My final exam for my Modern Dance class was to choreograph a multi-genre piece using some of the moves we’d studied.
I created “Journeys” wherein I danced to Curtis Mayfield’s “Think” and recorded a poem about figuring out what artsy revolutionary shit I could get into post-graduation. There was graduate school in creative writing (check) and a summer job with
bad kids at-risk youth (check) but I knew my (re)invention needed more bells and whistles. Plus, I was 22-year-old-confused. Trans.: So sure of yourself but so not really convinced. Which reflected in my dancing according to Mr. Bryce.
And because I had tight hips, he said, (which he implied are mutually inclusive events).
Mr. Bryce: “you need some more bad-ass.” Which either by the fault of genetics or some other unfunny joke, I did not possess so I figured he may be right; that I’d work on my epoulement.
20 years later, after more shenanigans, erehem, dance classes, another teacher tells me to open my legs wider; when I can’t she giggles and whispers to me as she holds my hips to demonstrate what some move is supposed to feel like, “You’re too innocent, eh?” It isn’t really a question but a pronouncement. And it sounds like Mr. Bryce’s supposition, but also suspiciously like 9th grade code for, “you’re not getting any.”
**Sigh** Apparently 20 years of working on my bad ass and 3 months of squats is not doing anything to remedy my condition.
I’m not deterred from moving forward in my
shenanigans dance classes, but the same night I learn of my overabundance of innocence, there is The Boy chanting the reggae ditty he likes to chant in my honor, “Delicate.” Tonight I am on Team Conspiracy. Surely he is part of the ongoing assault on my damn hips and all the not sex that is apparently [not] going on between them. Which, duh, this is The Boy after all. He must know better. “No he doesn’t,” I’m huffing and puffing inside, ’cause you know, I need someone or something to take these hips out on–them and their downright refusal to be a part of my shenanigans, and the lies they tell on me, too? Oh the lies!
Of course The Boy’s serenade happens just after a dance class where my butterfly stretch looks more like a butterfly alight on a plant and not spread-winged moving all gracefully through the air. So I decide to be finally and fully convinced he and all the dance teachers that have ever existed are not so interested in my notoriously tight and pretty non-existent hips as they are in some sexual secret they may or may not reveal. Dun-dun-du-u-u-u-un. “I am not delicate” I grunt in a decidedly deeper voice than I usually use for him. He’s too gentle with me, so he not only doesn’t notice the tonal shift, but begins to translate the patois lyrics with an accent so heavy he may as well be translating Spanish to Spanish anyway. I give up quickly. Damn accent.
Without question, a female’s hips are biologically and intrinsically tied to her sexuality. As females reach puberty, their pelvic bone expands (and the the hips around it) as the body makes itself capable and ready for childbirth–which of course despite what your parents tried to tell you to get you off their case–occurs thanks to sexual intercourse.
Now, my mother and twin will tell you that little biological feat doesn’t always happen. My twin’s firstborn had to be surgically extracted as her hips proved too narrow for his passage. Females still rock a-cups despite mothering and even breastfeeding. Things happen.
The body is quite the storyteller. What stories does yours tell? And which ones does it keep to itself? Hmmmm.