Monday, April 07, 2008

In which I argue that white girls *can* dance, their own way.

I've been going to the gym for two years now, usually for the aerobics classes because they're the fun ones and, to be honest, also because they're the ones that fit my schedule.

There are different types of aerobics on different days, but the really fun classes are dance, on Mondays and Fridays. Really, it's a hybrid of dance and aerobics moves, of course, but the choreography is progressive and it's a lot more fun than just doing a series of repetitive stretches or kicks or whatever.

Now, the last kind of dance I had done before joining this gym was when they did a square dance unit in my high school gym class, which probably happened a total of three or four times over the course of my high school career.

Furthermore, even after ten or fifteen years of living in Costa Rica, Latin music had never appealed to me, so I never listened to it by choice and, as I've said before, I couldn't even tell the difference between salsa, merengue, or what have you.

I still can't, by the way; except that, at the gym, if I can do the choreography fairly easily, I know it's merengue, and if I keep losing the beat, it must be salsa. Cumbia I can more easily identify, and it's also a lot more fun to dance to.

Anyway. I'm quite good at the choreography that Carlos makes up in class, and unless I get there late and the class is full, my usual spot is pretty much front and center. I don't lose my place too much, and I know other people tend to follow me (and a couple of others) if they lose their place.

Be that as it may, I have no illusions.

I am sooooo the white girl doing the Latin moves, and that doesn't look like changing any time soon. (As Lisa said when she visited me last year, "I have no idea what they're doing, but you I can follow.")

But it's a whole different situation when Carlos decides to mix it up and throw a little reggaeton into the mix, as he did today. Because the Costa Ricans don't spend their entire lives seeing, hearing and dancing reggaeton. Just like I didn't grow up seeing, hearing or dancing salsa or merengue.

The playing field is considerably more level. Also? Well. There's also the fact that, at least for someone who's not that familiar with it, the dorkier you look dancing the reggaeton, the closer you are to getting it right.

Needless to say, few of the Costa Rican girls look as dorky as I do.


lisa April 07, 2008 2:15 PM  

Is that what Elaine was doing on Seinfeld?

Jennifer April 07, 2008 2:18 PM  

I have no idea, but I just googled "elaine seinfeld reggaeton" and it seems you're not the only one with that idea.

lisa April 07, 2008 4:36 PM  

You can watch it on YouTube. Search "Elaine Seinfeld Dance". It's a pop culture must see.

Jennifer April 07, 2008 4:40 PM  


Okay, no. It's nothing like that. Crap. Now I have to recalibrate my entire understanding of the word "dorky."

pidomon April 07, 2008 8:18 PM  

just me or is it kind of creepy watching these old guys dance like that with a young girl?

And now my original comment before I watched video:
CUE Men In Hats "We Can dance if we want to....

The Cunning Runt April 09, 2008 9:17 PM  

pido, that occurred to me as well - there are just some hip-moves you don't do in the face of a waist-high six-year-old!

But Jen, I'm sure you do better at class than you're copping to. And when my arm works again (as it WILL!) I'm going to take tango lessons down in NoHo. So we can BOTH claim some limited level of proficiency! :lol:

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