Saturday, March 8, 2008

Did I really dance like that back in the day?

Besides caring for an ill child, working in the lab and studying for the MCAT, I spent my spring break watching the TV show America's Best Dance Crew (ABDC) and I'm loving it! As a rollerskater, I can't decide if my favorite crew is Breakskate or Jabbawockeez, but I came completely out of my chair after watching Breakskate do their thing. Of course, all this dancing reminds me of yet another story from my past as a dancer.

Although I took dance, ballet and tap, I was never what you'd call a real dancer. Yeah, I could do all the latest dances being done at the skating rink on jam nights in high school/college and at the club when I was a young adult. But I wouldn't really consider myself a REAL dancer as in Debbie Allen or Paula Abdul. I'd say I was more like Janet Jackson, with more grace.

Anyhoo, I became a dancer in college quite by accident. Lemme go back a few years, in high school I played in the band but decided to become a Majorette in my junior year ( I did continue to play in the symphonic band and in County bands as well). I was Captian during my senior but not what anyone would call very good at it as in I could only do a 2 turn (throw the baton up into the air, turn around 2 times, and catch it). So I went off to college in the deep south with the idea of being a majorette in the Fall and playing in the band in the Spring. Well, I treid out for the majorette squad 3 years in a row and NEVER made it. That first year I dropped my baton once which is an complete no no, so I was OK with not making the squad that year. But the last 2 years, I was perfect (and a size 6 in case anyone is wondering) so I was highly upset I didn't make the squad. So what did I do? I got together with a few friends/roomates and decided to start the first dance squad at my university. Of course, anyone who knows the history of MRM probably isn't suprised by this, lol!! Not only that, half time at basketball games became the domain of the dance squad, essentially removing the majorette from performing at that time. Talk about sweet revenge!

However, my trying to make the Majortte squad was like making history. In the school's 130 year history, only ONE black woman had ever made the squad. This was also a school which had NEVER had either a black gymnast or cheerleader EVER!!! How this was possible in the early 1980's I sadly still shake my head thinking about especially when I consider the fact that the squad went from being 50% minority in 1990 to 100% white in some recent years. Maybe young minority women have found other things to do, I don't know, I just know that it saddens me to think about it now.

Anyway, I'm enjoying watching ABDC espeically given the fact that the squads are 100% diverse! And since the roller rink near my house closed, I may consider taking a hip hop dance class instead!

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