During the beginning of junior year, my homeroom teacher handed out course selection forms for senior year. I didn’t have the course numbers for any classes besides my core classes, so I had to go on my phone to look at the course catalog on the school website. My phone wouldn’t load the catalog so my screen ended up freezing on the fine arts section. Instead of looking up social science classes, I was forced to read the course description for “Movement For The Stage”. It described a class that would teach you how to dance on stage as well as stage combat.
Having boxed for a good five years of my life, I thought it would be an easy and fun class to take my senior year. A large part of me thought that the likelihood of me getting the class in my schedule was slim to none seeing as my counselor has never given me the electives I picked out before (I’m talking about when I put Foreign Policy down in Sophomore year and got put in Typing 101 instead, Mrs. T…). If anything I thought it would be fine if I got put in the class–High School Musical had always be a guilty pleasure and I thought maybe I’d be as good as Buffy The Vampire Slayer’s stunt doubles.
All my friends thought I was joking but when I wrote the class number in pen on my course selection sheet and handed it in, my homeroom teacher like,
And everyone realized I was serious.
This decision didn’t come back to haunt me until the summer before senior year when I was scrolling through the College Confidential forums and I found a post discussing how colleges still expected students to be taking hard courses in their senior year and that taking courses like ceramics and drama wouldn’t look good to an admissions officer…and as someone who planned to apply to college majoring in International Political Economy and Diplomacy, I quickly tried to dig myself out of the whole I had buried myself in. That same day I emailed my guidance counselor asking her about my class schedule
But she didn’t respond because she was giving birth to her second son…
I showed up to school on my first day of senior year convinced that my counselor would never put me into an elective I picked because that would mean that guidance would have had started to care about what I wanted for classes.
But then I got my schedule and found out I had Movement for the Stage first period for the whole semester.
Our teacher started the class by explaining we’d start everyday by stretching. We went through the basic stretches first; toe touches, lunges, butterflies.
But then it started to get a bit uncomfortable when he started describing stretches such as the “foot in the butt” stretch… (where you’re standing and you try to balance while holding one leg behind you…the foot really never gets inserted into the butt..I really don’t understand why he explains it like that…) Our teacher just looked at all of us nodding his head like,
He then told us to split up into partners and do the police stretch which involves us pressing each other against the wall and pulling one another arms down from behind. Butt…to…butt. (Are you sensing a pattern here?)
I got paired up with one of the only boys in the class because all of the other girls didn’t know me and were scared of me.
And the whole time, my reaction was like,
Some girls ran over to the wall and were like,
And suddenly I found myself with my face flat against the wall with some nameless boy I didn’t know behind me and I just thought,
Before we finished the class the teacher told us we needed to prepare a mime show that should depict an activity we did over the summer and I just sat there looking at him like, “Yeah okay…”
When the bell rang I ran to guidance and tried to change my schedule but my counselor told me I needed two fine art credits in order to graduate and since all the classes were already filled up I would have to stay in the Movement for the Stage class.
When I got home I started doing my AP summer work that was due the next day and ended up not getting any sleep.
I walked into my movement class first period surrounded by freshmen girls who all looked like they had gotten their hair and makeup professionally done just to come to this God-forsaken school so early in the morning.
I could just imagine them giving interviews one day when they were famous actresses saying,
In contrast, I walked into the class like,
Anyways, the teacher tells us to stretch and everyone starts just looking at me like,
When we finished stretching we all took our seats and started presenting our homework to the class.
One girl volunteered to go first and she acted out what was supposed to be something she did over her summer, but rather herself curling up in a ball and crying while rocking back and fourth.
She thought she looked like this,
But in reality, she looked like this…
And the whole class was just like,
When the teacher asked her what had happened, and if she was okay, she just said, “Yeah, I just thought it would be interesting. I really didn’t do that over the summer–I went on a Disney Cruise.”
I asked the quiet freshmen girl next to me,
And she looked at me like,
And I just looked at her innocent expression thinking,
When the girl who just presented sat down on the other side of me and asked me how she did, I just lied.
After that, various members of the class presented themselves cooking, golfing, biking or doing some other activity that didn’t involve curling up in the fetal position.
When it was my turn to go I was totally prepared. For the first and last time in this movement class, my background in fighting came in handy and I quickly stood up and started to shadow box around the room.
Everyone looked at me after I went impressed with my performance and clearly had began to assume that I would do really well in the class. Little did they know that when I wasn’t officially boxing, my coordination and movements generally look like this…
Mistakenly having set everyone’s expectations too high, my teacher then continued to explain that we did the homework assignment to introduce the unit on miming that we would begin the following week…
I just sat there like,
The first time we learned how to mime, we had to practice independently for the first fifteen minutes of class and then get into groups and critique each other’s performances. The girls in my group gave me some really constructive criticism…
The next day we were taught reflection, which is when you silently mime someones movements. Our teacher told us we would need to perform this in front of the class on Thursday. I was paired up with the same boy whom I did warm ups with, and generally, as working with the opposite gender always is for me, we just spent the whole class awkwardly doing this…
On both Thursday and Friday, though, my partner got in-school suspension for cursing at a teacher. When my teacher asked me if I would be okay and ready to perform next Monday I just nodded my head.
But on the inside I was as happy as Carlton Banks in a Christmas sweater.
That same weekend I sprained my collarbone at a Jiu-Jitsu competition. Despite the fact that I still had to attempt to perform the miming project, my teacher just assumed my poor performance was a result of my bad shoulder and not because my miming always looked that horrific.
For a good week, while everybody had to put their feet up their butts, their faces against a wall, and pretend they were in an imaginary box, I just got to sit there like this,
It was awesome…
But now I’m out of my sling and we start muscle memory next week.
We are going to be doing step dancing choreography…