Friday, February 15, 2008

I Rock

I'm feeling pleasantly buzzed right now. And I haven't even had one of David's famous lemonade martinis!

I just taught my Nia class, which I do every Friday. But today was a real high because I taught my first two Nia teachers, neither of whom had ever taken a class with me before.

I had been tipped off that Marguerite, the black belt who used to teach every single day of the week at the place I teach now (including my class) would be there, and it made sense because she's in town to do a workshop (she lives in Yosemite now.) It was flattering to contemplate, and also nerve-wracking. What would it be like to switch places with her in the same room she's taught me hundreds of times?

When I rounded the corner to the YMCA entrance this afternoon, I had a heady sensation of celebrity. I saw Marguerite, and another teacher, and then I spotted Claudine, who taught the very first class I ever took, in 2002. I remember the routine (I now teach it) and I remember swallowing a very big lump in my throat and blinking back tears because I'd gone over 30 years not knowing that what I did in front of my sliding glass door to Foreigner records as a teenager was legitimate exercise, with a name and everything.

If Claudine was my Nia ambassador, Marguerite was my coach. One time, after a "jam" in which I'd been invited to the front of the room to perform spontaneous choreography to Barry Manilow's "Her Name is Lola," she left me a message on my home phone: "Sam, you are a DANCER." I felt like she gave me permission to think so, for the first time in my life. I have no training, after all. I wasn't one of those little girls picking the wedgie of my black leotard and pink tights, or swinging a velvet bag of beribboned tap shoes from my shoulder. More's the pity, but don't look homeward, angel. It's all about the now.

Claudine moved to Prescott, AZ several years ago. I hadn't seen her in years, and hadn't seen Marguerite in over a year. And here they were, at my class. I was scared, but mostly I was giddy with excitement. I wanted to make them proud. I introduced them with my voice all high and twittery. Hopefully, it was charming instead of creepy.

It didn't hurt that I had a big class today. Students who are MY regulars. I decided to do a routine I know really, really well, and I think that paid off. I don't think I made a single significant mistake. I was on fire (I felt like I had what Shaw calls "superabundant vitality") even though I hardly slept last night and spent the morning entertaining three toddlers in my house. I could not be stopped. And everyone was smiling. And woo-hooing. I love the woo-hooing.

After the relaxation, Marguerite said, "You rock, Sam." And Claudine came up and gave me a big, sweaty hug, and said "I'm all verklempt." Now there's a statement that really means something to my people.

I thought I would be falling-over tired tonight. But I feel so good. Like I'm covered in a cashmere blanket and someone is slipping hot stones under my shoulders. Mmmmm. I hope it will last.


Smitten Knitten said...

Since I've taken your class I'll heartily second Marguerite "You Rock" sounds like you had an awesome class. Congrats!

Type (little) a aka Michele said...

Oh, the circle of life.

And that must have been incredible to hear that from your teacher.

I'd never heard of NIA before I read your blog, and now that the Jazzercize next door to work offers it, I'm taking a class as soon as I can get babysitting.

Anonymous said...

Having been privileged enough to attend NIA with you (in the days before you started teaching), I can personally attest to your Dancing Goddess stature.

But what I'm guessing makes you a great NIA teacher is your heart, which comes out in every move.


Anonymous said...

Just one more reason for me to hope and pray that the Navy sends me back to San Diego soon. I want to take one of your classes! I can't wait. See you next weekend!



Anonymous said...

Rock star! I can't wait for the DVD, Nia of Steel featuring songs by Barry Manilow. Good for you. Now get back to those stand up classes! Hmmm, if you could combine the two.... Sarah

Samantha said...

Thanks, guys!

This is very sweet! :)

@Type: There is so much awesome Nia on the east coast. You can also check for local classes.

@Tee: I got a little teary when you said that about my heart. I do think I am more heart than feet. :)