Related: 40x40 List
Date completed: Thursday, September 24, 2015
“You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching, Love like you’ll never be hurt, Sing like there’s nobody listening, And live like it’s heaven on earth.” - William W. Purkey
Inspirational quotes aren't usually my thing but when the topic of dancing comes up, it's one of the first things that springs to mind. That and the opening scene of Girls Just Want to Have Fun. The quote does resonate with me - I would like to dance like nobody's watching. Somehow I'm able to do this in a structured environment like a Zumba class but not when I'm at a E.L.n.O. show. Since Zumba is more about exercise and less about mastering the moves, I wanted to take a class that slows things down a bit for dance instruction.
There are quite a few dance lesson and class options in the Twin Cities. I knew I couldn't afford the time or financial investment of traditional dance lessons (though every time I pass by the bright lights of Dance Life Ballroom, I'm tempted). Someone I admire recently turned 40 and she's been taking classes and performing with Bollywood Dance Scene. Since I had so much fun watching this group perform at Minnesota Fringe shows, I was excited to learn that their weekly classes are so accessible. The classes take place at the Tapestry Folkdance Center, a non-profit organization with a mission in line with my values.
Joining me on this 40x40 adventure was Allison Long, one of the first friends I made when I moved to Minnesota. She and I have a history of finding ourselves in awkward social situations so no matter what this dance class would entail, I knew she could handle it.
The class focused on one dance routine choreographed to Rang De Basanti, the title track of the popular Bollywood movie and composed by AR Rahman who won the 2009 Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score and an Academy Award for Slumdog Millionaire and an Academy Award for the most popular track of that score, Jai Ho.
The class was taught by two instructors who first showed us the routine in its entirety before breaking it down into small parts for the students to learn. I liked this style of learning because we were able to focus on details like hand movements.
The instructors checked in with us often to make sure we were having fun and understanding the moves. They also invited questions and were open to slowing down to concentrate on an aspects that we found challenging. I recognized several people who were in the Minnesota Fringe shows so I knew the class had varying skill levels which was both comforting and encouraging. During break, we talked with one of the women I recognized and she was kind enough to take a few photos of us demonstrating our dance moves. Clearly we're ready to audition to be cast as Bollywood dancers!
I had a lot of fun and will return for more Bollywood Dance Scene classes and perhaps I'll try some other Tapestry Folkdance Center classes.
The Nivens Family