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Jake Potts VS Hip Hop

Jacob Potts, OpEd Editor, Staff Writer

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Picture a class at the Beth Walsh Dance Center: a bunch of toned goddesses moving across the dance floor like professionals, every movement precise and perfectly coordinated. Then picture me: a nerd who hasn’t worked out since February flailing in the corner, wiping sweat off my forehead in between gasps of oxygen.

Jenna Leonovich, an Insight staff writer and dancer extraordinaire, invited Grace Kilroy and I to attend her hip-hop class at Beth Walsh. Because I was a member of the duo whose choreography convinced the judges to declare us the winners of last year’s Lip Sync Battle, I thought that maybe, just maybe, I could keep up.

I was wrong.

The evening began with an ab workout that I was wholly unprepared for. As I said before, I haven’t exactly been the picture of fitness as of late, so I cramped up within the first thirty seconds or so. I ended up lifting my head periodically to make it seem like I was doing crunches, but I think the dancers saw through the illusion.

Next came “walking the floor,” an exercise in which the instructor walks from wall to wall doing some steps and the rest of the dancers follow, trying to match her movements. This was my shining moment. Sure, I used the wrong foot on almost every beat and lumbered across the hardwood with about as much grace as an ogre, but at least I sort of got the hang of it. Plus, I knew all the music. Everyone looked a little taken aback when I perfectly mouthed all the lyrics to Beyonce’s feminist anthem, “Run the World (Girls).”

From then on, my performance plunged into a downward spiral. We began reviewing the dancers’ combo routine. At first, I thought I could stay afloat; we started in slow motion, learning the moves step-by-step. I could proficiently carry out the first six, but then the instructor said the word I was dreading: “Faster!”

To call their routine “fast” would be an understatement. Rather, it was a series of moves carried out at the speed of light. I gaped as the dancers performed, perfectly synchronised to the point where they were all mirror images of each other. Meanwhile, I convulsed in the back, looking strikingly like one of those balloon people you see at car dealerships.

I reached my lowest point when the instructor whipped out an iPad and began recording the routine. The prospect of someone putting footage of my “dancing” out into the world proved too terrifying to bear. As a result, my already-laughable “dance moves” devolved into nervous twitches that, to my chagrin, are probably on someone’s iCloud right now.

In spite of our epic failure, Grace and I had a lot of fun. It felt good to laugh at ourselves while everyone else killed it. There’s also something electrifying about hearing the music boom while your feet hit the dance floor. Best of all, the dancers and the instructors were extremely kind and accommodating, and for that we give them our sincerest of thanks.

Did I have an epiphany and decide to pursue a career as a professional hip-hop dancer? No. But I did certainly enjoy myself, and I would recommend hip-hop to anyone looking to let loose. You might feel a little ridiculous at first, but don’t let that scare you out of having a great time.

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Barnstable High School's Award-Winning Student News Site
Jake Potts VS Hip Hop