Where’s the Band?!

I saw *N Sync live. Yes, I know you are all very jealous, but calm yourselves.

I was six years old when my sister (16 at the time) and I both got tickets to see them in concert at the Baton Rouge River Center from our parents for Christmas. Needless to say I have yet to as impressed by a single Christmas present since then. Step it up, Dad!

I am kind of very embarrassed to admit how big of an *N Sync fan I was growing up.

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I watched this VHS so much that I broke the freaking VCR.

I knew all the words to all the songs. I tried to learn the dances. I was a cool kid. But what else do you expect when you spend all your time with your teenage sister. What she listened to, I listened to. We bonded and it was lovely. I’m not ashamed to admit that every once in a while I’ll YouTube an old music video, just for nostalgia’s sake, and end up falling into a three hour music video marathon. (I lied. I am very, very, very ashamed of that fact.) And I did kinda spend money on that new Justin Timberlake song.

Anyway, I am talking about the concert. It was a pretty awesome deal! It wasn’t just *N Sync. Oh no, it was *N Sync and Britney Spears. That’s right. I know, it’s wrong to brag, I’m sorry. Plus there was that opening act B*Witched.

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Oh, how time has forgotten you all.

So here I am, in this giant arena, this menu of megastars (minus four sad girls named after a sitcom), my pop-saturated brain is going nuts. Except there is one problem. I have no idea where the stage is. I know. That sounds silly, doesn’t it? But I kid you not, to this day I have absolutely no recollection of physically seeing *N Sync or Britney Spears or whatever weirdos came before them.

I know that I was really young and my memory could just be foggy, but I distinctly remember leaning over to Ms. Kelly (our parents’ friend that took us to the concert) and asking where the band was. I think the conversation went something like,

“Ms. Kelly, I can’t see the band.”

“There right over there,” she said, pointing to the area of the stage where they were dancing.

“I can’t see them.”

“Then look at the screen.”

“What screen?”

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“That giant freaking screen right in front of your eyes!”

I tried so hard to find them. I looked all over the place. I  got out of my seat, made binoculars with my hands. But no luck. I couldn’t find the screen. I couldn’t see *N Sync. I genuinely don’t know how. I’m relatively certain that my brain is just being stupid or maybe it knew that I would never see another moment as glorious as this so it blocked it out of my memory so as not to ruin the rest of my earthly experiences. Who knows?

In the end, I just sat quietly, bobbing my head to the largest radio I have ever listened to. And that was fine by me.

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I Think I Can Watch You Dance

Let’s get one thing straight. I do not watch So You Think You Can Dance. It’s not on my TiVo. I don’t root for specific dancers or have a favorite judge. But that being said, my Youtube favorite page is absolutely full of the specific routines from the show. It’s pretty much the only reason I log on to Youtube lately.

I can’t watch videos like the one below and not wish that I could do things like that.

Sadly my body doesn’t want to move that way. We have many long conversations and it is stubborn. So I spend hours bouncing from video to video watching talented couple after talented couple do things that I can only dream about.

I’m not really learning anything, I don’t think. I haven’t learned the difference between a Contemporary routine and a Lyrical one. I just know that both routines use a John Mayer song and now I kinda like him. And I really can’t forgive them for the humiliation that comes from John Mayer popping up in my playlists. (Or for the fact that I now create playlists.)

I try to dance along sometimes. It’s infectious. I always end up bobbing my head or throwing a little extra lean into my walk. But my experiences with full blown dancing are usually one step short of a hospital visit. I’ve punched myself in the face while trying to krump. I’ve rolled my ankle trying out foot work far beyond my reach.

It’s like when I watch a foreign film and then talk in a French accent for a few hours afterward, whenever I watch SYTYCD I walk around thinking I’m Michael Flatley or at the very least Channing Tatum.

I feel silly most of the time, but then again I have found a way to somehow find a way to bring my little obsession with dancing into my own work as a writer. In most things that I work on, dancing finds its way in. The main characters share some romantic dance together or someone is dancing around to goof off. Heck even my poems are like mini-dances, each one is so tied to particular songs that it’s like my language is doing the movements that my body can’t.

In fact, watching SYTYCD videos became so inspirational that I wrote an entire full-length play based off of the routine below.

I’m usually really self-conscious about the things that I like, but for some reason I really revel in my love for dance. I don’t talk about it often, but I always get really excited when I watch really good dancing. It speaks to something that I really don’t understand, but I dig it.

I always say that I’m gonna get in shape so I can play sports like basketball or boxing and feel all macho. But in reality all I really want to do is be able to move like this. And oddly enough, I’m ok with that.