Mixsonian Larry

Karate to Dance

By the end of the spring semester, I had advanced to my second degree in karate class in which I would have received a second green strip for my belt only I didn’t go to the advancement class which I would have demonstrated my achievement.  I had a problem, I didn’t like to be hit, which for karate is a problem.  It came into focus during one class in which students were paired off with one student, the puncher and the other the receiver. The receiver, would puff out his Gi (that white unform thing we wore) at the chest an inch or two while the puncher would throw punches, supposedly barely touch the receiver’s Gi.  I went first as the puncher. I threw my punch, barely touching my partner’s Gi, perfectly executed I thought.  My partner’s turn, I puff out my Gi, I stand there, my partner throws his punch, and WHAM, he its me in the middle of the chest.  Not all that hard, but it sure surprised me.    The next day at work I tell  Wendy what happened, and I tell her I wasn’t so sure about karate, I really didn’t like to be hit.   Wendy looks at me with understanding and says, “Perhaps you should try modern dance.”  and in that statement my life was changed.

 Wendy went on to tell me about the modern dance classes she had been taking.  She had told me about taking the classes before, but I hadn’t paid much attention to it.  After telling me more about her dance classes, I begin to see how dance had many of the things I liked from karate, movement, the forms in karate became dances, but also had something that karate didn’t have, expression, feeling.   Wendy was all excited about me taking a dance class telling me there was a free modern dance class that was about to start for the upcoming summer session at the junior college.  Wendy explained it was taught by a teacher she knew and thought I would like it.  And so the following week I signed up for a modern dance class through the junior college that was taught by a girl named Melody. Melody was a good teacher, explaining that that the dance she taught was in the style of a well know dancer named Merce Cunningham.  I really enjoyed the class, it had the attributes I liked about karate but without the hitting, and so I signed of the again for the following session.

And so I traded in my karate Gi for dance leotards.

Updated: 12-31-2022