Monday, February 3, 2014

Josh learns Zumba


  It's been an eventful week.  I electrified a diddley bow (one string guitar) and took my first Zumba class.

My ability and willingness to look like a total idiot serves me well.  For starters, it's a lot of fun!  And man, it affords a lot of freedom.  (It can also be dangerous to the ankles.  Seriously, who puts rocks on a dance floor?) But one of the biggest benefits is the way it allows learning. As someone who's on both sides of education (a guitar instructor, and a lifelong student of well...everything), I see how important this can be.

  I see many people come through my lesson studio with such an earnest desire to learn, and a studious approach that inspires great admiration.  I hope those same qualities were mirrored on my face as I flailed away at the gym, hoping that nobody noticed me way in the back.

  The biggest challenge facing me as a teacher is to make the student feel comfortable, and try to help them get out of their own way.  "You wouldn't go to a doctor if you're well, so why would you come here if you already knew how to play guitar?" I ask them.  Still, they universally feel self-conscious and embarrassed when they make the mistakes inevitable with learning (especially the female students.)  I try to lighten the mood (and have way too much fun doing it) by yelling "WRONG!  YOU MESSED UP!" and pointing at them as I bounce up and down in my chair with great glee.  (Ha, maybe I should cut that out...but it's not gonna happen!)

  I need to remember this in my next quest.

  So, now I will offer a new example for my guitar students, as well as taking a lesson from watching them.

I will learn to dance.

I will look like a fool.

And I will ignore that.  It's something I'm really, really good at.

I'll concentrate on the learning, realize that I'll make more mistakes than imaginable, trip over those stupid rocks in Zumba class, attempt to shake my hips but instead move, connected from my shoes to my hair, like an inflexible iron beam having a seizure, sweat my eyes out, wonder how people aren't dying, embarrass myself countless times, step on the feet of hot girls and probably ruin their shoes, contort my face into bewildered expressions because...I came here to learn.  Anytime I start to feel silly, I'll picture the instructor as me, trying to transfer information, and not at all concerned with how reasonable or competent I appear.

I'll look cool later.

On the dance floor.



Stay tuned for progress!

- Josh


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