I dreamed last night that I returned to dance class in my college dance studio, showed up to surprise my favorite dance teacher. He turned around and immediately examined my feet, grinned and explained that they had changed for the better, yes, they were more the right shape and constitution, that he was glad to see my feet so strong. This was the whole dream.
A thing I have not mentioned (I think?) is how I used to dance, in college. Not like, I danced for fourteen years and haven’t since college, but in the sense that I started dancing in college. My freshman year roommate was a dancer, and when she told me that dance classes counted for gym credit (one of the weird requirements at my university), I was like SIGN ME UP. And I took a modern dance class, and except for my semester abroad, I took dance every semester after that. I think I was taking two classes a semester my senior year. Mostly modern, a little jazz, a smidge of ballet. I loved it. I wasn’t very good at it, but it made me happy and I didn’t care.
So this brings me to now, the sad state of affairs where I haven’t danced in two years. I thought, when I came to Alabama, that I’d be able to take classes in their awesome dance program, but it turns out the program is so awesome that it’s also incredibly elitist. I would have to be a dance major or minor just to sign up, and since I’m a grad student, that’s not going to happen. Cue sad face. I’ve had a lot of extracurricular activities in my life, and some that I did for years, much longer than I danced, but dance is the one that hurts to think about. I had to stop watching SYTYCD, because I was jealous. I cried at the Katy Perry movie last week, partially because I am a natural crier, but also I was a little emotional watching her backup dancers practice.
I am telling you this because I showed up for a hip hop class at the rec last week, thinking it was a hip hop exercise class. You know, let’s do semi-dance moves to some hip hop and also some crunches. WRONG. It was a real dance class. A REAL ONE. All this time, there was a class I could have been taking! And two years later, I am basically a dancing wreck. I could barely do any of it, couldn’t remember the steps, and man it sucked to suck in front of all those awesome dancers. BUT! It turns out there is a non-university dance class at the rec in the fall, a technique class for lyrical and jazz. I feel like an idiot for missing out on this thing that I love to do for so long, but I am so fucking excited.
In the arts building in college, there was a George Eliot quote next to the entryway I walked through at least three times a week for four years: “It’s never too late to be who you might have been.” I’m a cheesy enough person that I took it to heart. I don’t want to go be a Katy Perry backup dancer. I just want to be able to move.