Sunday, May 17, 2009

How I became the best dancer in the Tahara Mixed Chorus

Mostly by being a smart ass. I think one of the worst things a choir can do is dance but that's because the kind of choral music I like isn't exactly dancing material. Would you dance to Mozart's Requiem? Or to Shubert's Mass in A Flat? What about to some Morten Lauridson or John Rutter? I think not.

So there's the first problem. I could almost tolerate the music we were singing until they decided we should dance to it. When I found that out I realized I had two choices. I could sulk in the corner half-assing it or I could make fun of the whole affair by being completely over the top Broadway wanna be with it.

I went with choice two. Then my plan backfired, because even though I was standing in the back, I was still spotted and suddenly I was being dragged to the front of the room as an example of how to do the dance. I think maybe only the director and one guy in the bass section, Mr. Suzuki, (who was also dancing like a loon) understood that I was being a bit of a smartypants. Everyone else just thought I was AWESOME. Of course once I set the precedent of over-the-top silly dancing I had to keep dancing like I was trying out for Footloose right up until today's concert. I got big pats on the back afterward from the other choir members and even from a few random strangers in the audience.

So yeah, that's how I became the best dancer in the Tahara Mixed Chorus. Lesson learned: don't be a smart ass because Japanese people won't get the joke. Instead they'll try to make you do a dance solo in front of the whole freaking town and then the joke's on you.

Speaking of choir, I was actually thinking about quitting the choir recently because I found out it's going to cost me $120 every six months to stay in and the twice weekly rehearsals are really starting to get to me. But then randomly one of the little old ladies gave me a cake, just handed me a whole cake one night after practice. How can I tell them I want to quit when I'm holding a cake in my hand? I can't. And then today after I had declined to buy a bento lunch (because they are expensive and I'm never sure if I'll like what's in it,) one of the other ladies insisted and bought it for me. Apparently I'm a sucker for free food.

Although at a cost of $240 a year and countless hours of my life sucked away doing a horrible dance about a fish girl named Ponyo, I'm not sure it really counts as free. My plan is to wriggle free after summer break, using the JLPT as an excuse. I'll explain that I need the extra study time to pass the test. Unless of course they make me another cake in which case I'll never quit.


  1. I bet you're even better in person than I'm imagining in my head. Ha!

    P.S. Your blog doesn't let me comment hardly ever.

  2. The only thing that would have made it better was if I had been tap dancing.

    How does it not let you comment? I wonder if I need to change my settings somehow.