Saturday, July 02, 2005

Rize Above Saturdays With Antonio Banderas

Yesterday I had a most excellent day with my BFF Mandy in Santa Monica. I told my husband that Mandy and I talked for seven hours straight, non stop except for three times:

1. When momentarily -- because of an optical illusion created by the angle of which I was looking -- I thought the head of the iconic St. Monica statue situated at Ocean and Wilshire had been knocked clean off. I don't think until that exact moment did I realize how much I loved my hometown.

2. When Mandy and I witnessed Bum Fight; Third Street Promenade Edition. Actually it was a scuffle between a bum (or just an old guy that looked and acted like a bum) and a street vendor. Said bum was belligerent; said street vendor tackled bum, in a nice way, and pinned him under his 250lb body until four cops on bikes skidded up simultaneously (I envisioned hours of practice on this). At this point Mandy and I broke our temporary silence and I yelled out, "Bungee cord him to the rack, boys and haul him in!" This outburst caused us to be chosen to make statements on what happened. One by one and separately, Mandy and I retold the same exact story; even with the same pantomimed actions. Mandy said, "They're gonna think we collaborated this."

3. When at the crescendo of our most excellent day we saw the movie
Rize was an emotionally charged movie. It transcended the Thank-God-Someone-Is-Doing-Something-Positive-In-The-Ghetto vibe the critics are raving about. It, to me, was about anyone genius enough to tap into themselves and create something uniquely and fascinatingly brand new. In many ways, the stand outs of this movie are more brilliant than more affluent innovators because the sole tool to craft this new dance movement was the rawness of these kids. Krumping is not just an outlet and an expression, it's more honest than that. It is down right spiritual; they are channeling God.

On a very minute level, it reminded me of when I was young and angry and I danced more; salsa and jazz classes about five times a week. I was NEVER as technical as other dancers because I didn't take a "real" dance class until age 20. But I always put my back into it, so to speak. I always danced with a lot of emotion because movement and music loosens the dirt that needed to be shaken out.

And after Rize, I was inspired. Now that I'm taking dance-like classes again, I recommitted to let all inhibitions go, make it therapeutic. Make it all meaningful again because what's the point if I don't? Though, if you were to watch one of my dance classes you wouldn't point me out as the Timid One or the Uptight One.

So, I went to Salsa Cardio today knowing that Terri was not teaching, but Antonio Banderas. It was ok, I just really needed a dance class, and to me Antonio is comedic fodder. He was in rare idiotic form today. He started way late because he was still working on his corny chorography and because he was so late, he bypassed the stretching portion of the program (increasingly important to me as I get older) and he begins to choreograph "mini" dances which we performed non stop until we are breathless and he decides to start on the next one. So far so good even if he pauses too often to figure his shit out. After the second mini-whatever he puts his hands on his hips and says with a straight face, "Wha chud we do ness?" It's times like these that I don't hide what I'm thinking well. My head flopped back and I stared at the ceiling. Just before I could suggest, "Krump Battle Off?” a soccer mom from the middle of the pack claps her hands together and yells out, "River Dance!" I laughed, but I was the only one that did. I looked at my girl Cory whom I've come to know from the classes. She rolled her eyes. And I wish I was kidding when I report that Antonio made us do a stiff, awkward mini River Dance. Shifting gears this dramatically was like stabbing a stick in the spokes of a racing motorcycle. I was livid. I thought, “This is Ssaallsa y Tango Cardio!, not McSalsa Cardio, asshole.” When he announced, "Let's add on to the Rrriva Danz,” I picked up my towel and rized up outta there, vowing to never take the class again.

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