Last Friday, I decided to join the gym on my corner, Equinox. As previously noted, it's a big investment versus my bargain-basement $26/month YMCA membership (only the Smith sisters can engineer such a deal). Nevertheless, it seemed a lot of my new friends belong to Equinox, which has locations all over the city. And, as Nate put it, "You're going to pay $100 a month in New York to belong to a crappy gym. Why not pay a little more and belong to a nice one?"
I was sold during the tour when they showed me the rainforest showers stocked with Kiehl's products. "It will be like having my own spa right down the street!" I thought.
Anyway, eager to take advantage of my new membership, I've been pouring over the list of scheduled classes. I discovered at the Y that I need the accountability of a class to hang in there and challenge myself. Spinning was my first venture. As I checked the list of classes for Wednesday night, I saw this:
NYC Dance Project, 7:30 to 8:30. Leave all your inhibitions at the door! Abby's class has the pulse of NYC, where dance is provocative, fun and flashy. Dare yourself to be truthful and expressive, and dare yourself to really dance!
Now, maybe you're seeing where this is headed?
I joined the crowd lined up outside the studio, waiting for the previous class to conclude. "Do you come to this class often?" I asked a trim, toned lady. "Is it like Zumba?"
"No, it's definitely not like Zumba. But it's great. It's more choreography." Hmm. Choreography? That was my least favorite part of auditions at the Quincy Music Theatre in my teens!
I was a little worried, but I was more determined not to chicken out. I found a place on the back row of the class and chatted with another girl, who said she was also there for the first time.
Before long, I found myself feeling like I'd accidentally stepped into a Broadway audition. This dance was hard! I kind of got the first four moves...but then we were on to the next set! And the next! Oh, crap, wait, I forgot how to do that first step. And rats, how do you get from -- wait, was that a right foot? Do you start with your left? Why is everyone going backwards! I can't see! What's she doing up there! Okay, I'll watch this guy. No, wait, he's not doing it right. That girl, I'll watch her.
Abby was endearlingly Rubenesque and couldn't have been any more sassy and encouraging. And I was at least sweaty, so it did get my heart pumping. I just laughed at myself, hung in there, and reminded myself that no one else was watching me screw up -- they were too worried about their own moves. It was a bit harder to believe that when Abby made us separate into groups of guys and girls to "perform." The guys were AMAZING. It was like watching Flashdance. Even the nerdy guy who looked like he'd stepped into the wrong class was incredible.
With five minutes to go, Abby taught us the end of the dance, which involved crawling around on all-fours and humping the floor. Determined not to leave, I gave it my best. My first-time neighbor and I laughed and rolled our eyes at ourselves and the whole silly experience. Then I noticed there was a back exit right by me...and if I stood by it while drinking my water bottle, surely no one would notice if I just slipped out...