Today has been quite a roller coaster of emotions. Maybe I should even back it up into last night—-when I got home after sabar class to the remnants of my roommates passover seder, and Rebecca Black’s ‘Friday’ was blasting as they sang ALL the words while I was trying to sleep—-nevermind. But there have been some feelings of highs, sadness, and a lot of encounters with just inconsiderate people.
This morning was my LAST bikram yoga class before my month long ‘living social’ deal expired (it’s too expensive to carry on). I was kind of excited for it to be the last one, because getting up at 5:45/6 AM in the morning to get to yoga for 7 has not been the most fun, nor have the classes themselves. They are truly a mental challenge more than anything else with the hot room and static poses. All you do is wish for a breeze (that won’t come) and spend the rest of the time reminding yourself to breathe. But do I love the increased flexibility, the increased strength, the increased self-awareness of my body position in space? Hell Ya!
Anyway, it’s my last class and I decide I’m gonna try and go all out in the poses; hold them longer, stretch further, kick higher, etc. And I knew it was going to be a great way to end the month when my teacher (who I actually met on the elevator up and didn’t know it) walked in; a black woman! It was perfect! There are so few people of color at bikram in general, let alone a black instructor. She was really pleasant—spouting quotes and being very loving and encouraging.
But, of course, someone always has to rain on my parade. Inconsiderate person number one: I always set up near the windows for some sort of ventilation. I was as close as one could get without being blocked in the mirror by the person in front and without being too close to the wall to hit it during full locust. And, of course, someone decides he has to wedge himself in that little crevice, despite the fact that there was more room elsewhere. To top it off, he had the nerve to be leaving early too so that he had to disturb everybody and they mama on the way out in the middle of a pose.
I had SO much energy during class, more than I ever had in any other class. And despite the distracting inconsiderate man next to me who seemed intent on being all up in my space so that I couldn’t do the poses correctly, I went a lot deeper and further into my practice and was riding a high to start my day off.
I got home and made some banging pancakes—the high continues.
I got to the dance conference for my first class of the day (a song class), and ran into a familiar face, a friend—-the high continues
She introduced me to someone I knew a lot about but in name only—the high continues
The song class was canceled, but I went to dance after and the teacher was such a free spirited, high spirited woman. Class started alright, but then I ran into Inconsiderate Person Number two: We set our lines after warm up, SET THEM, and were starting to get into the choreography down the floor. Well I guess one girl wasn’t happy with her position in line and decided to take mine. All in all it wasn’t that deep, but the way she went about it, like she was entitled to stand there and I best move, was just amazing. The first time she did it I thought she’d made a mistake—trying to see the choreography, learn it, and just run with it even though she wasn’t with her line. The second time around, I wanted to make sure I was with my line so I stood behind the girl in front me—a pretty good distance, not to close to be all up on her ass, but not far away enough for it to NOT look I was in line. This is when I realized the girl was just being an asshole when she looked me in the face and just wedged herself in between us—like ‘nuh uh, bitch, I’m dancing here’ type of thing. I was so taken aback that I’m pretty sure I fucked up the next couple rounds of choreography because she just had this look in her face that showed that she didn’t feel like I deserved any respect as just a fellow dancer, that she was better than me, and that she thus had the right to just move me out of the way.
Anyway, the class was good, I wasn’t quite keeping up like I would’ve liked, but so far, none of the dance classes I’ve taken at this conference have set with me too well—I can’t seem to get the choreography in my body, and I really haven’t been feeling the drums as much as I need to really dig down deep and just dance. (And it’s not like they’re off, it’s just me) I think the gym setting makes it too…impersonal…or maybe it’s just too spacious and too many people to feel that energy rebounding and building the way it feels in my normal weekly classes.
The saga continues…Fast forward to my final class of the day, guinea dance, which I though was shaping up to get me into the groove. I started out getting the choreography but somewhere along the way some step kick thing threw me off (I mean the teacher was moving FAST!) but I kept trying. We had only just started to move across the floor, which I was getting, when during my 1st or 2nd pass across the floor when I was nearing the drummers, one of them pointed at the teacher and then pointed at something in the back of the room. When I turned around there was a BRAWL of women. The next thing I see is one of the men pulling this girl that I had met and befriended earlier that day from the crowd and she’s sobbing.
We had to stop class to refocus everyone but I couldn’t stop worrying about her because apparently she got jumped by one of the organizers who just couldn’t take her anymore. The girl (who is white) has very ‘let’s-bring-love-peace-and-unity-to-the-world’ ideas. She’s not naive, and she’s very genuine, and she actually sat well with me (as some people with similar mindsets can be really off-putting). But she really just wanted to be insolidarity and make peace. She had an issue with this woman earlier who took kind of a brash tone with her over something silly, and the girl trying to DE-escalate the situation, tried to say, you know, ‘hey, can we start over? can we address whatever I’m doing wrong with love and not so much intensity? what’s your name?’ type of deal, and whichever organizer it was, was not hearing/having it. So when they encountered each other again at this later class, the girl’s instigating words before getting punched in the face, was ‘every time I think of you I’m gonna send you love.’ That was it, the all out brawl occurred.
I was just so sad and unsettled the rest of the class, that my hear couldn’t get into the dancing in the movements the way I would’ve liked and it was a good class too even though it was a bit too fast for me. The worst part was, so much of it was racial tension where this white girl is perceived as overstepping whatever boundaries existed in this woman’s (the assaultER) head, at an African dance conference where it’s primarily black and brown faces and people from the continent, from Senegal. And it only continued to escalate as so many of the other black women in the room defended the woman’s violence by saying that the white girl provoked it.
So I don’t know, today started well and ended with a huge ass head shaking at the situation and feeling of disappointment at not only the fact that there are too many inconsiderate people, selfish people (there were more examples just from today not worth mentioning), and that it’s become so normalized that most people are just indifferent to it and don’t say that something or someone is wrong