A dancer does, I believe lurk within all of us. Keeping it locked up in an inner cage is the sad scenario for many, me included. The keys to open the cage tend to be alcohol or drug shaped. The ensuing rampage is not a pretty sight.
I have long since abandoned the idea that I could allow myself a conventional dance without being shrivelled in a spotlight of self-inflicted embarrassment. A sorry state of affairs perhaps. But that’s how it is.
On a more upbeat note, if you’ll pardon the pun, I’m fortunate in that my habitual deafness to safety advice means I’ve discovered the joy of listening to my Spotify playlist whilst cycling! And ohhh what a joy that is. Movement and music. That’s dancing, isn’t it! Stealth Dancing!!
So, having already found this surprise backdoor to the dance floor I was intrigued when offered a chance to represent Otec Bikes at a try out session for a CBF spinning class. A chance, perhaps, for some dancing in disguise.
I duly arrived for the hour-long session at 8pm. Already a bit soggy with perspiration from the warm ride to the venue I was a little surprised to find it to be a small, dark, low ceiling room. Spin bikes packed in elbow to elbow. One sliding door. No windows, no air con or fans to stir the humid air. Some coloured lights. This was looking like a good old-fashioned nightclub dance floor. All it needed to complete the picture was lashings of cigarette smoke.
Ian, our instructor, was greeting arrivals warmly. As a newbie to this spinning lark he gave me a quick but comprehensive briefing on how to set up the bike and operate its bits. Uncomplicated sums it up.
A mix of men, women, superhero types and, reassuringly, mere mortals soon had the room full and we were underway with a gentle warm up. Already I could feel my scalp prickling as little rivulets of sweat started to dribble out of my hair. Sitting on the bike next to the water dispenser was beginning to look a prudent choice.
One hour and three gulped litres of water later I’d had a comprehensively rocking good time. The rhythmic pumping music. The rhythmic pumping of the legs. The bobbing up and down. Stand up. Sit down. Ease off. Go harder. Flat out. Panting like a dog. The darkness, the flashing lights. Everyone bashing it out, on their own but together. A sweaty, visceral, communal unleashing of something primal. I like it. I like it a lot.
Moving to music. It’s more than just moving. It’s letting rip, wholeheartedly. A transcendence of physical discomfort. An ascension to the purity of being in the moment. And that, of course, is essentially what dancing, in its more raw form, is all about.
A spinning class can make you fitter, healthier, more beautiful perhaps. You may choose to view it as a civilised, simulated bike ride. Or you can just go along to secretly unleash your inner beast, Either way, some good will come of it.
I shall still listen to music when I’m out riding. I’ll even throw in a few swerving moves to the beats when no one is looking. but when I want to really let rip and get down to a great groove you might just find me down the Spin Class. I might even have a sparkly vest on under my jersey.