Beyoncé and I have a lot in common. We’re both American. We’re the same age. And when I was in high school, Michelle from Destiny’s Child came to my parents’ church and taught the little kids how to sing gospel.
But that’s where our similarities end. I don’t have attitude. I can’t do amazingly complex dances. And above all, I’m not bootylicious.
All the more reason to take a Beyoncé dance class with Lizzy Cahalan.
“It started as a bit of a joke”, she tells me. A comedian friend, Dave Callan, challenged her to a ‘Single Ladies’ dance off. Who knew more moves? Cahalan, of course. They wound up performing their Beyoncé show at tons of fringe festivals (Adelaide/Melbourne/Edinburgh).
Three years on, Cahalan teaches Bey Dance. She breaks down dozens of Beyoncé songs (yes, including ‘Single Ladies’) into six-week blocks.
The day before my class on the track ‘Diva’, I panicked. I didn’t even know the song! But my fears were unfounded. Cahalan led the class of ten women through hip hop-style warmups: lots of dips and head swinging. Then we got right into ‘Diva’.
It wasn’t nearly as scary as I thought – it was damn fun. Cahalan has been doing dance since the age of four and is a natural teacher. She had even the most unco girls twisting, moving our knees, and striking divalicious poses. Talk about a workout: two days later, my legs were still sore.
How does Cahalan do it? How does Beyoncé do it, for that matter? I’ll never know.
But I do know that the next time ‘Diva’ comes on, I might just spontaneously break out into some impressive dancing.