When I was 5, the kids from the neighborhood made me an honorary member of Saturn Soul – a breakdancing gang that performed at birthday parties. They made me a shirt that spelled out my full name vertically, from the collar to the bottom seam, in red felt letters. On the back, with the same red felt, it said Saturn Soul and I never felt cooler. I had one staple move: The Backspin – and I was awesome at it. One day, during practice, I jumped in the middle of the cardboard to do my move, but I got tangled up with a 14-year-old Igor Reyes who was in the middle of a windmill.
Thankfully, no one was hurt. Just a little ego bruising from the fall, and the subsequent scolding by both my brother and my mother.
They didn’t understand the power music had over my feet. That once I heard Shannon’s “Let the Music Play,” there was no controlling me. I didn’t care about the dangers of Igor’s legs doubling as baseball bats and hitting me 10 feet into the backyard. I just wanted to dance.
Three decades later, the dancing affliction has not subsided. It’s gotten worse, actually. I dance on the roofs of cars, on table tops, in grocery stores, and in offices. And, I’ve upgraded my signature Backspin to the Powerslide – which, again I’m awesome at. And by awesome I mean effectively bruising and rug-burning my knees.
But, in a recent gross miscalculation of my ability to slide to Gangnam Style, I have come to realize that this signature move must also be retired.
After reviewing my performance, I think where I went wrong was sliding in a turkey costume. First, it’s not the most figure flattering outfit one can wear, and second, the faux-felt, highly-flammable material made it really difficult to control the slide. Hell, I’m lucky I only injured my knee, the friction from the slide could’ve sparked a flame resulting in a – wait for it – smoked turkey.