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Talking about Dance: Good, Bad, and Ugly

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There are many college essays about dance, but my will be the most non-trivial one. Welcome to Dancing for Terrible Dancers 101, taught by me, the world's worst dancer. Nope, this isn’t an oxymoron; it’s just me sharing what I've learned after finally coming to terms with the fact that I’m a terrible dancer. Dancing is a vital part of life, almost inescapable, but it isn't something to be afraid of. Some of us are unfortunately born with two left feet (me), but that shouldn't be the reason why we are not dancing. If I were able to teach an extracurricular class at Reed, I would give a class on my tips for appreciating the joy of dance, good, bad, and ugly.

After two years of ballet as a kid, I was kindly encouraged to come off the team -- by my mother, no less. At first, I believed it was because she thought tennis lessons were a better fit, but recently she shared that it was because the instructor kicked me off for not showing progress. After that I tried musical theatre, where I realized I couldn't do a box step to save my life; Zumba was no easier. But that didn't put me off from dancing; I just loved to do it so much that I would do it for fun. To this day, every second Saturday of the month I go down to the art district of Miami and dance from 9pm-12am at the big outdoor dance party. It is my absolute favorite day of the month.

This past weekend I went with my friend Peter; it was his first time there and he said “Deanna, although there are probably some classically trained dancers out there, you are the most soulful and happy dancer I've ever seen.” Mind you, he's kind of a hippie, but that is possibly one of the most rewarding compliments someone has ever offered me. The key to dancing when you have no rhythm is confidence. Although I may be off beat or just doing some ridiculous move, I always do it with a smile on my face, which gives off the vibe that I know what I’m doing. Then I just throw in some cheesy moves like the sprinkler or a shoulder shimmy, and do my best to not hurt myself. The key is to have fun with it. Everyone around you will, too. After my lesson, Reed students will be popping and locking with confidence all over campus.

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