Week Four: Take a Hip Hop Class
Before last week I was TERRIFIED of taking a hip hop class.
You might be thinking “you already go to dance 5 times a week, why is this any different?” Or maybe: “It’s just a dance class. Is it really THAT scary?”
To help you understand here’s a little story: When I was growing up I did a lot of musical theatre. One summer my theatre troupe got the incredible opportunity to go to Japan in order to take place in an international music festival. Between the cultural experience, performing, and being away with all my best friends it was a pretty epic trip for a 15 year old. While we were there we were paired up with a Japanese dance troupe who not only were our hosts but became some of our closest friends. These lovely people were all masters in Hip Hop and one day decided they wanted to share their craft with us. Now, it’s important to know that little 15 year old Lauren was not only naive but also had no idea how to be sexy or gritty. I wish I had video for a good laugh. In the end the teacher told me in his wonderful broken english “you no hip hop, you only ballet.” He was an incredible dancer and teacher so I took it to heart. Now, here I am almost 10 years later and the idea of taking a hip hop class still made me want to PUKE.
Fast forward to Thursday. Thanks to the stories the situation above created, the idea of putting on my non-existent baggy sweats in order to shake, isolate, and get low made me want to run in the other direction. Instead of listening to my inner scaredy cat I walked down to the studio, stomach in my throat and made my way up those stairs. Luckily, I went with a fantastic group of girls who not only held me accountable to going but were also a ton of fun to be with. Without them, maybe I wouldn’t have been as successful in completing this one.
Once we signed in and started the class most of my anxiety melted away (amazing how endorphins do that!). It started with a warm up and went right into choreography. For the song we did Buttons by The Pussycat Dolls. This was also a wonderful because it wasn’t anything too hard core. Thank you universe.
After an hour of dancing our hearts out we finished the class nice and sweaty and happy as can be. Was I good…mmm not so much. Was I terrible, I don’t think so. Did I enjoy it? HELL YA! I actually enjoyed it enough to go back for another class the following Thursday.
I think this fear existed because of my frenemy: Perfectionist. I wasn’t ACTUALLY afraid of taking a hip hop class, I was afraid of being bad at it.
A dance class is a very vulnerable place. It requires you to let go of all your insecurities and just put yourself out there. Until you let those stories or insecurities go, it can be extremely difficult. This goes for any style that pulls you out of your comfort zone. I bet it’s also the same for many other sports as well. Being too in your head is never a good thing.
I really saw this in my friends. The first week the group I went with was a bunch of past dancers dying to get back in the game. One of the girls constantly told me she was AWFUL at hip hop but she ended up being so incredible that she easily could have been part of the studio’s competitive crew. The next week I went with a good friend of mine who is an amazing modern dancer but also takes hip hop weekly. She consistently says she’s bad at hip hop and “looks like a ballerina” but when she puts her hip hop mask on she looks awesome and totally get’s hard core.
No matter how often they are told how great they are, neither of them believe it because they’re stuck in the place of their story.
These fear causing stories hold us back from being our incredible selves. They stop us from having fun and living our best life. By pushing these stories to the back of our head, we empower ourselves, allowing us to conquer our demons, and maybe even have a killer time in the process.
So laugh at yourself, do things that make your stomach turn, fight your stories, and have fun with your imperfections.
P.S. Thank you to Vibestreet Dance and everyone that came with me for an awesome time and experience. I had so much fun!
P.P.S. To everyone that was dying to do a Hip Hop class with me for this challenge, thanks for your support. This class was already super full so I only put the invite out to a few people. If you still want to hit up a class with me, I’d be happy to go with you still