• I am a part of a Rhythm Nation

    14 jan 2008, 01:14

    Are you?
    I've finally come to terms with, and embraced the fact that I love New Jack Swing, the last great moments of dance pop in America, before everything turned too digital for it's own good. Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Teddy Riley, LA Reid & Babyface (when they're not all emo and shit) all of these talents played part in the last time pop music actually did anything for me on a regular basis. I was probably from 6 to 10 when most of it came out, spending every one of my waking hours out of school training to become a professional dancer. Of course, these selections were on heavy rotation at the studio and with me through the blood sweat and tears of it all. House and Techno were there too, but they didn't have that same level of outward expression, which was highly important to me as a child.

    I remember the first time I heard Johnny Gill's "Rub You the Right Way," and was totally taken by the saltry orchestra hits and the way his voice sounded, and most of all, how it made me feel. At 8 years old, that track would make me wanna get down and grind, which, considering my age, is totally inappropriate and absolutely marvelous at the same time. I was feelin' it, and I felt like a woman. If it was selected, it always made hours of rigor go by that much faster, which was everything.

    Looking back I can pinpoint so many records and what they meant to me. Most of them were work of Jimmy and Terry (AKA the reason why you think Janet Jackson is actually talented), Prince, Teddy, and La Face. They all mean something: nailing a triple pirouette, finally getting my left legged splits, my first competition, my first audition, you name it, they were right there with me for (what seemed like) everything important that ever happened as a child, because dance was everything to me.

    I didn't just dance, I flew, flipped, spun and zoomed in the most curious of ways. I hate to use the word dance to define what the cattle do at clubs, as much as I enjoy it, it will never give me the same thrill as riding on air and it feels blasphemous to call this dancing.

    Last October I started having knee and back problems due to neural tension, and my range of mobility has been at an all time low. I've spent the last three months in physical therapy and was having some serious trouble even getting myself stable enough to exercise. It hurt when I could move, and hurt even more than I couldn't even dance- even the watered down version. After weeks of being depressed and getting fat, I brought back some of my all time favorite jams from a time when movement was all there was. I made a routine similar to my dance warmups, linking all my exercises together to a mix of my all time favorite (legal) stimulants. And though part of me feels like an uber dork, the other part of me is totally into it, just like old times. It's really improved my tolerance for the pain and strength building exercises...just like they did once upon a time.

    In the last two weeks I've been feeling stronger and and am looking to get into the cat's pajamas again as soon as I can. When life gives you lemons, live it orchestra hit by orchestra hit.

    Here's some tags and excerpts from my playlist:

    Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis way[/track] Rub You The Right WayI Want HerIt's No CrimeLooking For A New LoveGlamorous LifeReady For The WorldThe Lover In Meu got the lookOh Sheila
    No More LiesLove SignTime Goes On