08/28/2014 05:28 pm ET Updated Oct 28, 2014

Among Dancing Queens, I Am the Jester


I snuck in the back, hoping no one would notice me. Not that they would. They reeked of confidence in their best Lululemons, while I probably reeked of something far less appealing in my sweaty maternity clothes circa 2007.

But I was here nonetheless, finally finding the courage to try the class I spent months peering at longingly through the glass partition, somehow always managing to catch the eye of this one girl who definitely thinks I'm a stalker.


It was even more intimidating on the inside. I watched crowds of ladies trying to muscle for prime position in front of the mirror. They were lionesses, and standing center stage, prowling back and forth in purple stretch pants was the pride of the pack.

The music began and the class automatically started moving. I searched frantically for Purple Pants for guidance, but she just paced the front line of her domain, relying on her pack who knew every move. Except of course me, a girl in front of me, and one girl two rows up who seemed always to be going left when everyone else was going right. I loved that girl.

There were no prompts or instruction. It was survival of the fittest, and it soon became clear that I wouldn't survive. Still, I huffed along, semi-following, jerking my body this way and that.

Arm up. Hip swivel. Step step. Swivel. Arm down. I mean, Arm down. Hip swivel. Step step step. Arm up.

No! It's arm up then down. Hip pivot left. Pivot right. Step step. Arm. Kick? How'd I miss the kick? Okay, again. I think I almost got it. Wait. No! Not a new move! I was 10 seconds away from getting the last one!

Just keep moving. Puff. Huff. Man! I can't even huff and puff in the right order! Pretend to follow along. Turn left. Turn right... into the flowing hair dancing queen next to me. Oops. She doesn't miss a beat or acknowledge. Wow. Ain't nothin gonna break her stride. Oh no.

The whole class is a bunch of gyrating hips, swinging like wild. Even Purple Pants. I can't stop staring at one girl near me whose butt just naturally rotates on spin cycle while I feel like I am trying out for a bad porn movie that I definitely won't get cast in. Her butt swivel is beautiful and hypnotic. All of a sudden I'm craving a milkshake.

The move suddenly changes and she and everyone else flip around. I'm now face to face with the girl who thinks I stalk her. Greaaaaat. Brief awkward smile and the dance flips again. I watch her conspicuously drift right and a lot further up front. Really?

I continue pretending to follow along, feeling bursts of affection every time the uncoordinated girl obviously does the wrong move. Poor girl, I think happily, watching her do her moves without the slightest inhibition.

By the time the class is over, I had redefined the word spastic, bumped into the woman next to me twice, peed my pants just a little, and realized that while I thought I could dance, I actually could not.

So now, while I still have a shred of dignity and anonymity, I'm going to sneak back out the way I sneaked in, unnoticed -- except of course that one girl who's probably calling the police right now.

A monkey has no business hanging with a pack of lions.