Tuesday, May 07, 2013

I hope you're sitting down for this one. Last night I went to the fancy gym and taught my class, took Lisa's pilate's class, danced on the treadmill, and went down to the changing closet to eat some tofu and psych myself up for the Bokwa master class. Bokwa is the new craze which is supposed to be part boxing and part African dance and is the anointed replacement for Zumba. It takes zumba like steps and puts them in shapes of the alphabet or numerals like those old fashioned dance step cards.

The attention seeking crowd of addicted Zumba dancers started forming outside Riki's step class. I had tipped off this kid Leo who wants to become a more employed instructor about the lesson and he masterfully edged to the front of the pack, squeezing in front of me. I grabbed the girl I was talking to and said I need this more than anybody else here let's make use of my instructor privileges and cut the line. Good thing I did because Sara the Zumba instructor stepped into the room even though Riki wasn't finished with his cool down and started making those weird whooping sounds Zumba people tend to make when they are excited. Riki went long out of spite. Sara is on my shit list because - rewind to half an hour earlier when I was eating my tofu in the changing closet -- she asked the girls in general who was available to work on some choreography for the big show in June. I volunteered and she said she would come back down and get me when she found somebody else, but never came back. I went upstairs and saw her helping a client on the computer. Then Alessandra who was also in the changing closet with us and part of the arrangement came upstairs where she and Sara both saw me and then snuck off, I imagine, to do the choreography without me. Even if they didn't do the choreography the fact that neither of them ever mentioned it to me again is pretty rude. So in the end I decided to go to the front and center of the pack in front of the stage and go down in a blaze if necessary. I am not very good at picking up other people's choreography, but last time I was in the back row I realized that the people who get it wrong hide back there and then you have no chance of ever getting it right.

Claudia & Paul Jr.

My calves are on fire. And I mean Fiyah!

I was proud of me, but the aggressive girls who wanted my spot right behind me looked at me like they wanted me dead even before I either backed up too much or they came forward too much and I stepped on their oh-so -manicured toes. Allegedly. Claudia the rather eccentric Zumba instructor who has the longest rib cage I have ever seen in real life managed to score herself the role of translator and warm up girl and got to go on the stage with Paul Sr. and Paul Jr. the Bokwa guys from L.A. The father was tense and who could blame him? But he made me nervous as he subtracted dancers who were not picking up the choreography from the front and brought them to the edges of the crowd. My goal was not to be subtracted. When I looked into the mirror, I saw that none of the Italians were smiling. I may not know steps, but I know a thing or two about performance so I started smiling like a possessed woman. I hammed up all of the little flourishes that Paul Jr. was doing and he and I started smiling back and forth to each other. That cemented my spot in the front, toes be damned. Then at the end my coworkers started moving in for the kill to get to be in the center of the photos, but Paul Sr. called Claudia back on to the stage to do a cool down. She knew that we were the foreign teachers last hired and least liked by coworkers, although we both do well with the clients,and she gave me a nod. There was one spotlight just a few inches to my left. When the lights dimmed for the cool down all I could think was that after all that jumping and potentially ruining my tendons I might get edged out for recognition and contract renewal when I need it most. So I inched to the left just as the music started and whipped off my top. I have never been so glad to have purchased a push-up sports bra top in a size too small in my whole life. Thank you, Victoria's Secret. Mission accomplished.

I'm in black second row next to the two girls in white. . .
I thought the event was over, but sadly it was not. I turned to Paul Sr. and told him that I was from New York and I'd love to help him at the fitness fair. He handed me a microphone. Unfortunately, I had given him the impression that I could translate for him. Not only can't I translate when I am nervous, but I couldn't understand his English. I made up for my lack of grammar and vocabulary with a tremendous enthusiasm for words like America and divertente and musica. Then I had a chat with the son. It was time for the group photo so I put my shirt back on as my boobs can compete with Claudia's, but my belly cannot. Afterwards, Paul Jr. told me that all he wanted was to find a McDonald's, but his dad was freakishly obsessed with eating Italian food. He said instead he had to dance now. I offered to dance with him, but unfortunately he meant he had to make a video with the top dance instructors of our program for some super advanced Bokwa. I could hardly keep my eyes open, but I ended up in the group which started doing the steps between where I had been standing and the exit. It was like one of those comedic films where they have to dance out the door. Except I never made it to the door. Now there is going to be a video of me all disheveled in the back, messing up the steps and I bet that is what they put on Facebook. Nevertheless, Paul Sr. asked me to accompany him for all four days of the fitness fair and I could see that my boss was not going to let that happen, but at least I did my best.

Last night two of my clients asked if they could still come to tea today so that I could show them how the Victoria's Secret website works, but then one canceled and asked if I could cancel with the other one. I told her to cancel herself. I am so fed up with people pleasing and the fancy gym. I think I can embrace fully and truly not being liked now. Thank you, universe for the lesson. It is going to be a long silent drive to Rimini for me on Saturday with my coworkers. Here is a photo of Marina to whom I opened up earlier in the week and the two Pauls. Don't let Paul Sr.'s smile fool you. That man is intense.

Marina strikes a pose with Paul Sr. & Paul Jr. -- the men of Bokwa.

1 comment:

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