Not the same old song and dance

At first it seemed like a good idea.

It is an easy “A.” We do not even have to be good at it. It is just participation points. We will never understand what we are doing anyway. We are all athletes; do we really think she will expect us to do that? We do not even have hips.

Sign up for first semester dance, then we can all laugh at each other while we try to do a sashay and spin around in circles until our gym shorts fall to the ground in front of a class full of girls, and our bright yellow boxers smile to the ones behind us. How hilarious will that be? When we called each other this summer, it became evident that the joke was on us, only to realize that we had been split into different classes, and that things would not be as easy as we had anticipated.

Day one: I am introduced to Dr. Fink as a “party boy” by two of my fellow female senior friends who also happen to be familiar with my abilities (or lack thereof) in dance, before I even arrive to class. Party boys do not dance, they fist pump.

Day four: Hip-Hop Abs with Shaun T. A warm up consisting of kicks, punch’s, steps and plenty of other cardiovascular activity that I expected to have no correspondence to abdominal muscles. Again, I was wrong. Five minutes with Shaun T, his 10 incredibly good-looking assistants, and Usher, Ludacris and Lil’ John’s “Yeah!” had my body feeling like it was ready to blow.

Day Five: We begin to dance. Up until now, we had been put through various fitness tests such as the pacer, push-up and sit-up tests, and even the chance to participate in line-dancing. No intense movement was needed. We were led by Lady Gaga and her hit “Bad Romance,” but unfortunately this song gave another meaning to the relationship I held with my dance steps. The body is supposed to be able to use both sides of the brain at once while dancing; I was having a hard time using one.

Day six: The one person I know who did Pilates was my dad, so I assumed it must take absolutely no energy at all. Another lesson learned. Apparently there is a technique to breathing, and I am a lot less flexible than I imagined. The girl in the front row was making me look like an octogenarian with a broken collar bone, and I needed an oxygen machine.

Day seven: It’s time to get serious. My sashay looks like someone taught me how to dance in French, my hand movements appear as if I am trying to speak sign language and my timing is more off than a defensive lineman trying to run wide receiver patterns. For some reason I am becoming competitive, and right now I am dancing in my usual position: the very back along with the others who fell into the same unexpected trap I did.

My problem is I am 5 feet 9 inches tall, 160 pounds and a 17-year-old male, in a predominantly female class, still struggling with coordination. I have convinced myself that I cannot dance, as have the other 11 boys who are enrolled in this class with me. For the first time in my life, I feel like something is physically impossible for me to do, and as an athlete, that is unheard of. I would love to be able to dance and to dance well, but that takes time, effort and a tutu. Those are three things I do not have.

Yet through all the rumors, warm up tapes, dance moves and impossible stretching videos, I have realized one thing. Sometimes facing our weaknesses is not the worst thing in life they can actually loosen us up our lives a lot better than a Pilates video. Taking this class was not a good idea; it was a great idea.