I can’t dance. My sister Nataly is a member of Ottawa’s Pulse N’ Limited (PNL) Urban Dance Crew. She’s an amazing dancer and watching her is such an experience for me, but I know it doesn’t compare to actually being there on the floor. I thought dancing was going to be easy. I regularly kickbox and have a rigid exercise regimen. To me, dancing was just working out to music. Newsflash: It’s a whole lot more.
Last week I had my first dance practice with PNL. No, that's a lie: I sat out for the entire practice because I was intimidated by the crew and the complicated routine. I sat out and recorded their choreography. Nataly and I practised the moves over and over at home. Even though I didn’t feel the pressure of dancing in front of the crew directors and members, it was still hard.
I got frustrated. I kept messing up moves, confusing the steps... I CAN’T BODY ROLL. Bottom line: I don’t like not being good at things. During one of our practices, my sister and I got into a little fight.
Me: I’m giving up! I hate that I’m not good at this.
Her: You’ve never danced a day in your life, Stephanie. You’re not going to be good at this after two days!
She had a point. I found that I was comparing myself to the other dancers, especially to my sister, and it was making me anxious. It was taking the fun out of dancing. I wasn’t listening to the music, focusing too much on the steps of the routine, and not having any fun.
I have to change my mindset if I’m going to commit to this. I know I’m not actually going to join PNL, I’m doing this because I want to share an experience with my sister. I want to have fun. Practice is tomorrow, and I promise to do the moves with everyone else.
Check out the routine! Only the directors knew it beforehand. Everyone else learned from scratch, and they all look pretty good! (Can you imagine why I was intimidated?)
Stephanie Dor is a student, barista, and athlete. She divides her time between homework, serving coffee at Bridgehead, and going on long-distance runs. One of her goals is to publish a novel, but in the meantime she is content with hanging with family and cuddling with her dog.