Not a temptation for me…
I am not a sexy person. Please don’t argue that with me in the comments. I am outgoing, funny, cheerfully serious, pretty-when-caught-off-guard and occasionally entertaining. But sexy? Nope. Some girls ooze sex appeal even in a floor-length prairie dress but I could be wearing a gold mini, a massively padded bra and leopard platform heels (true story, Halloween dance 2000) and still manage to make it look prudish. Those of you who know me in real life can vouch for this. And nowhere is this (missing) quality more on display than when I dance. (Lie. Nowhere was this more obvious than when I was dating and I thank Gym Hubby every day for thinking smart is sexy or I’d still be single. Love that man!)
Here’s the problem: I love to dance. I do it every opportunity I get from the grocery store to the kitchen. I’ve taken lots of lessons. I was even on a dance team. Twice. And if you know anything about dancing, you know that sexiness and dancing go together like public toilets and hand sanitizer, you just can’t have one without the other. (See? Even my analogies are unsexy!)
In the past I’ve taken care of this problem by choosing dances that are on the less-sexy end of the spectrum. When I did ballroom dancing, my specialty was the Lindy Hop – a form of swing dancing known for intricate footwork, aerial steps and its athleticism. Sure some of the girls on my team made it look incredibly hot. I just went for campy. Then one day, a gorgeous fellow ballroom dancer told me he was going to “fix” my salsa – life, it IS just like the movies! (Center Stage, anyone?) – by teaching me how to find my “latin hips.” Fast forward several months of practicing and after my gorgeous partner had introduced to me to his boyfriend – while I could do the motions (I finally got the mambo figure 8 action by listening to The Spice Girls “Spice Up Your Life” until my roommates wanted to drop-kick me. And then do a shuffle ball-change.) I had no spark behind it. One night he threw up his hands in disgust. “You know what you need? Sex. You will never know how to be sexy until have done the sexy.”
Well guess what? Five kids later and my dancing has not improved at all. I showed him.
But my love for dancing hasn’t decreased at all. I tried ignoring it for a while but it came out in other avenues like an embarrassing obsession with dance movies. (I saw Step Up 3-D on opening night. And I had to scream and clap my hands and bounce up and down in my seat. Me and all the 12-year-olds.) So I decided to go back to dance class. Lots of grown-ups do it, right? My first choice would have been to go back to swing dancing but that’s a partner sport and Gym Hubby hates swing dancing with me (in his defense I get super bossy and back-lead like nobody’s business). Ditto for the rest of my beloved ballroom. But that still left me with everything from jazz to tap to ballet! Well childcare being my main issue, I had to find a dance class that would also offer to watch my kidlets while I did it. That left me with exactly one choice: Hip Hop.
When I said I loved dancing, what I meant was I love all kinds of dancing except for Hip Hop. Zumba? Ay yi yi mamacita! Folk Dancing? I’ll bring my daisy chain! I even adore the much-maligned polka. (Contrary to popular belief the polka is awesome and fun and one of the best dance workouts you can get. You should totally try it.) But Hip Hop? I’d never liked the music, the clothes are either missing or crazy unflattering and, frankly, it’s one of the sexiest dance forms out there. You’ve seen Beyonce, right?
Nevertheless I showed up for class and, true to Turbo Jennie form, she hooked me from the beginning. That was 3 years ago and I love it now. I still completely suck at it. Oh I can get the choreography just fine but it’s my Latin hips issue all over again. I can’t commit to any of the sexy moves because I just don’t have it. Sometimes I wish I had it. Like tonight – watching all the other girls shake it made me envious that they could be so uninhibited. Seriously, you should see Gym Buddy Allison. I’ve had two separate people come up to me in the past two days to tell me how naturally gorgeous and photogenic she is. (And they’re right of course!)
And it isn’t just dance fitness that’s all about the sexy. I’d say it’s the majority of fitness whether it’s the ladies with the glistening cleavage in the Body Pump posters to the fact that magazines simply cannot dress their fitness models in anything offering more coverage than a sports bra and booty shorts. So every once in a while, worried that I’m missing out on some important facet of my fitness, I try and all my best efforts end in “duck face.” (Do not click that link or you won’t be able to stop doing it!!) So then I think “Eh, the world is not lacking for sexy women. They don’t need me.” Plus I still have issues with the whole women-must-be-sexy-before-anything-else thing. I’d rather be powerful. Is it worth trying for something that is so not me?
In the meantime, I have daydreams about starting a swing dance based fitness class. (Think I could talk Jennie into swing dance hip hop?)
How do you feel about combining sexy and fitness? Anyone else have a hard time tapping into their inner sexpot? Can you be powerful and sexy? Should I just stick to the polka??
Ellen, a sweet lady in the Silver Sneakers program at our gym, offered to teach us a French folk dance. Crazy fun! This is why I love my Y! (And we’d just gotten out of the pool, hence the wet hair etc.)