January 09, 2012

Dance Like a Man

Last year my niece started learning Hip Hop and when she met me, she challenged me to dance with her. Well, as much as I love dancing and appreciate a twirl or two on the dance floor, my girth does not allow me much flexibility. But I did start early, as early as in kindergarten where 6 of us were made to wear sarees and made to dance to Rabindrasangeet. That would have been the first time I did any form of serious dancing.

In school however, the bug was dormant till around class 12 when we did not even have a team for the interclass dance competition. We only had one guy who was really really good and then we became the background movers and shakers and in an emotional speech before the performance we made it clear to all the judges how difficult it was for us to put this show up. And they listened. You see in a missionary and slightly snobbish boys’ school, the fact that someone was trying to put up an eastern classical dance show was extremely courageous. Men and dancing somehow did not gel well together, unless you were claiming to be Mithunda or MJ.

The next was in Year 1 in College in the Music Nite. And mostly it was a wild flaying of hands rather than any coordinated movement but by fourth year we had perfected the basic moves. Sridevi trained us on the Nagin moves, Govinda on the basic bollywood steps and the Roshan boy gave the ones who were a little better something to emulate.

By 4th year, we were serious about dancing and the Dance Workshop was coming up and we hijacked T to come and teach us the steps that would get us selected for DW. T was the best dance teacher I ever had. He saw the bunch of us in our tattered dresses, gulped hard visibly a few times and then went ahead with his job.

DW was one of the most fun memories I carry back from BITS. And I loved every moment of it. Feeling the music, letting it control your body is something that helps you to release all your inhibitions and your fears. But for the love of my life, I could not do Charleston! I loved Jive, I loved the Tango and the Waltz just blew me off my feet. And I looked down upon the new age dances ever since.

I mean Hip hop was born in the 70s. How young is that!!! At least we have seen Mithunda breaking to Bappida’s music but Popping!!! Really Popping!!! And I am leaving Locking aside for the time being. But my 5 year old niece loves her hip hop and I am the cool uncle who’s gonna take her dancing when she’s 13 and I’m well, I’m 14. So I needed to learn Hip Hop.

And I walked into a class. In the first 5 minutes it was clear that the hips and their movement is an important part of the entire hip hop basic steps. Now both Shakira’s and my hips don’t lie. Her’s speak of the hours of gymming that have gone behind them and mine; well mine shows the effect of unhealthy eating habits on human anatomy. It was all for a good cause.

Now there is something to learn from everything. There were lots of beginners in the class. And while the arms and legs were not exactly coordinated, the Indian women beat everyone is the hip shaking. I guess the years of watching the Bollywood stars help. I also realized that if Britney and I both posted our respective hip movement videos on you tube, mine might just have more hits due to its insanely comical features.

But not to disappoint my niece I trudged on and I realized I am more prone to ankle injury while hip hopping than while doing kick boxing.

Long story short, slow down the music a bit, give me a floor and I am ready to hop. The hip shall come in soon.

No comments: