Dance your Dreams Out


Daily Prompt: Let’s Dance

What are your earliest and fondest memories of dance?


Dance has always been a major part of my life. Even as I am sitting here writing his post I am dancing to Shake Senora Pitbull Ft. Sean Paul & T-Pain.

All of my toddler home videos are filled with me dancing in my pajamas, dancing around the carpet, and walking up to my dad dragging him into the living room to dance with me. I like to say that I’ve been dancing since before I was able to walk, which I attribute as the reason why I walk funny and don’t pick up my feet when I walk.

Perhaps my earliest memory of dance was doing Indian classical dance, Bharatanatyam, when I was 7 years old. Since I was 21 days old, I would be in the back of my sister’s classroom, watching her grace the dance floor with her beautiful moves. I knew at a very early age that all I ever wanted to do was dance. I would beg her guru every chance I got to take me as her student, but I was always too young.

Until the magic day that I wasn’t. I was 7 years old and finally had something in common with my sister. I remember performing on stage to what looked to the little me an audience of 10,000 people. I wasn’t nervous at all. I had been practicing for a year for this and I couldn’t wait to show off my dance moves. I remember being in the front row and loving the spotlight. I felt that I had found my calling, dance was from then on my everything.

I moved quickly through Bharatanatyam, moving ahead into classes of age groups that were older than me. I was always significantly younger than those in my class. I made many best friends as I moved along, and leaving most of them behind. I had moved so quickly and was sure to finish at a young age. Many even said the youngest person to finish that they’d known.

I didn’t grow up in the richest family. I had overheard my parents talk a lot about pulling me out of dance class. At such a young age, I didn’t understand our financial situation or even the concept of earning and spending money. I begged my parents year after year to keep me in classes I now know they couldn’t afford. They obliged and I should have been more grateful.

Then came the day when I turned 13 and we had to move to another state, which meant dance class was now an hour away. I had to leave my guru behind, and with it, Bharatanatyam. That was one of the saddest days of my life.

6 years later, once I was old enough to drive, I wanted to go back to dance. It had then become a competitive program, but my guru believed in me, so she gave me private dance lessons. That meant waking up at 6am and driving over an hour away, but I didn’t care. I was excited to go back to dance again.

I danced my heart out, practicing every single day. I quickly remembered everything I had learned before, learning more advanced dances. My guru put me back into group classes again. I was the shining student always asked to set an example for all of the other students.

But this was short lived. I eventually moved far away to go to college. I wanted to find another guru around me, but it was no use. Al bharatanatyam gurus were different and I would never be happy with another one.

I hope that one day I can find dance again, learn from my guru again, and rekindle my passion for Bharanatyam.

Until that day, I’ll just have to settle for Pitbull and dancing around my living room with my dad.

Cheers to never letting go of your dreams.


7 Ground Rules of Zumba

So I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while now. And then yesterday during Zumba, a girl basically took her shirt off and I realized I needed to write this post. Pronto.

I’ve been a Zumba fanatic since I found out about it a couple years ago. I’ve become addicted since October when I started my mission to lose weight. Ever since, I’ve got at least once a week, sometimes three times a week. I’ve seen everything from self-centered instructors, creepy men, girls wearing too much eyeliner, and just yesterday, a girl taking off her shirt. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love Zumba and have even been meaning to write another post about why Zumba is for everyone. But it’s human nature to complain about things that irritate you more than rave about things you love I guess.

SO here are the ground rules for everyone who has taken, thought about taking, or currently taking a Zumba class.

1. Creepy men: Please keep out!
First let me say, I am a huge proponent of men trying Zumba. I have been trying to get my boyfriend to try it with me for months and one of the best Zumba classes I’ve been to was led by a man. I have even seen a 40 year old man shaking his business like no one was watching brilliantly! A couple months ago was March Madness at Gold’s Gym where they motivate you to go to X number of cardio classes, X number of aqua classes, etc. This invited a whole new group of people who normally would never go to a Zumba class. Ever. And I’m talking about creepy men who were barely dancing, just there to watch all the women shake their booties. SO, if you are a creeper (even if you are walking by the class, which I’ve seen way too many times) please don’t peek your head in and watch us booty shake.

2. Keep your clothes on!
Yesterday I literally saw a woman take off her shirt in the middle of Zumba. UGH! Seriously, we are so happy Zumba is working for you and you have some nice abs, but have you ever heard of modesty? In my culture we have something called “dhishti” where if you brag, bad luck will fall upon you. Another reason why you should never mess with an Indian. Just saying. Either way, no one wants to see that and with a class full of women, I’m not sure who you’re trying to impress.

3. NEVER and I mean NEVER steal someone’s spot when they are taking a drink of water.
Probably the rudest thing that’s ever happened to me in the middle of a Zumba class. The worst part was, when I came back to my spot, she acted like she didn’t do anything wrong. Yeah, don’t do this.

4. If you are late, don’t come to the front
I’m 5’0 which means I tend to be in the first or second row of a class purely so I can see the instructor. That’s why I always try to be the first one in the room or come 10 minutes early. But even I have had to be in the back because I came to class late, which I’ll admit was miserable because I couldn’t see anything the instructor was doing. But it wasn’t worse than when I was in the first row and 15 minutes into class, a heavy set woman came in and stood right in front of me and I couldn’t see anything the rest class. It’s pretty simple, if you are late, don’t inconvenience the people who weren’t.

5. Tone down the make up
This isn’t really a “ground rule” per say. More like a suggestion. I’ve seen a girl who was wearing such heavy eye liner that by the end of the class she had sweat so much the eyeliner was running down her face. You should either wear water proof eyeliner, wear a little bit (which I’m all for looking great so you can feel great while you workout), or don’t wear any at all. If you choose not to listen to this advice, it’s up to you. It’s only going to contribute to my amusement!

6. SONG requests only, PLEASE!
After a couple of Zumba classes, you’ll definitely have a favorite song, routine, etc. But what I’ve seen twice now are girls who like a particular crossfit routine. I’m talking working arms, or sliding across the room on the round sliders. One girl walked in and said “we didn’t do arms in yesterday’s class, can we do them today?” and the rest of us had to bare through 25 minutes of arm routines. (This girl also later put up her shirt to reveal her perfect abs. UGH. Seriously girl, why are you here? You’re done. Or are you just trying to make us all miserable?) Another reason not to mess with Indians: Karma. Watch out.

7. Instructors: Please remember the class is NOT about you.
We didn’t come to a show to watch you perform. I have seen time and time again instructors that are all about them. They are all attention-needing and too focused on performing instead of teaching. Zumba classes are about the people coming for a good workout, not about watching the instructor. The only thing worse is when the instructors make us do intense workout moves and not doing it with us. Don’t make me do 12 burpees and not do it yourself! Or point to do the move on the right side after the left without fully showing us the move first. I could write a whole post on things Zumba instructors have done that have made me upset, but not right now.

If you haven’t tried Zumba yet, I HIGHLY encourage you to! It is the best workout you could imagine and the best part is, it doesn’t even feel like you’re working out! This post is not meant to deter you from trying Zumba, just a rant on the things that have irritated me about Zumba classes in the past. I hope this does nothing but encourage you to try Zumba and not annoy others along the way. Hopefully, you’ve never done these and never plan on it.

But if you do, just remember what I said about “dhishti” and karma.

Much Luv,