Friday, November 6, 2009

Thriller Dancing & Roses

I have been attending Jazzercise classes three times a week for the past two years. I began taking the classes because I was diagnosed with osteopenia and needed to add high impact exercise to my regimen in order to build bone density. I had been taking ballet classes for years, but they were no longer enough to keep my bones strong.

As luck would have it, I hit the jackpot with the Jazzercise instructor, Darlene, and the people in the class! Many of them have been her students for five or more years and there's a real sense of community among this group of people. They were most welcoming to me when I was "new" to the group and I have thrived working with them. That said, I have a little story about these roses ...

Every now and then, during the stretching portion of class, Darlene will invite people to go around the room and "share something." Births and deaths, new jobs and promotions, health achievements and diet successes are just a few of the things my classmates have been known to share. So, one Saturday in August, I had something to share ... I told the class that I wanted to learn how to do the Thriller Dance and asked if anyone else was interested in learning it. If so, I offered to find a way to learn and teach the dance and, perhaps, if we mastered it, we could perform it during class on Halloween (which just happened to fall on a Saturday this year).

There were nine people interested in learning the dance, so after doing some online research, I found lessons on YouTube that were perfect for us, and throughout the weeks of September and October, we met every Monday and Thursday evening for half an hour before class and plowed our way through those lessons, learning the dance.

On Saturday, October 31, we came dressed as zombies, with full makeup ... the works. And, right after the aerobics section of class and right before strength building, the door began to creak, people moved off the floor, the beat of the music commenced and ... WE DANCED! All six minutes and 12 seconds of the song, we did the Zombie March, March Booty Swim, Hip 'n Roar and Wuz Up that make up the Thriller Dance!

The class broke into spontaneous applause a couple of times during the dance and then they just roared when we were done! I don't know that we were "great," but we were in sync with each other, we didn't miss a step and we made it all the way through. And, that, my friends, is quite an accomplishment!

I had brought a camcorder to capture those 6:12, and out of the corner of my eye I saw Darlene giving a rose to each dancer. Then I turned around and she was handing me this big bouquet! And, the picture, above ... that's how they looked on Sunday after Halloween ... All Saint's Day ... the beautiful blooms lit up my house and their fragrance reminded me how lucky I am to have so many people in my life who share my joy!

We're going to continue practicing throughout the coming year so we don't forget the moves, and we're hoping others will join us for next year. We have a name, too, thanks to Darlene! We are The Thriller-ettes!

We've had so much fun doing this! I can't wait until we get to do it again!

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