Liz Erk (lizerk) wrote,
Liz Erk

Dance Dance Restitution

There are very few things in this world that I won't do. Typically I love to try new activities and challenge myself. But when it comes to any kind of physical movement that requires some semblance of choreography, well... count me out. I suck.

Yesterday my friend Robyn and I went to one of those batting cage and game-type places to get in a few rounds of air hockey. After I pumelled her 5 games in a row (I rule at air hockey! HaHA!), we decided to check out the other activities. We did some candle pin bowling and then walked around a bit more. As we rounded a corner near the pool tables there was a sudden burst of bass-intensive house music.

"What's that?" I asked Robyn.

"Whoa, they have DDR!" she exclaimed.

We moved closer to the Dance Dance Revolution metal platform. It had glowing arrows on the floor and these huge speakers outlined in flashing bright colored lights.

There were two kids jumping in earnest to the music.

"We should try it after they're done," she suggested. "This will be fun."

As I stood there watching the two boys execute the dance moves flawlessly, I was suddenly spun back to my freshman year in college. It was November and I hadn't yet joined the Crew team, but my roommate and I made regular trips to the gym for running and such. One Saturday morning our Psycho RA went up and down the hall, banging on our doors.

"Come on, ladies!" she yelled. "Let's get in gear! I just got certified to teach aerobics and it's time for you all to join me in the lounge for some exercise!"

"Is she nuts?" I asked my roommate, turning away from my Interpersonal Skills research paper that I was typing up on my computer.

"Yeah, but that's nothing new," Emily responded. "What do you think? Wanna do it?"

"No," I said. "You go ahead." My mother had tried to get me to do Jane Fonda tapes since I was a kid, but I much preferred tirelessly tearing up and down the street on my Rainbow Brite bike.

Emily left to do Psycho RA Aerobics while I continued clicketty-clicking on my keyboard. A minute or so later the door opened.

"Let's go, Liz." Psycho RA demanded. "There's no excuse."

"Really," I said. "It's okay. I'm busy, you go ahead. I've got to get this paper done."

That argument proved to be a losing one because next thing I knew I was standing in the common room with about 18 girls.

"Okay, ladies!" Psycho RA barked as she put a CD in her portable player. "Let's warm up! We'll begin with a march."

She began marching in place to the beat of Real McCoy's "Run Away." The rest of us followed suit.

"5 6 7 8," she commanded. "And turn, and lift. Step, and squat. Turn, again..."

I was almost instantly lost. I gyrated awkwardly and attempted to mimic her moves. It seemed that no one else had a problem. Furrowing my brow, I tried harder.

"And back, one. To the left, two," she continued, arms swooshing in time with her feet. "And one. And two. And one and two and one..."

"Run awaaaaaay... Run awaaaaaay... Run away and save your life...," the music went on.

At that point it began to sound like a good suggestion. I started to get flustered.

"Liz," Psycho RA called out. "Just relax. Feel the beat. No, not like that. Just- okay. We'll slow it down..."

Blushing furiously, I felt everyone's eyes on me. My roommate had turned her head, but not before I had a chance to see that she was laughing hysterically. The class began to fall apart at that time and just about everyone was watching me with looks of wonder and amusement.

"Okay," Psycho RA said. "Liz, I need to ask you to leave. You're a little too distracting to the others."

That made my roommate practically double over with laugher. I shot her a look of disdain, then wordlessly left the common area.

How humiliating, I was thrown out of an aerobics class!! That little episode pretty much scarred me for life. It was a little over 10 years ago, yet to this day it still haunts me. Even when I was personal training at the gym the only class I was able to take and teach was Spin. I have a permanent aversion to any kind of choreographed movement.

When the two boys hopped off the DDR platform I hesitated.

"Come on," Robyn insisted, climbing up.

"Fine," I sighed. Maybe this would change things. I mean, really. It was just jumping on arrows right??

I put in 4 tokens. Robyn selected a trance song and the arrows began flying up the screen. As they approached the line where I had to make the move, I jumped. Backwards, forwards, side to side.

"Way Off" ... "Miss!" ... "Bad" ... "Wrong" the screen mocked me.

I furiously jumped at the arrows to no avail. It was at that point that I noticed about 7 or 8 kids watching me. All of them had the dreadfully familiar looks of wonder and amusement. Finally the music stopped.

The screen then flashed my grade: F.

And as if that wasn't traumatic enough, it was followed by a sarcastic YOU ROCK!

"Well, f#$% you!" I kicked the machine.

Robyn started laughing. But this time I vowed I wouldn't give up. We're going to buy the home version of the DDR game, since the812in_playa has an Xbox.

I will prevail!!! My day of dance (ie- confidence) restitution will be had.
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