On Friday, I took a jazz class at the world-famous Millennium Dance Complex in glamorous North Hollywood, California. (Seriously, the place is famous: Brittany, Miley, all the girls whose names end in “y”, train there.)
Here’s how it went down:
My fifteen year-old, Irish step-dancing cousin was in town and wanted to take a class there and asked if I would take it with her. The idea terrified me, so I knew I had to do it. I went, I tried, I sucked. It was AWESOME.
In a previous life, I busted a sweet move or two on my high school dance team. (Crossing fingers that video of that never surfaces…) I stopped dancing my Freshman year at UCSB, due to a really awful back injury (I wore a sweet back brace for my first 8 months of college – made me VERY popular with the boys).
It crushed me that I had to stop dancing. But here’s the truth: I was not a great dancer. I loved it and I could do some advanced turns and leaps but I wasn’t a natural talent – I wasn’t going to move audiences with my moves. I certainly was never going to go pro.
And once I stopped dancing, I found film. And film felt like home. And film was easier on my back and my knees and my hips…
I still love dance. Still miss it. Still watch 'So You Think You Can Dance' and tear up in awe of what the human body can do. And I still bust a move to Nicky Menag in my office when I need a writing break…
But I’ve found that film and dance have a lot in common. They both boil down to visuals and sound working together to tell a story and evoke emotion. When I sit in the editing room, I count the timing of the cuts – 1, 2, 3 and out and 1, 2 out, and 1… Film has a rhythm.
And now I’m jonesing to do a dance movie... Breakin' 2 meets Footloose with a dash of Dirty Dancing, anyone?