I had recently moved to a new city, so trying out new fitness classes was my way to meet people and settle in. I had attended a few barre classes at a boutique fitness and dance studio downtown when I saw an ad for a lap dance workshop being offered at the same place. I’m up for new things so why not try something new and maybe pick up a few skills to take home in the process?
The class had ten people, two of them men, and the instructor put us to work right away. First task was to pick a partner and walk seductively towards them without smiling, (which was challenging because I feel like the opposite of sexy.) I learned how to straddle the chair and flip myself around and off it. I learned that the secret to twerking my ass in my partner’s face was to bounce gently from the toes. I learned that giving a lap dance is harder than it looks, and I wasn’t even wearing those sky-high heels or a g-string.
I learned that pressing my chest in a strange girl’s face awakened a new confidence in myself. I managed to perform a 3 minute dance for my partner without laughing, which means that the silly side of me stood aside to allow a sexy woman come forward. My partner didn’t laugh at me and no one in the class seemed to notice that my dance was anything but sensual. I left the studio that night proud of myself for putting myself out there.
That workshop led to me taking a splits training class at the same studio. You read that correctly: an entire class dedicated to learning how to do the splits. I’m coming up to week 13 and I just might make the goal of doing the splits by my 40th birthday. I’m the oldest person in the class and I haven’t missed a single week. Just like the lap dancing, I’m finding a new way to look at myself and a new way to look at how I choose fitness.
I’m not a trained dancer since childhood like the girl working next to me, but every inch closer to the fIoor is worth celebrating. My instructor reminds us not to apologize for being who we are and where we are. I didn’t feel judged while dancing and I don’t feel judged while practicing my splits. I tend to judge myself when I catch a glimpse of myself in the studio mirror, but I receive nothing but support and encouragement from my instructor and classmates. This lack of judgement from others is teaching me to get rid of the self-judgement. I’m learning that I need to embrace progress over perfection. I need to love my body and love myself. What’s sexier than that?