I love to dance. I always have, since I was a little boogie baby. Just can’t stop this gal from groovin’ when a great song is playing. That’s one of the reasons I’m in children’s ministry at church – nobody raises an eyebrow at the Bible Story Lady getting her bad self down to a praise song when all the kids are doing it too.
But the thing is … I’ve never seen what I actually look like when I’m rockin’ till I’m droppin’. Untl now. And it’s shocking.
Can you imagine a raw noodle, rigid and unyielding, awkwardly stuck in a bowl of cooked, supple, bendable spaghetti? Well, that’s me.
When I recently joined a local Christian gym (so nice not to have to endure casual profanity and workout attire that makes one blush), and in particular, the aerobic and line dance classes, I hadn’t bargained for the enormous mirror-wall that forces me to face facts.
I’m a stiff. Yep, I move like a dadgum stick.
Despite all the jive I picture myself exuding in my head, in the real world I dance like a gigantic marionette. I’m afraid the six surgeries on my collective knees have taken a toll (instilling fear of a false move that might land me back under the knife). Plus being sweetly ripened past that magical 6-0 age probably adds a little starch to the spine and tar to the joints.
But really? I cannot believe I look like THAT. You could use me to jack up your car to change a flat.
I do adore the wild and crazy routines to Toby Mac and Mandesa (who doesn’t love being an overcomer?) and maybe even a few harmlessly fun secular tunes thrown in (and that ain’t no lie, baby, bye-bye-bye!). And I’ll admit losing my ever-lovin’ mind when they played MY SONG at line dancing (I’ve always and will forever more “love that old time rock & roll! That kind of music just soothes my soul!”). My sister Cindy, the reason for me being there in the first place, said (like only a sister can) that I was flat out embarrassing when I cut loose from the designated steps and started ripping my own antiquated moves while singing
at the top of my lungs.
But hey, it was MY SONG!
I just couldn’t help myself. (Don’t shake your head – you know you do the same thing!)
Thankfully the other gals in my classes are graciously tolerant of my occasional outbreaks of inappropriate enthusiasm. Even a stick likes a good windstorm now and then. I realize it’s evident to one and all that I’m the worst one in there. When I can’t keep up with the steps, I just fling my limbs around randomly or resort to doing the swim or the jerk (remember those old 60s dance steps?). But my co-dancers are kind enough not to judge.
At least out loud.
And the leaders are encouraging; as if this piece of stiff pasta might actually cook a little one day. Kendra, the lovely and very godly leader of the aerobic dancing class (Refit), is my soul hero – her moves flow as smoothly as melted chocolate. Just the way I saw myself in my head. Until that dang mirror-wall burst my bubble.
Which leads me to my final grouse. Why do they need a mirror-wall at all? Do people actually like looking at themselves exercise? I certainly don’t. Once I discovered my pathetic raw noodle quality, I’ve done everything in my power not to look at myself, pinning my eyes on the leader or the ceiling, or my sister in front of me (makes me LOL to watch her, but that’s what sisters do. She’s older, BTW …).
My dance class experience can pretty well be summed up by the Asian woman standing beside me (a few years my senior), when the music suddenly stopped and everyone around me finished positioned UP while I was still DOWN, always a step behind and two to the left.
Completely winded, I glanced up at her, expecting a sneer of superiority or at least a smirk of condescension. But instead I found a kind smile and a hand up.
“No worry,” she said. “Just for fun.”
And it is. Even for Noodle Girls.