Thursday, 30 August 2012

those dancing days

I was in dance schools all throughout my teen years. Sometimes, in the summer, I would also join workshops or go to dance festivals.
To be honest, I think I've tried almost every style you can think of: ballet, contemporanean, ballroom, poledancing, lindyhop, mtv dance (don'ts ask), tapdance, scottish jigs, russian circle dances, tarantella siciliana, portuguese tradicional dances...  I even tried classical indian dance, once!

The classes were very different, too: from the one I learned mazurka, in a big tent in Andanças, with a man playing the violin for us and everybody hugging in the end (because it's so intimate and beautiful), to a ballet class in a theater with a stiff lady, that screamed "STRAIGHTEN UP YOUR LADYPARTS" in a weird accent.

I'm not trying to brag and say I can dance all this things. Because I truly can't. I was really bad at some of them cofcof hip-hop cofcof and I never practised enough to be actually good at any. But it was fun to try it all. and I like fun.
(Will somebody pleeeeeze offer me one of this for christmas? Yes. I mean you, João.)

So, anyway, signing up for dance classes eventually leads to dancing on a stage a few number of times. At least once a year. No big deal, just small stuff that only my parents saw, but still..
Considering all the times I danced for a public, I can think of three that were probably the weirdest, or simply most unconfortable performances of my life.*

#1 - the time I danced merenge in Rivoli

I really don't know what made me join latin dances when I was 14. It was probably because my friends were joining too (all the cool kids were doing it) and I didn't know better.
I didn't stay for long, but just enough to take part in the school show, in Rivoli.

It was one of the most professional places I danced in.
I cleary remember the mirrors with the little lamps all around it. The dressing rooms. The list with the alignment stuck to the doors.
Being in a backstage was one of the things I most enjoyed about dancing. Busy corridors full of stressed people! Glitter! Weird Superstitious! 
Backstages are awesome!

But let's face it: Merengue isn't reaaally my kind of dance. It's all sexy and latin.

and I felt awkward.

At some point in the coreography, I had to do this move where I walked/bounced-in-a-sexy-way, over my dance partner, who was lying down on his back.

14-year-old me was very prudish and shy. Having to dance sexyly with this older boy (he was 17!!) was bad enough, the possibility of him seeing my panties made me feel really weird. I think my face always went bright red in that part of the coreography.

Some years later, when I started taking contemporanean classes, I got much more confortable about dancing close to other people. All the touching, grinding, falling and rolling over random strangers does that to a person. So, thankfully I'm not as much of a prude now. But then again, I didn't have many boys looking under my skirt since then, either.

#2 - the cinderela ball
I had a very very minor part on my dance school's production of Cinderella.
Most of the time I was on stage I just had to stand still in the same position. Which wouldn't be that hard if they hadn't made me wear the most itchy, girly, abajour-looking dress I ever put on. 
And I could'nt move. I couln't scratch.
It was SO unconfortable.
I was waaaay past the age of liking those frilly-princess-ballerina outfits. I wanted to wear wavy long skirts like the ones older girls had. And black tights. I wanted to be elegant! 
Instead I looked like a dancing wedding cake.

#3- the drunk teen dance
One time, me and the girls in dance class prepared a coreography for one of the school recitals. It was a contemporanean piece about a group of friends meeting for a few drinks and getting too drunk to go home. There was obviously a lot of leaning, falling and rolling around, can you picture it?

So, we decided that some of us should play guys, to have a more heterogeneous group of friends. I was obviously one of the chosen to do so, since I'm fairly flat-chested and if you hide my hair and dress me in baggy clothes I look like an extremely tall 13 year's old boy.

I'm convincing myself androgyny is not a bad thing and it'll eventually be usefull if I commit a crime and want to run away unnoticed.

Not only was I in my male disguise, there was a part, in the beginning of the coreography, where I tried to flirt with one of the girls, and slaped her ass when she turned away.
No kidding! I was the sexist douchebag! That was my part!! I was the disgusting man in the group! 
I was THAT guy!

Sometimes I still think: why the hell did we decide to do a cross-dressing-underage-drinking coreography in a recital for our parents.
honestly. why?

Anyway, one of the mums thought I looked hilarious dressed as a boy and she filmed the whole thing (my parents didn't... go figure.)
We met a few weeks later and she told me she had been re-watching it from time to time just to have another laugh.
I'm glad it improved her spirits.

*(to be honest, there were a few worst than this three, but I'm still blocking them from my mind.)

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