When I was in high school, they didn’t have anything as cool as bellydance class or recreational rugby or anything like that. There were two kinds of dance in my home town, near as I can tell: line dancing and “ethnic dancing”, the latter including, jazz/tap (New York Jews), highland (funny-talking Scots), and ballet (Frenchmen), and you had to take the “ethnic dancing” at the “lie-berry” or some similar institution. Line dancing, we learned in phys. ed.. We also learned square dancing, in grade nine.
I quite enjoyed square dancing.
And if you wanted to play sports, you had to sign up for “Intramurals”, which always gave me the mental image of being stuck inside some Salvador Dali rip-off spraypainted on the cinderblock wall of the gym.
So I was surprised to find that there was a bellydance class being offered. I signed up toute suite; the first class was wonderful – it was held in a classroom near one of the gyms (our high school had three or four gyms). The teacher pushed back the desks from one half of the room, and we learned some of the basics – shimmying, how to walk, spins, etc.. I went back for the next lesson, expecting more of the same. As I approached the classroom, I heard the radio on, and the teacher talking overtop of it. I didn’t think much of it; often teachers would have the radio on quietly in the background.
There were more people at this class as well, which is always a good sign. I didn’t recognise any of them except Smarty Pants, which was exceptionally odd as he neither went to my high school nor is he the sort of man I would picture wanting to learn any kind of dance, with the exception of something appropriate for this. Not that you can’t bellydance to anything with a beat (because you can), but rather that Smarty Pants isn’t…well, he’s not a…look, I can’t picture him prancing around to a highland beat either, so let’s just say he’s a man with particular tastes. And a certain debonair *stoicism* that precludes all but the most refined (or merely head-bobby) sort of dancing.
ANYWAY. He was in my dance class. So I waited and waited and waited for the dancing portion, and by the time it came around, I was sick of hearing the gorram radio in the background. The music lasted for about a minute, during which time I realised that Smarty Pants is Not Good with unchoreographed, random, improvised dance moves. Particularly when they involve doing hip-things (he’s got tight hips, it turns out). He got the Very Concerned look on his face when not all of the women in the group spun at the same time in the opening dance circle. Then he had the “What the hell?” look, quickly followed by the “Shit, whatever” look.
Then the music stopped and something like a 1980s video game projected on the wall took over. The teacher led us back into the classroom from the hallway where we’d been dancing. The *effing radio* was still going; I couldn’t hear her justification for having a ‘dance class’ where we got to actually dance for less than a minute, and I started getting angry. I found a couple of shoes or weights or something and put them in an old sports bag and started smashing the bejeesus out of the room. And the teacher. And anyone else who got in my way. I mean, I was *really* angry.
Smarty Pants just went away (hence the ‘Smart’ in the ‘y Pants’).
Then I woke up and realised I was just angry with our local radio station morning show host.
For the record, that was the STUPIDEST DANCE CLASS EVER. And Smarty Pants, you need to loosen up your hips, man. That’s probably not good for a guy.