I have a complex about my dancing abilities. Basically: I SUCK.
I used to blame this complex on my sister. Vy is a trained jazz and hip hop dancer / teacher / choreographer (singer too). She is ridiculously talented – she even spent 3 years touring the world as a Vietnamese pop star. Check out this video montage, where you can see clips of her concerts, dance rehearsals and teaching gigs.
I did not inherit this gene. I, instead, am her biggest fan and wildly jealous older sister. Whenever we hit the club scene, she’s that girl who, when she’s on a crowded dance floor, people stop to watch. Guys even challenge her to freestyle battles. The girl’s got moves, man.
Next to her, I look like Forrest Gump.
But, as I’ve discovered here in Italy, Vy is not to blame for my complex. I’m just that bad.
While I was in Rome last month, my friends Claudia and Clara invited me to their tribal belly dancing class. Mind you, this is not an Italian style of dance (it originates in Egypt or Turkey or something). I wanted to try it.
What did I learn? Shakira’s right: Hips don’t lie!
I have tremendous respect for people who can dance, but I honestly thought belly dancing would be easy. You just shake your tailfeather, right? A shimmy here, a shimmy there.
I used muscles that day that I didn’t know existed. Isolating your hips and belly require sharp precision. Then simultaneously curling the wrists and making graceful foot movements is even more difficult. Throw in the choreography and a prop (in this case, a handkerchief to seduce the audience and twirl around)…forget it! I was totally useless.
The girls had been practicing this routine for months, and they looked great. I hung in for as long as I could and had a good laugh. It was loads of fun!
But I think I’ll leave the dancing to those who can. Me and my awkward, uncoordinated self – I’ll stick with traveling.