XCVI.

Playing, fighting, dance is all the things people do all the time, my teacher said.

Yesterday was the second day of a beginner hip-hop and jazz class I’m taking.

Last week was terrifying and hilarious. I am the slowest student of dance moves on the green earth, but never mind. This week my body remembered some of what we did last week, a common experience that always surprises me anyway.

I suppose I filter everything through the lens of teaching. I sign up for things that are hard for me and think about what it’s like to be a student, and what that means for us as teachers. That’s not why I sign up, but it’s what my brain does when it should be assimilating the dance moves.

Once through the steps, twice through the steps, faster, slower. Sometimes my brain rushes ahead, anticipating the next move and skipping the one we’re doing. Sometimes it lags behind and my body flails in the space ahead of the step we just did.

Knowing what to expect helps a lot. Things I had to think about last week: the instructor’s voice, his choice of language, where to stand, who to watch when I didn’t understand an instruction, what was going to happen next, if I could do this, if I was going to like it, what the teacher would say when I messed up, what the other students were thinking.

Things I had to think about this week: learning the dance. Having fun.

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