Dancing 101

For one week at the end of January, Reed students upend the traditional classroom hierarchy and teach classes about any topic they love, academic or otherwise. This week is known as Paideia after the Greek term signifying “education” – the complete education of mind, body and spirit. What would you teach that would contribute to the Reed community?

Welcome to Dancing for Terrible Dancers 101, taught by me, the world's worst dancer. Nope, this isn’t an oxymoron; it’s just me sharing what I've learned after finally coming to terms with the fact that I’m a terrible dancer. Dancing is a vital part of life, almost inescapable, but it isn't something to be afraid of. Some of us are unfortunately born with two left feet (me), but that shouldn't be the reason why we are not dancing. If I were able to teach an extracurricular class at Reed, I would give a class on my tips for appreciating the joy of dance, good, bad, and ugly.

After two years of ballet as a kid, I was kindly encouraged to come off the team -- by my mother, no less. At first, I believed it was because she thought tennis lessons were a better fit, but recently she shared that it was because the instructor kicked me off for not showing progress. After that I tried musical theatre, where I realized I couldn't do a box step to save my life; Zumba was no easier. But that didn't put me off from dancing; I just loved to do it so much that I would do it for fun. To this day, every second Saturday of the month I go down to the art district of Miami and dance from 9pm-12am at the big outdoor dance party. It is my absolute...

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