Every time someone performs on stage, the loud music pumps up your adrenaline levels; something makes your feet tap, trying to wriggle its way up, to make your entire body groove. But you don’t allow it, because you think that your body doesn’t know how to!
And that’s just about how much I’ve known dance. From a distance. Admiring in awe & wondering, ‘These people are awesome!’
Until 4 months back, when I finally took the plunge & stepped inside RSUDC to learn Hip-Hop. At first, I felt like Shah Rukh Khan from ‘Rab Ne Banadi Jodi!’ Scared & completely clueless. And by the end an exhausting class, I knew, ‘Eeejii nai hai Hip-Hop!’
I could’ve easily not gone back the next day; but the first time you see yourself in that mirror infront of you & do that first step…Boy, do YOU get hooked! This is how one of the first days of practice sessions looked like:
And since then I’ve been cheating on literature for dance! And shamelessly without feeling guilty, I’m here to explain why!
1) Sweat, Sweat, Sweat!
What makes you sweaty, also makes you happy! (No pun intended!) And God knows how people who work for I.T, deserve to be, at the end of a grueling day!
2) It makes you defy physical limitations!
It’s not just the WWE guys who can do that!
When your instructor makes you sit in a crouching position till what feels like the end of time & when you learn to balance your body on your hip-bone & elbow & freeze; you eventually learn that your body is a slave of your mind. Sure, you’ll have your fair share of bruises & sprains, but the joy of attempting (and almost doing), something beyond the laws of gravity & physical limitations, makes you almost reach out to bliss!
At the end of this, I am left with a hurt shoulder & a sprained ankle, but everything I’ve learnt in that studio & on the stage at Ravindra Bharti yesterday, makes it all worth it!
3) Practice solves everything!
Just like in every other field, talent can easily be over-ridden by hard-work. You can start with two left feet & still rock the hardest; as long as you go back and practice!
My instructor, Warhead-the-great, doesn’t believe in documentation. (I heard you writers gasp!) He, instead, relies on his muscle-memory for his dance vocabulary. And the more you practice, the wider it gets. Although, this highly-expensive-cache comes at the price of aching muscles, turns out, the instant accent, pays off in a battle!
And after a ton of practicing, this is how we looked like, a few days before the performance:
4) It’s not about the music. It’s about the feel.
I picked it up from a hoarding during some performance yesterday. Be it Hip-Hop, Salsa, Bollywood or Tollywood, the best performers were not the ones who got the step right, but those who had an infectious smile and a twinkle in their eye! NOW you throw in attitude, rhythm & dance steps and the combo would be deadly!
5) THE STAGE!
Sure, I’ve been on a stage more times than what can be kept count of, but as a public speaker, you have to worry about eye-contact, sweaty palms & shaky legs!!
But here, the more you sweat & the more your legs shake, the better you get at dancing! Plus your audience is in such a good mood, that when you move, they cheer, you hit, they cheer, you attempt the impossible, they cheer & when you stop & get back, they cheer the loudest!
With blinding lights, you dance, to a pitch dark room that is shouting & hooting till the very end! Need I say more?!
After months of toiling & trolling in the studio, we’ve finally ended up looking on stage like this:
The Friend Version:
The Official Version:
When I started asking people around about Hip-Hop, almost everybody said… ‘Hip Hop is a lifestyle!’ And I was like, ’Yeah Yeah…. I get it! Enough!’ But now I kinda have started getting a feel of what it means.
And for that I just cannot thank Sugandh, for all the support; our happy-grumpy-loco-cool-patient instructor Shreyas for not giving up on us; my awesome batch, Rachana, Rutuja, Chitrangda, Sweta, Renu, Mahesh & Rajdeep who always kept the bar high & kept me on my toes to try and keep up; Rajan, for being the guiding light; & the place where I met all these super cool people, RSUDC!
May be someday I’ll start battling too & Stomp & Jab in anger, who knows where an affair might take you?
But will it ever get serious?! We’ll have to see. Right now, we’re just having fun!
So, if you think you have two left feet, like I used to think I do, I hope this would nudge you off the edge! 😉