First things first, I'm not a dancer. I love to dance, but my inner Beyoncé will never shine quite as bright as this guy's. However, last semester, boredom got the best of me and my friend Katie while we were studying for exams, and we found ourselves googling "Adult Hip Hop Classes Chapel Hill." The rest is history. We're currently taking a class called "Dance Video Divas" at the fabulous Ninth Street Dance in Durham, and I don't know if I've ever laughed at myself so much as I have in those hour-long classes. If you would have asked me to do this a few years ago, my cheeks would have been instantly bright red and I would have been absolutely mortified. But now, as I strut my stuff to "Telephone" by Beyoncé and Lady Gaga, I'm learning more and more about how to be comfortable in my own skin. So, here are three lessons you'll learn when you take an adult hip hop class. Get ready to channel your inner Beyoncé.
1. Just roll with it. I actually mean this first one quite literally, because in a hip hop class there are a LOT of body rolls involved in the choreography. But this one, obviously, applies to more than just the attempted body roll. There are things in dance class (and in life) that will make you feel incredibly uncomfortable. When it comes down to it, body rolling in front of a class full of actually good dancers who can body roll isn't that different from putting yourself out there in the world by volunteering to take on a task you've never done in a group project or presenting a new idea to your coworkers.
2. Nobody has time to judge you. This is a big one for me, because I'm someone who constantly wonders how I appear through someone else's eyes. But something I've learned recently is that more often than not, nobody is looking at you or judging you because frankly, they're too busy thinking about themselves. When I'm dancing my heart out at Dance Video Divas, I'm not looking at the other dancers thinking "oh wow she really messed that up" because I'm way too busy either desperately trying to look at the instructor or checking myself out in the mirror (don't lie, you'd do this too). Spending precious time going over and over an important interaction at work in your mind or second guessing everything you said in a job interview is pointless--nobody has time to criticize you like you do, so give yourself a damn break.
3. Live a little and reward yourself. The average work or school day can very quickly become mundane, and it's so nice to have something each week to look forward to. Reward yourself for the hard work that you do by splurging on something that will bring you joy each week. For me, that's Dance Video Divas. Sometimes, it's important to put off your responsibilities and do something for yourself. In fact, I find that my good mood after class helps me take on those things I was dreading before.
Laugh all you want, and trust me, I encourage laughter when it comes to my dancing, but taking this class makes me happy every single week. It's also helping me take myself less seriously, a lesson that in my opinion is worth a million bucks. For you, it might not be an adult hip hop class, but I do hope that you can find something like it. Trust me, it's worth it.