One of my best friends, R, is an associate at my soon-to-be-law-firm. R is everything that I am not: relaxed, laid-back, loud, and flirty. She is also really good at dancing. When she applied to the law firm, one of her "interests" was bellydancing. This predisposed all the men to loving her and all the females to hating her. We are in the middle of Kansas, so naturally the men won.* One time when we were summer associates R taught a drunk partner and his wife how to bellydance. I still have photo proof.
Not even a day after I moved to Wichita, R started begging me to go to zumba with her. Dancing and I do not have a good past. When everyone else my age was mimicking Britney Spears and dancing to the Backstreet Boys, I was reading Little House on the Prairie and the Boxcar children. Instead of going to high school dances, I went to debate tournaments. Most recently, I had several awkward interactions at a friend's bachelorette party. (Note: if a guy asks you to dance with him, offering to discuss the most recent book you read is generally not considered a satisfactory substitute). As I was admiring another friend's superior "moves," she commented that Zumba had aided her dancing. So when R asked me to go with her, I quickly said "yes." I had hopes of reclaiming my years spent not attending all those community center dances and really experiencing my early twenties.
What I failed to account for is the fact that having no coordination or sense of rhythm is much, much worse in a room of fifty sober women all doing the exact same dance moves. For the first five minutes I attempted to follow everyone around me. This led to a quick realization that I was moving my left foot when everyone else was moving their right foot. I then began flailing around as quickly as possible, hoping that my fast moves would trick some people into thinking that I actually knew what I was doing. Once the instructor added clapping into the mix, I was doomed. I went into a state of shock and stood still in the middle of the 50 other women "zumba'ing" around me. At this point, fifteen minutes into the fifty minute session, I began questioning my womanhood. Luckily R noticed my imminent break-down and kindly suggested that maybe I would like to go run on the treadmill and meet her after class.
As I write this entry, I am currently staring at four different dance videos borrowed from R's library. I'm supposed to start with bellydancing for beginners and work my way up to hip hop. I'm already apologizing to my neighbors who live below me. I tend to trip and fall a lot.
*Just kidding. R is beloved by everyone at the firm. R is also an amazing attorney -- she just won her first trial!