Friday, March 27, 2009

capoeira

makes me hurt. but in a good way, all sore muscles.

last night was my second week trying the class that meets in the same building where i regularly swing dance. i watched for a little when i showed up early to teach a dance class a few weeks ago, and got transfixed.

it's interesting to be this awkward at something again. up through the end of college, i always assumed i was naturally unathletic and that there was no point in even trying... then after a little while out, i signed up for a karate class for something to do. and there, in a sport that isn't primarily about running or catching or throwing or any other motion people start doing at a very young age, i finally got it -- of course i'm naturally unathletic, everybody pretty much is, but nature can be overcome. there, most people who didn't come in with prior martial arts experience looked pretty awkward at first... and then they slowly stopped looking awkward. and the belts reminded everybody how long the people who looked really good had been there. rates varied a little, but it was clear -- it's more a learning thing than a nature thing.

capoeira unlocks totally different degrees of freedom in movement than most activities. the hands as well as the feet are points of balance, and the idea is to move and dodge and attack in a way such that nothing but hands, feet, and occasionally head hit the ground. it's kinda amazing... i dance, i mimic movement relatively well now... but the instant you start treating my hands like extra feet and expect me to use them in balance, brain turns idiotic and i find myself getting stuck, unable to tell my body how to do what i want it to do until the instructor or one of the more advanced students breaks it down for me again.

i'm looking forward to watching it become more comfortable. and thankful to be experiencing beginner syndrome again... sometimes it's much too easy to lose sight of when i'm teaching. there's still a twinge of embarrassment here and there when i'm really struggling with something, but i can grin and bear it -- it's a phase, and i'm pretty sure that if i stick i'll get through it.

i've semi-volunteered to teach lindy hop for the next 4 weeks, so it'll probably be a while before i can continue with the capoeira. but i'm excited about getting back to it when i can.

1 comment:

Breanna said...

I think the beginner-syndrome thing was what I loved most (initially) about african :)