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Jason Wood

Stepping into Shine Bright Studio, my heart started racing; I was more nervous than I had actually realized. I had talked about the upcoming night with the rest of the guys joining me, and thankfully, they all seemed as nervous as I was.

I knew going into this dance was going to be hard, but I had never given dance the credit it deserves until now.

I’ve never been the most flexible guy around, so I assumed I was going to be at a  disadvantage from the start, but I was hit with more than a rude awakening. We all walked into the dance room, took our places in three rows and jumped into our All-in-One technique class.

All-in-One is a combination of a workout and dance technique; I felt the workout part of it immediately. We started with stretching, and within the first two stretches, I knew this was going to be one of the hardest things I had ever done.

The girls held their legs above their heads, dropped into the splits and could bend their bodies in ways I didn’t realize were possible. Meanwhile, I struggled to even touch my toes. By the end of the class, I was drenched in sweat and just as sore as I had ever been from soccer.

The following night was a whole different dynamic.

New teacher. New class. New muscles which felt like they were going to tear.

Ballet IV revolved around more technique than the All-in-One class had, and once again I was not prepared.

We started with barre technique, which was just like it sounds. I grabbed the ballet barre and tried my best to mimic what the girls were doing without looking like a complete idiot, which was a goal that I missed by a longshot.

I have never been so confused in my life as I tried my best to understand what I was supposed to do. I listened to the teacher speed through a list of words which sounded like a different language to me and doing movements which I didn’t even think I’d be able to do at half-speed. That was essentially how the night went.

Leaps, turns, legs and pointed toes. Don’t forget about the pointed toes.

Less than 15 minutes into each night, I realized that I wasn’t going be able to even compete with the dancers, so I just decided to laugh my way through the pain.

John Howe

Being the stereotypical football player, I assumed dancing around for an hour or so would be a breeze. Little did I know what I had gotten myself into. I showed up to Shine Bright Dance Studio directly after football practice, so I was already been from the day.

We began with light stretching, or so the dancers said. As the class progressed, so did the stretching. I have never been the most flexible person on Earth, and for those who don’t know, dancing is a lot of stretching in muscles I didn’t even know existed. I was beginning to feel the long football practice before class even really started.

Then we had to stand on our toes for a really long time while getting French words told to us that were supposed to mean something. I have never been more confused in my entire life as to what was being expected of me. At that moment, I was completely terrified of what I was going to have to do next.

Finally, we did some jumps, which sounded way easier than they actually were. Jumps, in the dance world at least, consist of spinning in the air with your legs flailing around in the most uncomfortable positions possible. It was during this section of practice that I gave up on trying to figure out what I was supposed to be doing and just decided to have fun with it.

Luckily for me, practice was almost over and we got to do a final dance to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” Even during that, I was afraid I was doing something wrong and tried my best to stay in the back of the room. For my own life’s sake, I hoped the teacher was not looking at me.

Overall, I had a good time experiencing some of the most excruciating pain I have ever felt during stretching. I would definitely go back to take another dance class with Jason, Branden and Griffin, mostly to laugh at them and make myself feel better about my own dance moves.

Griffin Hackeloer

I’ve always heard the saying that ballet makes a football player better.  Being a defensive lineman in football, I need to always be improving my footwork. I was working on my homework and all of a sudden I get a call and was asked to drive to Shine Bright Dance Studio to take class. I never would have known that I was getting myself into one of the hardest workouts that I have ever done.

We started out by stretching, which all the dancers thought was perfectly normal as they were pushed to the floor while in the splits, or to have their feet forcefully pointed until they touched the ground. After the “light” stretch, we got straight to it. The music’s tempo sped up and the dancers hopped straight into doing the workout. It took me a few times through to get used to the movements, but I eventually got the hang of it. We ended the first day by doing some leaps and pirouettes across the floor. I had worked and stretched muscles I never knew existed.

The second day came along and I could barely walk. Tuesday was ballet, and I figured that the Ballet IV class would be a little easier than All-In-One. Boy, was I wrong. We started out at the barre, where we tried to mimic the girls as best as possible, which I failed at in a short amount of time. Ballet consisted of constantly being up on your toes, and a lot of turns. The turns were definitely the hardest part of ballet because unlike the dancers, none of us knew how to not get dizzy. Overall, I think that this was a great experience because I was able to see what my sister and her friends have to do on a daily basis.

Branden Gallimore

Before I got into the dance studio, I thought that dance was going to be easy. I was expecting some relaxing, easy dance moves.

It had turned out to be a rude awakening for me.

After a long day at school and a three hour football practice, I thought that the hour and a half dance practice was going to be the easiest part of my day. But, dance was by far the toughest part.

Once we got into the studio, we jumped right into things. Without hesitation, all of the girls got right into position, leaving me clueless. One of the toughest parts about the whole dance experience was following along with the teacher at the barre. Every step and move that each of the dancers made, I tried my best to catch up and imitate. But, of course, my steps were way off and the dance teacher had to constantly correct me.

Another tough part was the flexibility that it took. I am not a flexible person by any means, so this was tough for me. A lot of the dance moves needed flexibility and I was not close to doing any of them.

After over an hour of being laughed at for my dance moves, I had finally realized that a dancer’s technique does not come easy. From messing up the steps to forgetting what steps to do, dance was still a fun opportunity that I don’t get to do every day. Dance is a sport of perfection and a sport that needs practice; obviously, dance is not for everybody, and especially not for me.