Fly Moves on the Dancing Grooves

Disco Imperial Storm Troopers

‘Only Imperial Disco Troopers dance with such precision.” – Obi-wan Kenobi

You know, I’ve only sat in on a couple of Hip Hop classes, but last night I was just blown away by how many girls get into it. Gloria Jones started offering Hip Hop classes in Houston again this week and the turnout was just amazing. But if there were more than 5 guys in the class, I couldn’t find them. It was like standing in a sea of girls, all wiggling and jiggling and hopping and….

Guys, you look totally stupid out there in the clubs, trying to wave your shoulders back and forth while the girls do their moves. And if you’re wondering why you can’t meet more girls when you go out to the clubs, here’s a clue: get yourselves into a friggin’ dance class.

‘Nuff said.

Not that I’m actually in the Hip Hop class. Wish I could do it, but it’s not a good time for me. Maybe in a couple of months. Latryce, the teacher handling the class, is absolutely cool and she’s got like college degrees and competition dance experience and can pick up any dance move you show her in about 3 seconds. She dropped by the ballroom dancing class where I was helping out and partnered with me. “Do we get to do anything other than the basic?” she asked.

“Not in this class,” I answered. “It’s the Beginner Ballroom.”

She looked disappointed and I started laughing. “So why are you dancing?”

“I just want to move.”

Hey, I’m cool with that.

And I would say that Latryce will be moving through the Hip Hop classes for a good while to come. I’m sure she’ll retain more than enough students to get a pre-Intermediate or Intermediate class going next month. They almost didn’t have a room large enough to handle her class last night. And people came in after the class started to ask if they could sign up next month.

Um, I don’t think you need to worry about that. Hip Hop is probably here to stay at Dance-Passion for a while.

And there were plenty of people coming out to dance in the Ballroom class. There were even a lot of guys who showed up for the Two Step class. In fact, there were more guys than ladies in the Two Step class (don’t worry, folks — Gloria usually rounds up extra partners once she sees a class has an imbalance). Ladies, if you want to learn to dance Two Step in Houston, click on the link to Dance Passion and contact Gloria.

So, enough with the dance studio plugs. Did I go dancing this weekend? Yes, I went dancing. I actually went to the Houston USABDA (United States Amateur Ballroom Dancing Association) monthly dance Saturday night. Maggie and Sylvie joined me after Maggie got off work, and we danced…um…Cha Cha, Foxtrot, Waltz, or something.

I danced more than I intended to, to be honest. Women kept asking me to dance. I must have been dressed nice because my ballroom moves are still not there. We nearly got trampled in the Waltz — probably because half the other guys’ moves weren’t really there, either.

Well, at least the half who danced near me. You’d extricate yourself from one collision and some other idiot would come dancing into you. Gentlemen, I don’t care what dance style you’re practicing: it is your responsibility to avoid collisions on the dance floor.

Maggie got bored with the ballroom thing (she used to do it all the time, so it’s more of a new experience for me) and suggested we go to Plaza 59. Now, I hadn’t bothered to check Mary Frometa’s schedule so I didn’t know if she was playing there. I hadn’t bothered to call for a table, either.

But off we went to Plaza 59, and Jessica the hostess graciously gave us a table (I’m beginning to think this is why Maggie keeps me around). Mary’s Band wasn’t there. Instead, they had a DJ all night. At some point in the evening, he started playing Reggaeton (sort of Hip Hop mixed with Merengue). I don’t like just dipping my shoulders back and forth, so after about 20 minutes I went and asked the DJ if he would play some Salsa.

Yeah, he played some Salsa. He devised a mix on the fly and nearly medleyed the dancers to death for about 10 minutes before he calmed down and just let the songs play through.

At one point, he put on something (I forget what) and everyone got off the dance floor. So he got on the P.A. system and said, “Where did all the dancers go?”

Hey, that’s life in the DJ business.

There were probably 2 women for every guy at Plaza 59. Maybe more. I had my 2 women with me, and the table next to us had two girls sitting by themselves, and the table next to them had 4-5 girls sitting with 2 guys. Everywhere you looked, there were girls dancing with girls, and hardly a guy standing by himself. The biggest total loser in the world would have failed only by standing at the bar with blinders on, sucking down drink after drink and passing out.

Not that it was a player’s game. I just mean any guy at the club who wanted to dance had no problem finding a girl to dance with. Which is kind of unusual. I guess when Mary isn’t there, a lot of the regular male dancers don’t show up.

Which is not to say the floor isn’t crowded even when Mary isn’t around. At one point I gave up trying to dance with Sylvie. People were flying into us, kicking us, etc. I decided discretion was the better part of valor. But Maggie wanted to dance, so I decided to try sneaking up by the stage. I was turning around at one point and a girl came flying into me, knocking me up onto the stage.

My cat-like reflexes saved everything but my dignity, and to add insult to injury, Maggie refused to dance with me on the stage (we had plenty of room, but she didn’t want to be in the limelight).

The evening proceeded in a crowded fashion until after midnight, when I decided I was ready to leave. It was at that point that two things happened.

First, the DJ started playing disco music from the 1970s and 1980s. I couldn’t believe my ears.

Secondly, Maggie decided she had to have one last dance.

So out we went onto the floor as the Village People (and half the drunken crowd) yelled out, “Yyyyy-EM-Cee-A!” blah, blah, blah.

I did the only thing I could think of to save the moment: I started spelling out the letters with my arms (it was all the rage when I was in college). By the time the second refrain started, half the other dancers were trying to spell out Y-M-C-A with their arms (I won’t say whether this is a skill that needs practice).

I don’t disco dance much. I can dance like a crazy fool and sometimes do just for the fun of looking silly on the dance floor, but it was way too crowded and I was way too tired. My energy levels are not fully recovered from my surgery (in fact, my doctor waited until a month after the operation to tell me it can take up to six months for people to fully recover from an operation — he knows about my blog, so I hope he sees this and feels guilty).

Anyway, Maggie and I discoed until she realized I was going to draw attention to us as the new round of Hip Hop songs started playing, and then like most women do when I start putting on the Fly moves, she panicked and said, “Okay. I’m done!”

And that was the end of my dancing weekend (well, Monday was after the weekend)….