What is contemporary dance? Yea, I didn’t know what it was either. It was actually a work colleague who broke it down to a very, simple science – moving the body with maximum fluidity and creating those lovely shapes good dancers only do so well (like the kids from Fame). So unfortunately for a heavy-footed sister like me, there’d be no b-bopping, hip-hopping, jazz hands, no sirree. Just movement? Easy enough, right?
I was part of a class of about 20 or some females (no token fellas, as the sprightly dancer teacher Debbie jokingly pointed out) and I wasn’t even dressed for the part – so you can imagine my horror when Debbie announced that the class can only be done barefooted (in order for our feet to connect with the floor, she said) and not only were my feet stinky after a hard day’s work, but my toes had not seen a pedicure for a minute. But this collection of ladies made me feel okay about all of that and I’m forever grateful.
The class involved learning a number of exercises (two limbering routines and a foot warmer) and eventually a routine I didn’t have time to stick around to learn to the end. We bent down, rolled up, swung our arms around, pliéd, en croixed, tendu’d, rolled across the floor and attempted to compliment the europhic music playing gently in the hall – and after a few movements, most people picked up the pretty and angelic movements. As for me, maybe it was my poorly fitting jeggings (you know when your ass-crack plays peek-a-boo? Yep, terrible) or my multi-tasking (I was also taking snaps), but I was ridiculously stiff – which is a shame, as I did ballet as a kid and sort of thought plies and leg swings would come rather naturally to me.
That said, the taster session inspired me to perhaps dive into this unique world of interpretive dance – if only to restore the belief that I’m still a limber spring chicken who should work on developing her flexibility before its too late. Did I mention that I felt a bit bloated too? Yea, not good. But I think Debbie and the ladies in attendence were absolutely amazing, and I’d be open for them to teach me a trick or two – for my ego, at least.
The Contemporary Dance course begins on Thursday, April 22nd 7:30-9pm at the Macbeth Centre, Macbeth Street W6 9JJ. Visit www.hfals.co.uk or call 020 8600 9191 for more information about this and other courses. (and Special thanks to Elaine and Debbie for accomodating me at such short notice)