I had the privilege, on the 3rd of March, of attending a series of masterclasses conducted by Lyle Beniga and Yuko Nakamura.
This post will be a reflection on that privilege. It will be about dance, so for those of you who do not have such a passion for dance, I apologise. I know I’ve put up 2 consecutive posts on dance, which may not sit well for those of you who are expecting weirdness and jokes, but these are posts I have to write. For me.
So rest assured, there are posts which will stretch the mouths of those itching for laughs coming soon, but for now, this is big boy Ganesh. Please stay tuned for the psychedelic mess of contradiction and overflowing thoughts that is widdle Ganesh.
He said, to those who read his blog (aka: the entire population of Blearghfagargh plus 3 other people). And now, to seriousness (after all the random hijinks). I wanted to use the word hijinks, so I did. Nyah nyah nyahhhhhhh.
(Sounds of a scuffle break out as the author realises that this has suddenly taken on aspects of a screenplay, and widdle Ganesh is overpowered and silenced.)
So, the masterclasses. You’ve got to realise that Lyle Beniga is like a God to me. He is immortalised in millions of YouTube videos, he has a following akin to a cult (though slightly less hooded and sacrificially creepy) and he’s just… Phenomenal. He makes me to want to invent new superlatives just to describe him. And Yuko Nakamura? Oh man. I didn’t know much about her before these classes, but damn. DAAAAYUUMMM. She’s the literal definition of good things come in small packages. Or in this case, DOPE ASS DANCERS COME IN TINY PACKAGES.
In case you hadn’t noticed, although widdle Ganesh has taken a back seat, fanboy Ganesh has only just entered the building. Crap.
I shall try my best to contain him, but no promises.
Learning from Lyle Beniga is… Listen, can you imagine learning from a god? Like if, say, you learnt the art of seduction from Aphrodite, or the art of moustache grooming from Hitler.
Although I must admit that last joke may have been in poor taste, I also must admit that I can’t be bothered to care. So nyah nyahhhhh. But back to the point.
How do these people manage to move SO DAMN FAST? It’s like they have a set of muscles used purely for speed, completely separate from their regular muscles. Muscles which aren’t constrained by such trivialities as ‘fatigue’ or ‘not dying of acheyness.’ Seriously, it’s like they laugh in the face of… Well, slowness I suppose.
And then, before I knew it. It was Lyle’s turn to teach his last class of the day. To say that time flew would not really be accurate, because my burning muscles made me painfully aware of every second that passed. Still, I was excited. My last chance to learn from the god.
Bear in mind, please, that I had at this point gone through 2 classes of this sort already, meaning that to say my muscles were aching would be a gross understatement. They were more or less screaming for the sweet release that death (or, you know, general non-dancing activities such as long walks in the park, admiring the scenery surrounding me, continuing plans for the building of my very own Death Star, that sort of thing) would bring. I cramped up during the warmup. The WARMUP.
Think about that for a second.
My body, in what could be the biggest eff you in recent memory, decided that I was doing such a good job at the warmup that it ought to speed up the process by warming up my right thigh and hamstring to the point where it was engulfed by the unforgiving flame of a thousand burning souls. So it did. As my entire being screamed in protest, I was forced to keep a straight face and give on the smallest indication of my discomfort. (You don’t ever show your weakness. Ever. Weakness is not to be tolerated, rather it is to be hunted. Weed out the weak, young, ill, and crippled, that they may be dealt with in the most gruesome manner possible… Holy cow.)
But yes, as it so happened, I suffered. But what was I to do? I grit my teeth and bear it. And wouldn’t you know it, sooner than I anticipated (possibly due to my tendency to over-dramatise everything), I was fine. And then something amazing happened. I started to have more fun. I think it was about the time I decided to stop dancing to beat people, and start dancing because I was having so much bloody fun. (And believe me, the choreography was incredibly fun!) Right then I decided I would no longer be a slave to my own insecurities when it came to dancing. That when I was asked or given a chance to dance, I’d take it, and enjoy it. Go out there and just enjoy myself. Not worry about what others might be thinking.
And the darnedest thing happened then, at that very moment. I started letting go more, going more full out. Having even more fun. That was something that had been holding me back for very long, worrying about how I looked while dancing, if anyone was judging me.
As of now, I’m glad to say that I have been worry-about-judgement-free since that day. And I’m so glad that’s the case. It’s been an absolutely amazing feeling, being able to discard that fear, and just dance for the sake of dancing. For the sake of enjoying the movements.
And that, my friends, was my masterclass experience. An eye-opener, for sure, but also an amazingly fun one which showed me how far I still had to go. And I’m working on it. I regret nothing.
NOTHING, I TELL YOU!