Tuesday, February 8, 2011

I wanna feel the heat with somebody

As you may know, I coach dance team at my old high school. When I first started, I was amazed at the number of people who confused me for a student. First, an administrator who monitors the parking lot flipped a lid when I tried to cut through illegally. “YOU KNOW BETTER! Who’s your homeroom teacher?” she screeched as she forced me into a U-Turn that was more dangerous than the original move I was attempting.

“I don’t go here! Sorry!” I hollered back as I mom-armed the passenger seat in my sexy Subaru, which was full of dry-cleaning and other obviously adult items.

Last year, a parent asked if I was a member of the freshman basketball team – that hurt the most. First of all, I’m 25, not 15. Second, why would you assume I hadn’t at least made JV? I am clearly chock full of raw athletic potential.

I joked with a friend that I should start wearing big girl shoes to practice so people know by my clack-clacking down the corridors that I do not have a homeroom or a sixteen year old boyfriend trying to grow his first moustache.

Then at practice this past Saturday, I was trying to explain why my team’s leg holds (picture a high kick, to the side, but then you grab your ankle at the last second and hold it as close to your head as possible) weren’t looking strong enough.

“Make sure you hit at this angle,” I said, popping my leg up for the first time in a solid five years. It didn’t even hurt. I was all, I AM young! No wonder people are confusing me for a teenager, I’m still limber! My leg can kick its face! Take that, people discussing where we should host our 10-year reunion!

By the time I got home, my back was spasming, but it was the searing pain shooting up my hamstring that reminded me my glory days are long over. Before sitting down with a cup of decaf and the latest episode of The Good Wife (which, by the way, has the oldest skewing audience on TV, further proof that I’m a grandma), I moved one chair to the side in my living room and took a deep breath. I launched into a basic ballet leap sequence – chaine, chaine, step, grand jete!

I caught my airborne reflection in the window, and had a moment of personal satisfaction. I’m no longer the dancer I once was, but aside from a whim on a Saturday afternoon, I’m not really trying to be. I’m a coach, a mediator, a guide for teenage girls who need advice on much more than how to execute a fan kick. As most of my girls won’t dance in college, I’m often the last person who will critique them or ready them for a competitive experience before they go on, give up on dance, and become … adults. And since I know that being an adult is largely not as sweet as it looks (see aforementioned drycleaning and hatchback ownership), I’m pretty damn interested in making dance team the best time of their lives.


TMW said...

My mom watches The Good Wife. She greatly enjoys it.

And you are totally the coolest dance coach ever. I don't even have to know the other coaches to know this.

Greta said...

Who was the parking attendant? I'm seeing visions of the general store lady running after you in a XL bright pink button up blouse and black pajama bottoms.

Please tell me i'm right.

Gina Marie said...

Oh, it was Heidi J. Hahahaha but yes, gen. store lady is still around. And not allowing us to buy the hoodies we want. Same old... :)

Greta said...

Good old Heidi J. How could I forget?

Jamie said...

So in VA you have to be 18 to buy condoms. I had to do this because there was a lapse in my insurance (no bc). I literally went up to the register with a VDay card meant for spouses, an magazine about diabetic health and some canola oil. They checked my damn ID twice. I was like really? How many 17 year olds pick up canola oil and diabetic health resources? Really?

Gina Marie said...

18 to buy condoms?! What's the teen pregnancy rate in your fine state, my dear? Yikes.

And that's awesome. He probably thought you were purposely trying to buy a bunch of adult stuff to pass off for 18+.