Health

How to let out your inner dancing queen

It took just one hip hop class to remind me how much I loved to dance.

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Full disclosure—I’m a bit of a dancing queen. I find it hard to sit still when music is pumping around me, although most of my dancing lately has been limited to chair dancing while watching So You Think You Can Dance.

I come by this love honestly—both my sister and my aunt are dance teachers, so I like to think it’s in the family genes. I myself took tap and jazz lessons from the time I was four years old until I was 18, and for the last four of those years I also helped teach classes. But once I left for university, life got too busy and funds were too short to take dance classes. So aside from moshing on the dance floor at the local club, dancing and I went our separate ways.

And while I gave up my love of doing dance, it never left my life completely—I still went to the ballet once in awhile, or dance troupe performances with my sister. And by the time my daughter was three years old, she was trying her tiny feet in Twinkle Toes classes. Today, at six years old, she’s done a number of dance styles including ballet, modern, even Bollywood. And me, I pretty much am your classic parent—fulfilling my dance dreams through my daughter, although to be honest, the kid pretty much dances non-stop whether in class or at home…see what I mean when I say it’s in the genes?

Shortly after Christmas, a good friend of mine called me up and asked if I wanted to take a hip hop class with her. Nothing crazy—just a bunch of women taking a class and learning some easy hip hop moves. I didn’t even let her finish the sentence—yes, of course I would! Gulp…wait a minute, I haven’t pulled off hip hop-like moves since I danced to Ton Loc’s “Wild Thing” at a recital. Aah, who cares I concluded. I get to dance again! Giddiness ensued.

And did it ever—the giddiness floweth over when my friend picked me up and we headed to class. And before we knew it, this tiny wisp of a teacher was encouraging us to throw it down to Girlicious. It didn’t take us long to toss our nerves aside. I couldn’t get enough of it, and the hour whipped by.

Now that I’m back dancing, and I have to wonder what have I been waiting for? Dance is amazing exercise sure, but it’s also so much fun and slaps a perma-grin on my face for the next few days. Between dancing and my renewed love of Tetris (thank you new iPhone app that lets me play in the school parking lot while I wait to pick my kids up), it’s got me thinking: What else did I love to do as a kid that I don’t do anymore?