I decided to step out of my comfort zone this week — as everyone should from time-to-time — and explore the ‘art of dance’ as a means of physical fitness. I should preface this story by saying that I have never enjoyed expressing myself through lyrical movement in front of others unless it’s my private mirror and reflection (c’mon, we were all teenagers), and club dancing is as appealing as attending a country music concert. Not very. Once upon a time — age three through high school — I had the hobby of dancing at a studio and doing anything from jazz and ballet to hip hop and modern. Nonetheless, the stage was my least favorite place to be and I was a lanky, clumsy performer with terrible posture and flailing, wing-like arms.
Being an adult with a ‘why not’ attitude, I purchased a class pack at Jordin’s Paradise in downtown DC. Aside from my germ-o-phobic distaste of the pole dancing classes (not that I wouldn’t recommend them), I first opted for a modern dance class that was sure to recall memories of my awkward years — hopefully in a joyful light. The class was small and the teacher almost overly friendly, but it all made the experience as welcoming as it could be. While some took things too serious, most meandered around lackadaisically as we rolled (literally) through a short routine. I thoroughly enjoyed the ballet technique as part of the class, although it did not flow with the routine, and my hip and feet muscles cramped at positions that once felt so natural. The class was a bit unorganized but I think with more structure and a purpose it would be both accessible and enjoyable for all levels.
Being more intrigued than turned away by the first class, I signed-up for belly dance. I’m of the mindset that exercise fads such as Zumba seem more humiliating and laughable than physically strenuous, but this was like a comfort zone of sorts. Maybe I wanted to see if I could recollect moves from the days when I performed with a troupe in Florida where our competition was middle-aged women with captivating hips and proud, bare-bellied pregnant moms. Turns out that my hips don’t lie but they do forget. The class was upbeat and true to technique, I felt uncoordinated but comfortable, and found the most entertainment in watching my cohorts admire their movements in the floor-to-ceiling mirrors.
Jordin’s staff are personable and the studio has all the props and dance space you need. For those who are claustrophobic, you may want to find an emergency staircase in the building because the tiny elevator is a bit intimidating. I do wish they had more classes such as their Yoga Inspired Bootcamp and N.B.A ® (Nothing but Abs) at the 6:30 time slot, but their specialty is definitely geared toward the sensual, seductive classes and I respect that.
I love that there’s a place in a professional, work-oriented city like DC that offers women (and men) an opportunity to crank up their flirt and practice that sex appeal before applying it where it matters. Jordin’s is hosting a slew of upcoming events for those interested in unleashing their inner sexual prowess, and I’d recommend it for the more outgoing souls or those who need a non-judging place to open up. In my case, a private mirror suits me just fine.
Rachel is a dedicated yoga student and food connoisseur always searching for the humor in life. Follow her on Twitter @rme423.