Chaos Attraction

An Austin Powers Moment

2005-03-04, 9:54 p.m.

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I just got back from dance class, and I have to share this moment with y'all.

My dance teacher, Chris, has an "open door" kind of policy- anyone who wants to can walk in at any time and try out a class or two for free. One of the things he has kind of griped about is that despite our moving dance rooms from somewhere tucked out of the way to somewhere that gets a fair amount of foot traffic, not an enormous number of people have walked in, though many have shyly peeked in. Today he put a sign on the door saying a class was going on, but feel free to drop in- which I've told him he should be doing a few times.

We had a few new people in dance class tonight (not random walk-ins). This isn't an uncommon thing, but what was surprising was that one of them was a guy. Namely, the guy the teacher pays to haul the mats around. Since we changed dance rooms from the EC to the gym, the gym won't allow Chris to store the mats between Friday night and Saturday morning. And since Chris doesn't have a car, sometimes he pays a grad student guy to come in halfway through the class and pick it up. Anyway, sometimes when he'd come in to get the mats, he'd just hang out watching the class for awhile. Which was kind of weird, and the first time I ever saw the guy I assumed he was somebody in the class's boyfriend. (At the dance studio I went to growing up, no guy entered the place without dating one of the dancers.) After he left, one day Chris was all, "The thing where he was watching...that was strange." Well, evidently he was watching because he wanted to join the class. Go figure!

I always find it slightly odd to see dancing males, since when I was growing up and going to my dance school, the only guys that ever entered the studio were somebody's boyfriend. I'm pretty used to having a guy dance teacher now, but it does surprise me to see a guy in the class. Well, we already have one guy in class on Saturdays, which is rare enough, but TWO? Holy crapoly, Batman!

Anyway, towards the end of the class, Chris asked if the new people wanted to learn the current routine we're doing (called "the hula one"), which takes a long time to learn, or if we wanted to do a shorter, different one. The group vote went towards "do the shorter one," probably so as not to scare the newbies off.

Well, much to my surprise, this was one he had come up with during the time when I wasn't going to class. It was "the Austin Powers one" and was to "Soul Bossa Nova." It was quick and dirty and a whole lot of fun, and now it's my favorite dance from this class.

But here's the funny thing: while we were doing it for the first time, some random people came in and started doing it too! Four freshmen that looked like they'd just come to the gym to play basketball- and even funnier, it was one girl and THREE jockish-looking guys! And they just walked in, kicked off their shoes and started doing it like they'd done dance before- and I doubt any of them had!

You know how in movies, especially musical ones, the main characters will spontaneously break out into a dance and then suddenly everyone on the street starts doing it too in perfect simultaneous choreography? THAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED IN REAL LIFE!!!

It was a hoot. They kept it up through the rest of the class and were disappointed when it was over. I doubt they'll ever come back to the class as regulars, but it was such a hoot to have people walk in anyway. At the end some of the regulars were saying that maybe we should just start dancing out in the halls to get more people in!

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