Sometimes, well meaning friends not of color will invite you to certain events where your Oreodom will be tested by surprise. These events will seem like harmless outings where friends can bond. But be careful. Becoming too comfortable with a friend can cause you to slip and ruin years of effort.
Purporting to be a fun way to shed calories and inches, these classes are like land mines for an Oreo. It’s true, many of us have an innate sense of rhythm that we must suppress lest we look like an RBP. From the moment you step into one of these classes, all eyes will be on you as the assumption will be that you can pop, lock and/or ghetto bounce better than the fairer faced exercisers.
While that may or may not be true, follow these steps to make it known who you are with all haste.
- 1. Stumble across the threshold. Committing a literal faux pas as you make your entrance will tacitly clue the ladies in the class in to a potential lack of hand-eye coordination and fast twitch muscle fibres that are perhaps mis-firing. Don’t rely on just this. They may write it off as a simple, and unlikely to be repeated misstep.
- 2. Ask the teacher for her credentials; mention yours. Anyone can complete the training that Bally’s offers its employees, but how unethnic will you sound when you talk about the years you spent at the American Ballet Theater. NOTE: When the follow up question about Alvin Ailey comes from certain cultured work-outers, feign ignorance and say that
- 3. Chalk up any (accidental) expertise to hula training. It goes without saying that you must make yourself out to be the worst dancer in the class. When teacher says left, go right. When teacher says to give her levels, ask if she’s hanging a painting. When she asks for a body roll, suggest a California roll instead. But in the event, that any natural ability does leak out, you must have an alibi at the ready. Hula works well because it implies a well-to-do type of trip. And while native peoples invented the hula, they aren’t often associated with the brown natives of other nations. So shimmy away!
- 4. Cheer properly. These kinds of classes often encourage participation by group shouts and whoops. While your teacher and classmates might let fly a “Wooo! You go girl!” or something like that, your exclamation must be different and distinctive. Instead of a “that’s it!” or “uh – HUH!” or “eOOOWWW!” Try a “Huzzah, mi’ladies!” to set your self apart.
- 5. Invite the class to your traditional post work out dinner at Umami Burger. Nothing says “I’m not ethnic like eating at the kind of Asian-inspired place that non ethnics love.” There, you can dine on medium rare meat adorned with butter lettuce, Italian truffle cheese and almost ketchup while your new friends appreciate who you have worked so hard to be.
Just don’t let them catch you tapping your feet to the restaurant’s music. You’ve come so far, it’d be sad to see your efforts vanish by dessert.