As part of my personal growth goals for this year, I am taking a hip hop class. As I mentioned in a previous post, I am not a dancer and especially not a hip hop dancer. In fact, I worry that my lack of skills are offensive to authentic hip hop artists… However, I am pushing myself outside my comfort zone and taking this class. There are eight of us in the class but only three people attended last night and two of the three just happened to be the quiet, shy, hide-in-the-back types… All eyes would be on us and quite honestly, I was petrified.
As per usual, he made us watch him demonstrate the moves, practice and then perform to the best of our abilities. An amazing thing happened though, I picked up the choreography rather quickly. I’m not sure if it’s because we are five weeks into the course and my brain is understanding the moves or if it was a complete fluke, but the instructor noticed as well and commented on my “skills.” He then asked why I didn’t feel comfortable the past four weeks. And the honest answer I gave him was that this is a scary experience for me. He told me though that I do have the ability to “hit” the moves and that I shouldn’t be a “chicken-sh!t” anymore (in a completely joking fashion of course.)
The conversation really hit home for me. We ask students to step outside their comfort zones every single day, but yet, I feel that we very seldom do ourselves. I think we have to role model what it looks like to learn and to show the students that it’s okay to be uncomfortable. We also have to be there to support them on this journey rather than berate their attempts whether successful or not. Finally, it’s also reminded me of the importance of scaffolding the learning. The instructor saw last night that I need to watch his feet first before I can attempt anything with my hands and I don’t think he knew that before last night.
Taking this class has been so good for me on so many levels and I’m so thankful to one of my more outgoing girlfriends who is the reason I’m this far outside my little msjweir bubble.