Sometimes you do things for fun, most times you do things for work. But I really love it when I can get paid for doing something I love, and dancing is one of them.
Last Sunday I had an opportunity to join Gelli and four BodyJam instructors in Robinsons Place Dasmarinas (Cavite) to present some BodyJam hiphop blocks. This was part of Solar Sports’ Summer Training Camp: a free program held in Robinsons Malls to get people moving their bodies and engaging in sports and other like activities, dance aerobics being one of them (in a promotional tie-up with Fitness First Ortigas).
Our meeting point was at the RX 93.1 station, where Gelli was boarding for HIP 21 from 8 to 11am. I arrived there around 9:30am just in time to watch her train Bea (from Radio One) on how to program music, commercials, and stingers. I sat there watching them and trying to learn through osmosis (always take the opportunity to learn new things!) while answering crossword puzzles, reading Hollywood gossip magazines, and listening to some really great R&B; and hiphop music. The time went swiftly by and soon the other instructors Brian and Menchu Peralta and Clark Amaba had arrived. We were on our way.
We got to the venue in an hour and had some time to grab food for fuel. I ended up eating a burger, a strawberry sundae, and a bag of chips. That might not possibly have been enough to keep me going, because I found myself dancing for the next two hours!
We did an opening number composed of the steps from Jam 37, 35, 36, and 34. Then Gelli, Menchu, and I warmed the assembled crowd up to “Tamale/Move Ya Body” from Jam 37. Clark, Brian, and Gelli took to the stage next and did “I’m Really Hot/Like I Love You/Lose My Breath” from Jam 33 and proceeded to the “King of the Dancehall” tracks from Jam 35. I joined the people down on the floor since I was more familiar with the routine from the participant’s side. I hope I was able to lift the crowd and encourage them to keep going.
We segued into Jam 36’s “Drop It Like It’s Hot” block led by Brian, then gave the crowd a breather via “My Love”, the recovery track from Jam 40. Then it was back on stage for me and Menchu as we backed Gelli up for Jam 34. I had my doubts whether I could actually pull off the instructor’s side of that routine, but thankfully it was believable enough and I took some performance opportunities trying to hype the watching bystanders up as well.
All of us stayed onstage for our final groovedown: “I Don’t Feel Like Dancing” from Jam 40. I didn’t feel exhausted and probably might have carried on dancing if given the chance. Once offstage, however, the sweat started pouring out from every pore. I found it quite embarrassing that the audience had us sign their giveaway fans in the “Sports Celebrity Autograph” box. Sure I signed a few, but I managed to pimp Brian and Clark, since Brian does international and national gymnastics and sports aerobics tournaments and is even a SEA Games medalist, and Clark is one of BodyJam’s presenters in the Philippines.
Post-event we wanted to make a quiet exit, but to our surprise five of the mall’s guards accompanied us to the parking lot as a security escort! We must really have made a positive impression. Or maybe because we looked so gangsta that they wanted to make sure we left the mall without doing any damage to property? I’m kidding, of course. The last time I was in a mall with a security escort, I was part of an entourage. This time around, I was one of the people security was protecting/escorting. It made us all feel really good about what we did.
I totally smashed myself that day, and on our way home I started coming down from the endorphin high. It was great seeing all those smiles on the faces of the people watching and working out. This is why I love being a group exercise instructor: it’s knowing that in some way for maybe even just an hour, I’m giving the people attending my class a great experience. It’s worth the exhaustion from all that effort.