I took ballroom dancing in college, spent time clubbing, and I like to think that I can do a pretty mean version of the Electric Slide and Whip/Nae Nae. Sometimes I throw in a little old school robot arm for good measure.
Nowadays I often dance at home, especially when writer’s block comes calling as it is an excellent way to shake loose words determined to hide. In my mind’s eye I have the moves of a hip hop goddess and my stomach and hips roll like my bones are made of the distilled, liquid-gold juju of the dancing gods. My knees don’t pop, my butt can twerk so badass (no pun intended) that I break through multiple dimensions by decimating the laws of physics, and I’m always on beat.
In my mind, I beastmode so hardcore that the beasts run and hide, and sign up for dance classes in shame.
Yep, that’s right, Beyoncé and Rihanna are both calling, wanting to know where their lead dancer/choreographer has wandered off to. They’re in a bidding war that will have me set for life, the proud owner of a mansion in Italy. (If this did ever happen —it won’t— I have a feeling Janine might beat me over the head with an iTac bar and assume my identity to take my place. If I disappear, you know why.)
Either way, in my imagination my moves are smooth as silk, edgy as hell, and devilishly erotic.
Yeah, okay. In my dreams, lol! That being said, there were very few classes that made me pause before jumping in with both feet, but Krunk ’n Krome had me hesitating just a wee little bit. I think partly because it sounds like something only teens or early-twenty-somethings would be good at, which is baloney. It brings to mind bandanas, mid-drift shirts, shoes with attitude, wild hair, and the perfect-winged-liner-and-pouty-lip-combo.
Could a still semi-out-of-shape, thirty-something learn how to hip hop dance without looking lame?
I’ll readily admit that it doesn’t bother me to laugh at myself or to be silly, but I really, really don’t want to be lame. Lame is boring, and boring is giving up on life and fun and descending into the mentality of “I can’t” versus actually doing everything on my bucket list.
Who wants to fossilize? Not me! (P.S.- If I WAS going to be a fossil I would demand to be fossilized in sparkling quartz rock with marble veining.)
When my coworkers ask me what crazy classes I’m taking that day, their response always amuses me. It’s rather interesting how many people are intrigued by someone taking a pole class, and even more so a hip hop pole class, but they then quickly add that they could “never do that.”
Bull. Crap. Don’t think like that, its just your lizard brain trying to be lame and drinking the Kool-Aid.
For one, the class isn’t intimidating at all and even though the class description says you can dress in your hip hop best, you can also just show up in regular workout gear. The choreography is broken down over the hour with more bits and pieces added after each repetition. Sometimes a move doesn’t feel right for my body (hello, wonky hip flexor), but nobody cares if you alter the sequence. To be honest, there have been times I’ve forgotten entire segments of choreography and none of the instructors have given me The Stink Eye Look Of Hip Hop Disapproval and demanded I go sit in the corner and think about what I just did wrong.
Pro (I’m not a pro) tip: When in doubt, hip swivels and body rolls will save the day.
By the end of class you’ve gone through the entire piece several times, and then you can either be filmed, or opt (like I do) to be “helpful” and hold the camera for someone else in class. No one is going to shove you into the frame if you don’t want your sassy attitude forever immortalized, I promise. Yet one day I bet I (and anyone else) will be comfortable enough in my own skin to be okay being filmed getting my groove on.
Aradia is good for that.
As an aside, it still blows my mind a little bit that there are different styles of pole dancing beyond sexy, fun, comedic, etc. If anyone is curious, ballet and pole dancing is a great combo and seeing someone in a tutu kick pole butt is pretty awesome.
So, yeah, the moral of this rambling story is that don’t be nervous about classes that seem even more outside your comfort zone than even basic pole class. So what if you’re not the next America’s Got Talent Hip Hop Superstar? At least you’re moving and having fun with a bunch of awesome fellow students!
Oh, and as a side benefit, if you’re ever at a boring party where you would rather claw your eyeballs out than hear one more witticism about the weather, dropping the fact that you do a “hip hop pole dancing class” is guaranteed to be an audience attention grabber!
Aradia Fitness Cary offers their hip-hop infused pole choreography class several times throughout the month. Look at our class schedule to sign up for Krunk “N” Krome.
Article Written by Khara Johnson, Student at Aradia Fitness Cary in Cary, North Carolina.
May 19, 2017