I Vastly Overestimated My Ability To Grind Like Beyoncé in '7/11'
I can't dance.
Just kidding — I don't dance sober. The only times I ever bust a move are when I'm hammered at a club with a group of friends. They have to be people who won't judge me if I trip over my own two feet or knock into something.
I tried to learn. I went to dance camp for two years, but the only things drilled into my brain were pirouettes and the five ballet positions. You can't teach rhythm, just like you can't bust out a ballerina jump in the middle of LAVO.
In a vain attempt to upgrade my club moves, I decided to sign up to a $25 Beyoncé dance class at New York's Banana Skirt Productions. Their "Pop Star Fitness" classes allow you to channel specific video dance sequences from artists like Rihanna, Taylor Swift and of course, Beyoncé.
I chose the class inspired by “7/11" mostly because it looked easiest. “Formation” was way out of my comfort zone (all that synchronized hip swinging looks terrifying) and "Lemonade" wasn't out yet, so I couldn't quite get my baseball bat-swinging self on.
At first glance, I assumed "7/11" dancing would consist of talking into my foot, twerking and spilling alcohol on priceless Givenchy couture. I was only half-right.
Prior to my 11 AM class, I needed to recruit a friend. As it turned out, all my friends were either asleep or busy having Bey-less lives, so I scouted a girl from Bumble BFF to be the Kelly Rowland to my Yoncé.
I should've known I wasn't cut out for the workout the moment I got to the studio. Our warm-up largely consisted of wiggling around a la “Formation,” which kicked my ass. Finally, we took our positions (mine was in the back of the room, far away from the mirror) and we got to it.
The next hour consisted of learning the moves to about a minute of "7/11." It was also the single most grueling hour of my life — and I'm regularly on the top 10 board of my spin classes, so I'm not miserably out of shape.
The first rule of dancing is being able to mirror the movements of your instructor. I suck at it. If someone tells me to go left, I go right. If someone steps back, I hop forward. I'm not trying to challenge authority, just sucking at anything involving movement.
I also learned that you can't just pick up rhythm. When I dance drunk, I just kind of move along to the beat. When I try to do this without alcohol, I look like a damn fool.
I also now know that even if the dancing seems simple, it's absolutely not. The entire "7/11" video consists of Beyoncé dancing around in graffiti boy shorts that she probably nicked from my cousin's Bar Mitzvah last year (what, your Bar Mitzvah didn't have a graffiti station?) and it was still the hardest thing I've ever done.
I thought this whole experience would be funnier. I mean, I'm dancing to a song about smacking things in the air and dropping alcohol, what could possibly be so hard about that? Oh, everything. Just everything.
By the end, I was covered in sweat, panting and considering dying. My class video was uploaded to the site, so now everyone can laugh at that girl who can't stick her hands up properly. No, you can't have the link.
If this is what it took to be Beyoncé, I was over it. I might have the same amount of hours in the day as Bey, but I prefer to spend mine being as rhythmic as an avocado.