Dance Class by Amanda Hameline

There is something incredibly satisfying about seeing a group of mismatched
people all dance in unison. A slow, smooth wave of movement is followed by swiftly
changing feet; a mass of heads looks left and then whips around in a turn (sticky
heads is a term I once heard a teacher use). A stray arm may veer off for a moment,
but the sheer force of united momentum is, in and of itself, strangely exciting.

I think there is no better place to view this than in a slightly disorganized, open
dance class. Of course unison viewed on the stage is also satisfying – the end of
“Revelations” is a great example – but it is a different feeling. The costumes, lights,
and clear imprint on the dancers of hours upon hours of rehearsal make it too
perfect. A short combination at the end of a crowded, sweaty class contains a
different breed of urgency. When else in life do you see a group of people so focused
on learning something just for the sake of learning? Or focus so intently on a short
phrase they will never return to again, and one that will most likely have no direct
impact on their lives? Hard work and intensity don’t normally come along with
transience.

And all this cooperation is borne out of a kind of selfishness. You take a class for
yourself. You don’t take a class to make your other classmates look good. But you do
all come together out of a sheer desire to learn, and improve. And during those last
fifteen minutes it all turns into something, and everyone miraculously morphs into a
single, moving beast.

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