Teacher training is well underway at the ballroom dance studio and I’m learning a lot – particularly how difficult is it to lead these dances (I am being trained as a leader and follower) and the serious arm muscles that a proper frame requires. There is one other teacher-in-training at the studio, Jahlysa, and this post is dedicated to her.
Jahlysa (Juh-lee-sah) is my first real black friend. Not a “wave and smile at someone” friend, but a real friend who you spend time with, laugh a whole lot with and even confide in. I couldn’t care less about her skin color, but when I mention that Jahlysa is black, I am referring to the complete culture shock that both of us have experienced in befriending one another. (I am her first real white friend and – though I shy away from calling myself white – I am certainly her first Jewish friend.)
Whether it’s our hair, family relationships, sexual preferences, personal aspirations or whatever else, there is a world of differences between us that seem more indicative of culture than our individual personalities. The most notable difference seems to be with language and the words that we each use.
I’ve learned a few phrases that I really shouldn’t repeat on the blog and have explained a couple of amusing words to Jayla that probably shouldn’t be referenced either. But I can share one small anecdote that happened at the studio just tonight. We were practicing a routine in costume, busy preparing for the studio’s fall showcase. Checking herself out in her sexy bootyshort outfit, Jahlysa turned to me and said “Mmm, these shorts make my legs look so thick!” I replied that she shouldn’t worry, she looked great and that they don’t make her legs look thick at all. (Which was all true!) But Jahlysa doubled over, laughing hard at me and said “Girl, thick is a GOOD thing! Check out how thick my legs look.”
It was just one of those moments. If you ever told a white chick that her shorts made her legs look thick, it might destroy her. Never a dull minute with this girl.
posted by ayo