You go, ponytail!

Last year, I took up Indian dance. My friends and family thought this was completely hilarious, and for good reason: I’m the least coordinated person ever. Like, in the history of the world. I can’t clap along with the crowd at a baseball game, I can’t do cotton-eye joe at a bar mitzvah and I most certainly could never participate in any sort of organized dance. Until last year.

To be fair, it wasn’t really legit Indian dance – it was an exercise class at my gym and um, neither the instructor nor any of the students were, actually, Indian. I’m confident that no self-respecting Indian would be able to identify whatever I ended up doing during those 55 minutes on Wednesday evenings and Saturday afternoons as Indian dance (I’m also not sure that people of any nationality would be able to identify what I was doing as dance, period.) But still, I loved it. My instructor was completely fabulous – always telling us how cute we looked and how great we were doing. She broke down the steps so that everything was completely do-able. No matter how I felt going into the class, without fail, I left an hour later feeling amazingly confident and energized and just, happy. Better than therapy.

This may sound pathetic, but Indian dance was one of things I missed most (and still miss) after moving to Philly from DC in July. I ordered the video versions of the workout (featuring the “Jane Fonda of India!” – their words, not mine), but somehow, bouncing around my living room like an idiot just wasn’t the same as bouncing around Studio A at the Columbia Heights Washington Sports Club like an idiot.  Apparently I’m a glutton for punishment.

Which brings us to tonight. Tonight, in some sort of a delusional state,  I decided to try strip tease aerobics at my new gym. I can’t remember my exact reasoning, something about trying  new things and engaging in some sort of exercise besides climbing up to my fourth floor walkup? And being completely and utterly committed to public humiliation? Mostly, that last one.

The class didn’t disappoint. There I was, wedged in between a guy in the skimpiest neon-green short shorts I’ve ever seen (context: my gym is in the heart of the gayborhood) and what appeared to be two members of a professional dance troop. These people did not fuck around. I found myself wondering if they actually were strippers. In which case, more power to them. They were kicking my ass.

I left feeling pretty crappy about my dancing abilities, my exercise abilities and my keeping-your-relationship-hot-over-the-years abilities. I’m taking solace in two things: 1- the butter-laden dessert I’ve been ogling for months and am finally trying my hand at tonight and 2-the knowledge that I am now even closer to becoming Liz Lemon.

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