie."She then turns on a Beyonce song.( she's really old now by the way.) Obviously if you come out with a hit song and then 6 months go by and you happen to have a baby. You are put out into pop culture oblivion. The one exception to this rule is someone named Madonna and let me tell you right now. Do not confuse her with the mother of our Lord. This Madonna may have sold her soul to discover the fountain of youth because I think she's about 160 and still kickin it old school to sold out audiences. People get confused because she did sing about prayer once but rest assured after much research, I realized she has absolutely nothing whatsoever in common with the Madonna you're thinking of.

So the music's playin and all four of us jazz divas are doing the warm up. The problem was my muscles hadn't done any warm ups like this in literally about 8 years. I used to dance Pearl. I used to be somebody. I used to be a contender! And I always saw these mom characters sneaking into my classes with their Fosse Jazz hands trying to keep up. I swore to myself in NYC at Steps Studio" As God as my witness, may I never be like one of those old ladies in their...gasp 30's . Or may I never be like my mother Barb who dragged me to her Jazzercize classes where I at age 3 sat on the floor eating my cheerios watching middle aged women running in place singing" She's a Maniac..maniac on the floor and she's dancin like she's never danced before!" Oh it gets worse Pearl you should have seen them doin "She works haaaaaaaaaaard for the money! So haaaaaaaaaaard for it honey! She works hard for the money so you better treat her right!"

So I'm doing my best to look cool and it hits me that the new dance wear styles are actually throw backs to the 80's and 90's so I do actually fit right in in the wardrobe department. Now I know you're into fabric and fashion so here's a tip for you. Never throw anything away, just put it under the bed for at least 10 years and it will come back. I just wish I kept my neon sweatshirts.
The warm up was difficult. It's hard to explain but let me try to give you a visual. Tiffini is lifting her legs high up by her ears while standing .I imagine she is a Twister National champion. She then asks us to show her our"center splits." I know as the mother of two daughters if I attempt this position I may have the same problem my Lucy does in class and pee on myself.My legs haven't been in this position since the last time I gave birth. This is not natural. So what do I? I can't be shown up by the young ins.
 I spread my legs as far as they would go and then abruptly get stuck. I'm not in the splits and I'm not standing. I'm exactly smack dab in the middle forming some kind of ugly V with my legs and the problem is that I can't move. I can't go up.My hamstrings are now cramping in the worst charlie horse pain you can imagine. I can't go down. I'm just stuck and I don't want anyone to know. So I take my arms and try to push my legs harder and wider as I audibly hear the tendons in my thighs ripping to shreds. I just want to "be like the other kids" and they are fully in their split positions comfortably.Id like to see them go through the birth of two kids and give it a try then. I realize at this point, I 'm not going any further down. So I use my arms to grab onto each thigh and pull myself up to safety,all the while having my jazz hands and sparkle fingers waving. Tiffini is very clued into my difficultly and trying not to make a scene. She just nods at me and says" as much as you can!"
"Do as much as you can?????" Do as much as you can???"
You know what that means Pearl?" Do as much as you can old lady because when you fall and break a hip I don't want to get sued and I don't know why you're even here in the first place!!!You should probably go back to your jazzercise class at the recreation center!" I just smiled and kept my hips moving side to side as if I'm working on a new move.

So I wasn't about to be outdone by the teen squad. It was time for leaps and turns across the floor. I used to rock this! I knew I had it in me. The first round wasn't half bad. I did some leaping and turning and I didn't even fall down.Was there extreme vertigo? Yes! Did the room seem to spin in 14 directions causing me to feel like I just rode Space Mountain at Disney land? Yes. Did I do my best to walk in a straight line back to my spot? Yes! Mission falling.

So the next go across the floor I was feeling overly confident, I thought I'd add a little split into my leaps. So I geared up like an Olympic Athlete , jazz fingers spread, eyes focused and I did a few runs and thrust my legs into the air and attempted a scissors type motion before landing.Have you ever heard of Michal Barishnakov? I think in that moment I thought I was him! Attempted is the key word in this sentence. I know there was an A for effort but I also know my legs hadn't attempted anything like this maneuver ever. So they of course were rebelling and so instead of scissor kicking my muscles just decided to set their own personal boundary and stop me mid air. I landed on the ground with a loud thud. Luckily the Lady GA Ga was loud enough to drown out the sound of my elephant landing. I just smiled and chasay'ed back to my place. With each additional run across the floor I gave it my all. To quote the immortal words of the movie "Flash dance" I was a Maniac...Maaaaniac on the floor and I was dancing like I never danced before...literally."

I looked at the clock and it was time for class to be over. Our lovely energetic teacher said" You guys are so awesome let's go another 15 minutes shall we?" Well of course I had to stay and torture myself for just a few more excruciating minutes. She put us through some more combinations and across the floor moves. I did every single one without bleeding. When it was over she looked at us and said" You guys I
just discovered this great way to wind down. I wish they had it when I was growing up, it's called Yoga! Let's strike a pose."
"Well yes Tiffini I'm sure Yoga was only invented in the last 15 years after your birth. I'm so glad you were a pioneer and discovered it on you tube. Thank God because without your efforts I would not have had the pleasure of being stuck in downward dog for the next 8 minutes! Thank you!"

I collected my things and what was left of my dignity and hobbled to the car. As I walked in the house that night. I said to my family. "Kids, tonight Mommy was a Rock Star Dancer! Can somebody get me my Ben Gay?"

So what did I learn from this particular adventure? I don't really know. I know that I'm glad I tried. I think I could possibly go take another dance class in the future. I saw on the schedule that they have a class called" Broadway Styles" and that might be a bit more up my alley. But it's good to challenge ourselves and do things that scare us. There's no time like the present to do the things we've been meaning to do. We get so busy in this life with life, jobs, relationships, kids or whatever else. I've been wanting to get back to dance class for a couple years now.So I finally did it. I don't know what's next..maybe cooking class or even crazier hiking? Whatever it is, I'm going to do it. I only get one go round in this life and as long as God's given me this healthy body I'm gonna work it ! Yeah that's it . " I'm a Maniac! Maaaaniac on the floor!" I really gotta get you that soundtrack, you'd love it.Did you guys have dance parties? I mean King David from what I hear was a dancing maniac too. Did you hear about how his wife bawled him out after he was literally"Dancin in the Streets?" Can you blame her? I heard he was naked!

Talk later,
I have to go ice my thighs!