Heading down Elizabeth Street last week, I heard an unmistakable sound that reminded me of home.
Music to my ears. Literally.
But not just any music. Loud bass reverberating around what I could tell, even without looking, would be a large refurbished studio in an old brick building with creaky wood floors and 360-degree mirrors. The kind of place that triggers every dancer’s memory with smells of old wood, leather and sweat — not to mention the pain of delightfully blistered toes.
Without thinking, I bolted across the street and up three flights of stairs.
At the Mad Dance House reception desk, a smiling blonde bombshell with a tight bun greeted me and offered me a tour. She took me through four studios where jazz, contemporary, hip-hop and ballet classes were underway. I was so excited that I bought a five-class pass on the spot and sat waiting for the next one to start.
Unluckily for me, as someone who mostly studied ballet and contemporary, the next class was hip-hop. But I decided to take my chances. I looked totally out of place — the only person not wearing baggy clothes and neon, over-sized trainers — but the instructor instantly put me at ease. Tammi was hilarious and beautiful with contagious energy. Although it took me most of the class to lose my trained ballet form, I had more fun than I’d had since hanging up my dancing shoes more than two years ago.
After that first taste I wanted to go back again, right away. So the next night I hit up jazz class. The choreography wasn’t my style — think robots in a kick line — but the instructor was just as lovely as the last.
In just a few short days, I easily used up my five-punch card. And, ironically, the classes I liked best were all hip-hop. You may see me dancing down the halls or practicing choreography in the elevator. But rest assured, you won’t catch me wearing pumped up kicks and baggy pants any time soon.