I am not a great dancer. I do not see myself as competition-ready; I do not foresee any kind of public dance performance in my future. I have a terrible memory and often forget moves I’ve learnt mere minutes before. My attempts at moving sexily would make a hula hooping hippo look sexy. And yet every Monday night you will find me in the same place- JC Reyes’ beginner hip hop class.
Dance for me is not to prove I am great. It is not about performing, or being fit or fitting in. Dance is just how I feel.
My first proper dance class was Krump hip hop. At the time I had no idea what Krump was, I just figured if i was going to take up dance, a person with a little extra weight would look better in baggy hip hop clothes than tights and tutus. The energy needed for one hour of (beginner) Krump seemed to be more than I’d used throughout my entire 22 years combined. It was tough, but it was also an amazing feeling.
A year later, I moved to Melbourne. Since krump had been so much fun I wanted to continue my dance journey, so I tried out the hip hop classes at my uni. This certainly helped foster friendships but didn’t really get my heart racing.
Finally, I found The Hub. I’ve been a regular in the beginner class ever since. I’ve dabbled in intermediate, crew training and even taken a few salsa classes. The best part about dancing at the Hub is that I can do all of these things, or none, and still feel like I am a dancer. Every week I pour all of my emotions into the latest routine and let the moves take over. I forget all of my insecurities, I forget to care what people around me are thinking, I forget that I’m not a great dancer. I just dance. And feel.
Every second I have spent at the Hub I have felt welcome and never once have I felt that my inadequacies in the art of dance presented a problem. Every teacher I’ve had has allowed me to move at my own pace and therefore taught me invaluable lessons. I have had the opportunity to witness (and dance) the individual styles of several of the talented Hub teachers, and I always try to get involved when the Hub runs workshops because I love to witness firsthand the passion of anyone in the dance industry. I also try to be in the audience for every Hub performance, because even though I’m not ready to be up there with them, I am constantly amazed and inspired by the varying talents of my Hub family.
However there is a special place in my heart for my beginner hip hop class, because this is where I have witnessed my own growth. I dance simply because I love it- any improvement in my dance skill is just a bonus side effect. But I do find myself improving, ever so slightly. I am still not a great dancer , but every lesson I can learn the moves a little faster, perform them a little cleaner, or give it a little more energy.
And if not?
Well, there’s always next week.