8 Ways Hip-Hop Dance Changed My Love Lifeby Lauren Passell on June 25, 2012
A few years ago I did something sort of unexpected and joined a hip-hop dance troupe at Broadway Dance Center in New York City. I had never taken dance of any kind before, and had never even listened to hip-hop music, but after lots and lots of practice I, with my fellow dancers, danced on the Alvin Ailey stage to Lil’ Kim, Ciara, and Michel Jackson. My teacher, Bev, completely changed my life. She taught me how to dance, but she taught me a bunch of other stuff, too. I wonder if she knows that the things she taught me on the dance floor helped me be a better dater. It’s true. I learned…
How To Correctly Shake My Ass (To Attract Men)
I got yelled at in class a lot, but the number one thing was for not shaking my butt right. It is a skill. Bev was constantly saying, “Blondie (my hip hop nickname), we gotta work on your booty!” I even read secondary sources for research. The Ying Yang Twins told me to “roll that ass round and round like a motherf*ckin’ wheel.” Genesis told me to “shake your ass quick like the holy ghost.” Star Trek TNG told me to “raise that ass like a turbolift.” Lil John and The Eastside Boyz told me to “Drop that ass shake that mother f*cker up, lean back some mo’,shake that mother f*cker up, lean back some mo, shake that mother f*cker up, shake that ass real hard, to the left make it right, shake that ass real hard, to the left and the right.” (Which actually seems like conflicting information.)
Who Flo Rida Is
Listen — I grew up in Ohio. I dyed my hair pink and wore a dog collar and listened to Blink-182. When I climbed into my friend’s mini van in middle school and she was listening to DMX I was like “Are those gun shots this song is terrifying.” I obviously listened to a lot of rap music in class, and lots of it was stuff I wouldn’t ordinarily listen to. But when I would go out to clubs and bars on Saturday night, I would know all the songs. I could sing along to Kid Cudi and I’d have dance moves to Busta Rhymes. It just made me a more social, in person when I went out which helped me pursue opportunities with the opposite sex.
How To Look Cool
The correct hip-hop stance, according to Bev, is to act tired and hungry. Before you start dancing you have to loosen up, relax your shoulders, back, and neck, and slouch a little. That is cool looking. I swear to you I started walking and looking cooler after class. And once I was at a party with these people who didn’t know how to dance and I was like, “Acting tired and hungry will take you far in hip-hop dance.” And I think I changed their lives.
Not To Be Embarrassed About Anything
Some of the dance moves we had to do in class were semi-embarrassing. I shook my ass in people’s faces, grinded up against strangers, and slithered on the floor like a stripper. After doing that for awhile, I became a less shy person. It empowered me to be more confident with guys, whether it was dancing with them at bars or just talking to them. I’d think, if I can hump my classmates, I can definitely dance with this guy. (I would also think, Oh my god what would my Feminist professor from college say about this?)
To Be Better In Bed
Like I said, I’m from Ohio. It’s a conservative place. I was a little more inhibited with men before dance class. Listening to explicit dance music, strutting my stuff, and whipping my hair around made me less uptight in bed. It also gave me more confidence about my body. I not only got better abs doing all that dancing, but I appreciated what my body could do. If you can try a new, crazy, bold move on the dance floor, you can try something new in bed, too.
Related: 5 Songs To Never, Ever Have Sex To
How To Touch Myself
Many of the dance moves required us to grab our crotches, peel up (like you see strippers do), and run our hands all over our bodies seductively. When people expressed discomfort in doing so, Bev would yell, “How do y’all take showers if you can’t touch yourselves?! Touch your bodies!” And touching your bodies is a good thing to learn how to do in life, in sex, in dance class.
To Get Out There And Do Something Different
Hip-hop was totally new to me, and it brought a whole new group of people into my life. I had a huge crush on one of my instructors after watching him spin on top of his head and break dance. And he was a guy who, before hip-hop class, I never would have looked at twice. And going to class was a way to meet people that wasn’t just working and drinking, which is something I had pretty much boxed myself in to.
You’re Never Too Old To Learn Something New (And Never Give Up)
Learning to dance gave me a lot of confidence, but it was also very humbling. For the first time in my life, I was doing something that I was really bad at, and I was not giving up because I loved it so much. That message applies to dating, too. Yes, you’re awesome and everyone could use a confidence boost sometimes. But at the same time, you don’t know everything, and you have a lot to learn from the people around you. And you cannot give up, in dancing or dating.