Dancing Fool, or 13 Going on 40

“13 Going on 30” is an old Jennifer Garner romantic comedy that’s probably best remembered as a female version of “Big”.  There’s a scene where the Garner character revives a boring party by getting everyone to do the Michael Jackson Thriller dance.  If you don’t know what this is, click here or go to YouTube.

Anyway, it’s a silly, fun scene.  Garner is having so much fun that she convinces the “too cool” crowd to act silly for one evening.  One of things I remember thinking was “I would never do it” or I would have to be drunk.  I’ve done my share of goofy things but I’m generally reserved and have some of that “too cool” attitude.   Fear of making a fool of myself comes into play too!

However, this weekend, I got an unexpected chance to cross this off of my “fear” list.  I stumbled into a dance class at my gym, thinking it would be simple faux dance class, not a class where you actually have to memorize steps and do a routine.  I prefer not having to think while I exercise!  Still once I was in there, I wanted to exercise.

As with any class, I could tell that many of the students were regulars.  A few were even dressed like real dancers with ballet-inspired outfits and shoes noticeably less chunky than my aerobic sneakers.  Luckily for me, the teacher that day was a substitute.  Instructors oftentimes go through routines quickly, assuming that the regulars know many of the basic steps.  With a sub, however, all steps are new so we were all on the same level.

The sub was a cheerful British woman with an enthusiasm for Michael Jackson music.  Not only did we dance to Thriller, we were treated to an hour’s worth of music from the King of Pop.  The main “routine” plus the warm-up was definitely inspired by the Thriller video, which meant somewhat awkward jerky movements if you didn’t do it well.  The fear quickly fell away as I sweated and concentrated on just keeping up.   I think I did fairly well as long as I shadowed a very fit regular in front of me.   By the end, I was actually enjoying it!

Now I think I’m a closeted Michael Jackson fan.  The 80s were an awesome decade!


3 responses to “Dancing Fool, or 13 Going on 40

  1. Well done! Did you go with a friend or pluck up the courage to go alone? I started Zumba about a year or so ago…I waited for friends to say they would join with me but realized that if I waited for anyone else I would never go…so I faced my fear and went along and now I LOVE it! One hour of loud, groovy music and shaking my bootie. I live in the country so our Zumba class looks nothing like those ads where super fit, young slender, sexily clad hotties dance away. We are aged between 25 and 60, none of us are super skinny and we dress “appropriately”. I love it and am so glad I braved goign alone.
    Cheers to facing fears!

  2. We have an awful video of me attempting to follow a hip hop routine in a workout video. Really awful. But it was fun! And I think that’s probably the point. If people want good aesthetics in dance moves they can go watch real music videos 🙂

  3. Michelle – I went solo. I prefer to embarrass myself without witnesses! Plus I really thought it would be more like a step class, with easy to follow steps.

    Laura- A video! I would love to see that..

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