Stepping out of my comfort zone

“Try something new. No risk, no fun”, they said.
“Step out of your comfort zone”, they said.
“Come on, it’ll be fun”, they said.

Sure…
So, I didn’t exactly try anything life threatening like bungee jumping or skydiving – although, come to think of it, those would have been less humiliating. No, nothing like that at all. Instead I let myself be talked into something far more terrifying: participating in a hip-hop dance class in public (!) and given by a professional and well-known choreographer.

Me of all people!! I love to dance but only in the privacy of my own apartment with nobody watching. And by the way, what the hell is hip hop? It’s that “yo yo” music, right? Or am I confusing it with rap and those gangsta rappers wearing hoodies and baggy pants? Or is it the same thing? See, I have no freaking clue!

Nevertheless, I bravely agreed, thinking to myself that I was doing exactly what I preach and was actually stepping out of my comfort zone. Little did I know then that I would be stepping into a completely different galaxy altogether. Boy was I in for a treat…

It all begins with me turning up wearing my gym outfit (Nike leggings, matching crop top, sports bra and fitness shoes), basically looking like I was going to a step-aerobics class. Of course, my friends – the ones who got me into this mess in the first place – were wearing the perfect hip hop outfit consisting of baggy pants, hoodie wrapped around the waist in a nonchalant manner, sneakers (the expensive, bulky kind) and matching cap. So much for:”just wear your gym clothes, we’ll do the same”! Bitches!

A look at the group and I knew this was not going to go down well. Let me paint the picture for you: A stage set up outside with 12 anxious teenagers dressed like my friends, and then there was me, the 34 year old “Jane Fonda” of the group in the middle, trying desperately to hide in the back. And a crowd of proud parents and excruciatingly loud teens who came to support their friends, watching our every move. Sounds delightful, doesn’t it? Just like I like to spend my Saturday afternoons.

The choreographer jumps on stage, scans the group and suddenly points to me: “You, have you ever danced hip hop before?”. Jesus, was he serious? Could this get any more embarrassing???hip-hop-2159913__340

“No, not really”, I squeaked from the back. Despite feeling my cheeks blush with embarrassment at being called out in front of complete strangers, I forced a smile on my lips.

“Excellent! Then come on over to the front”. Excuse me, what? The front of the stage? On full display for everybody to see? I don’t think so Mister.!

“I’m fine over here, really. Thanks”, I said, desperately wanting him to get on with his program so I could leave as soon as possible.

“Nonsense. Don’t be shy. Come on over”. Was this guy for real? Having no other choice, I marched up to the front, silently cursing him all the way and smiling apologetically at the teenage girls who were casting me fed up looks because they wanted to be center stage. Well, sorry girls…not my fault.

“Excellent.  Now let’s begin. 5, 6, 7, 8 and slide and hop!” Slide and what? Before I knew it, the whole group was moving in one direction in a perfectly synchronized fashion, leaving me in the middle of the stage, stiff as a stick, while desperately trying to catch up and somehow blend in (why on earth I felt the need to wear a neon pink top, is beyond me).  To my horror, he kept calling me out throughout the class, calling me by his nickname for me “Pink”. “Pink, the other way around!” Gosh, I just wanted to disappear. “Pink, listen to the beat!”.

An hour of bumping into the people next to me and completely messing up the steps and arm movements, later, Satan (as I had nicknamed the choreographer by then) FINALLY announced the end of the class.

“Well done everyone!”. The crowd cheered and I couldn’t get off that stage soon enough to tell my friends they owed me BIG TIME.

“Hey, Pink. Wait up.” What now? Surely, I had endured enough embarrassment for the day!

I turned around reluctantly to face him:” What?”

“You did great. A little practice and you’ll be hip hopping like a pro. I teach every Thursday at 7 pm. You should definitely come.”

Yeah, right, I don’t think so buddy! “Thanks, and don’t take this the wrong way, but: NO WAY!”. And off I strutted to find my friends and tell them they were buying me a drink.

So, turns out I am no Kanye West (that’s right, I googled hip hop artists the minute I got home) and you won’t see me hip hopping anytime soon. But hey, at least I tried something new, stuck it out until the end and can now confidently check hip hop off my list of completely unnecessary things to do. In the end, I had a good laugh about it with my friends and will definitely remember my debut as a hip hopper for a looooooong time. It’s good not to take oneself too seriously.

Happy weekend everybody!

Giovi

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