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September 3, 2009

Filed under: music»performance»dance

Breakin' 3: Thomas Breaks a Knee

Thanks to Jeff for the title.

Last Friday was the last lesson of my first breakdancing class (the next session starts in two weeks). If I could find my camera, I'd embarrass myself with a movie clip, but conveniently it seems to have gone missing. So what have I learned?

I've learned it's going to take a while for me to get up the nerve to enter an actual cipher with people I don't know. Which is good for me, honestly: in general I'm a quick learner, so I have a tendency to acquire new skills and then lose interest once I hit a basic level of competency. The hobbies I've maintained for longer periods--like bass, for example--required more sustained effort but are ultimately more rewarding. I think this could be one of those.

I've learned a lot about movement. I am not what you'd call light-footed: my normal gait is somewhere between a stalk and a strut. My favorite part of toprock is its constant motion, and its sense that the dancer is never really settling their weight. Although I need a lot more work before it's completely natural, I'm really having fun practicing those kinds of steps--it's a new way for me to move. The same goes for footwork and freezes: even if I'm terrible at them (and I am), they're entirely new movements for my body, and thus both a challenge and a kind of puzzle.

And technically, I've learned how to: sidestep, kickball change, hip twist, indian step, kick step, CC, six-step, four-step, three-step, helicopter, shoulder freeze, and backward roll. I may not be able to do them well, or to move from one to the other gracefully, but that's about twelve more dance moves than I've ever had before. I guess I'm all set to go be highly awkward at family weddings now.

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