On Getting Offered a Job as a Dance Instructor and Turning it Down
Something funny happened to me about a week ago. I played an acoustic gig at a dance studio in Tableview for a showcase/social dance event. After the gig was over and they opened up the floor for social dancing, many of the studio’s students pulled out their salsa, latin and ballroom dance moves – hectic professional stuff. Me, not knowing much about dancing and clearly in no shape to be pulling off any complicated steps; opted to flaunt my freestyle moves.
After about an hour on the dance floor going wild (beer in hand) and letting loose, I was called aside by the franchise owner of this particular dance studio. The conversation went something like this:
Owner: Are you looking for a job?
Me: Uhm…what kind of job?
Owner: Dance Instructor.
Me: What? Are you serious?
Owner: Yes, you have natural rhythm and the right kind of personality for it.
Me: But…I don’t even know any moves!
Owner: Doesn’t matter – we can teach you. What do you say?
Completely caught off guard and flabbergasted, I told the owner I’ll think about it. Me – a dance instructor? I’ve never, ever in my wildest imaginations seen myself as a dancer. In fact, many of my friends tease me because of my wild, jagged, pelvic motions. Add to that, I hardly ever go out dancing – I just happened to decide to let loose on this particular occasion.
I invariably decided against the idea, since Tableview is very far away from where I live and most of my time is occupied with other arts related activities.
The moral of the story? You never quite know if you’re any good at something until you try – or until you lose any kind of inhibition or ego attached to it. In Kenny Werner‘s music instruction book Effortless Mastery, I was reminded that the most fun can be had when jamming on an instrument that you don’t perceive as your own – like for example, I much rather prefer playing piano nowadays than bass (even though bass is my main instrument). I’m not afraid to let loose on piano regardless of what others think, on bass however it’s another story.
Getting offered a job as a dance instructor reminded of the point I just mentioned. While on the dance floor I couldn’t care less about what the ‘real’ dancers thought, I was just having a good time and enjoying my beer.
My advice to you reading this, try your hand at something you you’ve never tried before and do it with fervour – you might just surprise yourself!
In other news, I got promoted. In September I’m acting in a massive musical called Rockville 2069 at the Artscape Opera House. I was meant to play a hippie character inspired by Bob Dylan, but now will be playing a character called Banjovida (a play on Bon Jovi I take it). The actor who was initially contracted to play the part landed a role in a big movie and had to pull out, so I was recommended by the producer to take over.
I’m quite excited about this part since I have a whole lot of dialogue and get to interact directly with the show’s two main leads. I also apparently will be doing a lot more singing and guitar playing! We do our photoshoot this Saturday, will post some pics when they’re ready.
I also started rehearsing last week for Tjiff en Tjaff (Tjiff and Tjaff), a kids theatre show which will be showing at Skouspel in July. I play one of the alien brothers Tjiff and get to wear the “fat” costume for the first time in my acting career. Let me tell you, it looks easier than it actually is – plus the inside of the head stinks because of all the sweating that happens inside once the show is in full swing. Add to that, the head is very, very heavy – it takes some doing.
Nonetheless I’m really looking forward to donning the fat alien uniform and entertaining all the little kids!
17 June – SAICA Roadshow at Claremont High School, Claremont
25 June – SAICA Roadshow at Wynberg Girls’ High School, Wynberg
11 July – 14 July – Tjiff en Tjaff at Skouspel
18 July – Brother & Brother at The Bohemian, Westdene, Johannesburg with Carri Wolfe
16 August – Brother & Brother at Aandklas, Stellenbosch with Elevated Motion – Collab Gig
25 August – 7 September – Rockville 2069 at Artscape Opera House, Cape Town