Dance, even if everyone’s watching.

I’ve got rhythm. It’s built into me, into my everyday, into everything I hear and see. I write with a rhythm. I write verses and lyrics, with many different rhythms, simple and intricate. I’m pretty aware of the general rhythm of my day, too. And while I’m not a dancer, I would love to be one. Or at least, be better at it than I am, currently.

I had the privilege of being part of the dance community early into my sound design and music composition career. My first professional job was for an episode of an aboriginal dance series that aired on Bravo! called “Dancing With Spirit”. And while I didn’t fully understand (and most likely appreciate) the vocabulary of movement used in the creation of that piece at the time, I did understand the importance of what they were creating and the process they used to get there. To anyone outside of the arts, the movements would look silly, and be difficult to comprehend. I could see the beauty in some of the movements and shapes that were created, thanks to the training I had in theatre school, but it wouldn’t be until the next contemporary dance show for which I created sound and music that I would start to see the beauty in the details. I didn’t want to be one of the dancers, but I grew such a huge respect for how much physicality and strength go into making a move look so simple and graceful.

I have, however, always wanted to be a breakdancer. When my family first got internet (dial-up nostalgia…not really) I was immediately looking up written tutorials on how to do many breakdance moves. This was an era before YouTube so I would have to use my imagination and animated GIFs that looked like something made in MS Paint to learn the moves. I had seen breakdancing, of course, through TV, movies, and music videos, but that was it.

I got some moves under my belt — at least, I thought I did, until I would take REAL breakdance classes later on in life — but I was limited by my own physical fitness to progress any further. But I have always had a love for dance that I was afraid to fulfill due to embarrassment and issues with body image. (Nothing serious, I promise, just didn’t think I had the right “look” to dance.) I had already fallen in love with the elements of hip-hop, and breaking was one of my desires, but realizing my limitations made me look toward hip-hop choreography in music videos.

BET pretty much changed my life, before BET itself changed to, well, suck. I would record Usher’s music videos on VHS and try to learn the choreography. I was completely confused by how he could glide across the floor. I had, of course, watched Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker dozens of times, and tried learning all I could, but that was a whole other level, in my mind, as a kid. Being a teen watching hip-hop and R&B choreography seemed a little more feasible.

Jump cut to 2012. I took some breaking lessons from one of the best in the country after being involved in his show as just an actor. I messed up knee for a while, and that gave me an idea of the type of fitness I need to have to really fulfill this wish to be a better dancer. Again, I’ve got rhythm, I can move. But I want to learn it for real. Popping, locking, breaking, heck, even ballroom, I want to learn it all. I may not go contemporary or ballet, but damn it do I love the idea of being able to really dance.

And if everyone is watching, then good. You can let me know what’s working and what isn’t.

If I can do this at any point in my future, I’d drop my own jaw:

– Mickey

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