Thursday, June 23, 2011

Was that racist of me?

So, the gym I have recently joined has classes. Today I went to the 'Latin Heat' class. I was excited. I mean dancing salsa at 8:30 in the morning. Awesome!!! Not because of the "exercise", but because I love Latin music and any excuse to dance is always welcome in my world.

I go to the gym. Finding parking was tricky so I was about 5 minutes late. When I entered the room my eyes started searching for the teacher.

Now before I tell you what happened, answer this for yourself. If you were going to take a LATIN HEAT class, who do you think would be teaching that class? What would your "Latin Heat" teacher look like? And I don't just mean thin/fat/sexy/ etc....

Well as I walk to find a spot in the room, my eyes scan the room to see who is teaching. It turns out to be a white blonde woman. Immediately I thought.."pha why is she teaching a Latin dance class?". In that moment I didn't think she had any business teaching that class. I questioned whether she could even move her hips the way you are supposed to in Latin dance. Needless to say my excitement for the class already entered the world of doubt.

But then I checked myself. I mean after all I conduct diversity training for other people. I should know better. how could I even think that way? So, after a little bit of self-scolding I decided to get with the program and dance the hour away.

She wasn't bad. She knew her moves and DID move her hips the way you are supposed to in Latin dance. But then why wasn't I having FUN????!!!! Was it me or was it how she was teaching the class or was it the fact that 90% of the students in that class were older Jewish women ready to get some LATIN HEAT on. In between their shaloms to each other and gossiping about stuff and watching other people, move they would step on the floor and try to follow the teacher.

So, perhaps the teacher was teaching at the level that these women could follow. Is THAT why I felt that she was a bad, uninspired and uninspiring teacher? Or am I truly biased in thinking that if you don't look brown but you want to teach or do Latin dance, then you better work hard to prove yourself? Just like the brown people have to prove themselves when they try to do something where white people have dominance. Skin color matters because its the most obvious trait we all have and it has SO much meaning.

To end the story...I walked out of the class half way through. I could not be in that room. It was too much work to TRY to enjoy what was an absolutely beginning level, slow Latin dance class. It didn't challenge me.

But what I wonder is....had the teacher been a brown man or woman....would I have stayed the entire class? Even despite the fact that because of the older ladies the class was never going to be as challenging as I would have liked it to be. Would I have stayed???? I don't know.


  1. Skin color matters because it's the most obvious trait we all have.-

    Sometimes you read things about races and racism and so on, that are 4 pages long. And FINALLY, all of those pages were stuffed into one sentence.

    Isn't that the truth?

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