Yes, that's right! I taught my first hip-hop class today! Well, not really taught...I kind of just subbed for my own teacher, Ethan, because he couldn't make it to class today. The kids were interesting, and the atmosphere was different than how it was in "dance scene practices" in the past for Asian shows. Oh yea, that's right, I forgot to mention that I'm an Asian American; not that it really matters because people are people, right? Well about these Asian shows. I was a choreographer for a scene where i would, obviously, have to teach a bunch of non-dancer college kids how to do dances and put them in formations and such. Now, the difference between the show and this class I taught today was that the kids in class actually showed me respect...it was weird. (On a side note...I REALLY want to play bioshock right now...I just got it on my mac and it's craaaazzzzzyyyyy!!!!) During class, I was subbing with Ethan's assistant and apprentice to the dance crew I'm in (Ethan teaches us. Our studio calls us a hip-hop company, but we prefer to call ourselves a crew.). Her name is Victoria. She's pretty cool, but she used to harass the shit out of my little sister, Erin (also an apprentice), back in the day; so Erin hates her. I'm sure she'll come around though. People change once they're exposed to hip-hop. They become less insecure, less egotistical, and they heal. So, I'm counting on that; because Victoria seems to be a really interesting girl. She knows what's up. She doesn't expect guys to chase after her while she just stands around and acts cute. Oh, and did I mention that she's decided to make me her man-target?
Yeah...well, anyway, I talked to Ethan about this and he finds it hilarious. I really don't know why. Maybe it's because I'm Asian, I only went for Asian girls in the past, and she's Polish. But talking about Victoria got Ethan and me onto the topic of race ("Racial" kind of race. Not cars going zoom zoom). The talk made me realize that yeah, race doesn't matter. Black, white, yellow, brown, whatever...Asian Americans these days and people in general like to tag their friends as "the token Indian guy", "the token black man", "the white girl", and blah blah. It's actually really ignorant when I think about it. I remember when I was on campus, I would address my friend, Matt, as "black man" because he was the only black guy amongst approximately seventy Asians in the ASIAN AMERICAN CLUB. I was ignorant, granted that I still referred to him as Matt at any other time except while greeting him. My friend Rob was talking to me the other day and was telling me about his group of friends he had made in college this past year. "So there's these two white guys, the Indian guy, a black guy, and me, the Asian guy," he says. That killed me. It wasn't because of him, but because I realized that I was trapped inside this Asian American bubble where it was unusual for us to hang out with a diverse group of friends. The same thing happened when I decided to chase after my first Caucasian girl. All my friends (95% of all my friends are Asian, if you haven't caught on already) went "What?! She's white!" That was the first thing out of their mouths. Then came the, "She's cute, man." When the race of the girl suddenly becomes more surprising than her attractiveness, I would like to think that something is wrong...or skewed. "Race doesn't become a big deal unless we make it one,"Ethan said to me, "There is beauty in all cultures." After joining this crew about a year ago, I believe it; and I want to break out of this bubble. Because when it really came down to it, I forgot that Ethan was Asian when I was talking to him face to face at the dinner table. When we started talking and the fact hit me that he was indeed an Asian, my mind was blown. It was
People Are People...Right?