Take 30 seconds and watch the video above. I'll wait.
Done? Excellent. Because when I was 8 years old THAT'S what I wanted to be.
Forget about being a stupid firefighter or a doctor. I knew I wasn't going to be a sports superstar (more on that another day). No no no, I was going to be a goddamn breakdancing superstar!
My fascination with breakdancing more or less started when I was born. Being a shy, awkward, introverted kid meant that anything I saw people paying attention to, I wanted in, even though I never realized how bad I actually was at said activity. This might explain why I thought I was some kind of BMX racer and why I got hit by cars on more than one occasion.
So there I was, sitting on the lawn by myself being all badass (in my head) when I see this...
Yes, it was a guy carrying a stack of broken down cardboard on his back and his friend, wearing pretty much the same outfit as the guy in the picture above, with a boombox blaring against his ear.
What happened next is one of those random things that become permanently etched into your brain. These two bros walk into a driveway, throw down the cardboard and start rocking the sickest dance moves I had ever seen. I mean this stuff was better than the stuff they were trying to pull off on Solid Gold.
I had to learn!
I begged to take breakdancing lessons. I went as far as manipulating my parents emotions with guilt as I cried saying that my two sisters were in dance class.
"Why can't I be in dance too!"
There were at least 4 other kids in the class with me and let me tell you, these kids were good. I walk into the first lesson to see lil Bobby Joe spinning around on the floor like a top, Billy Bob contorting his body like he was having a stroke and Ben Boopity flopping around on the floor like a seal.
Let me be honest for a second. Those weren't their names at all. I have no idea what their names were. They never told me. You know why? They didn't like me.
"But Shawn" you say. "You're so sweet and lovable and charming and funny. Not only that but you're the bread to my butter AND the cat's meow"
Normally I'd say, "yes of course, I know this" but there was a reason these kids hated me.
The first clue to me being horrible and having no rhythm (besides all the other kids hating me) was trying to learn how to do the arm wave.
The arm wave, or chain wave, is a move where you move your arm in a wave pattern, basically starting from one arm being up, then going down in a smooth motion, followed by your other arm doing the opposite. This should be the easiest friggen thing in the world to do!! Seriously, do it now! There ya go, you win!
For whatever reason, I COULD NOT COMPREHEND, just how the hell you were supposed to do it.
So it's me, smack in the middle of my classmates in a straight line. I'm SUPPOSED to raise my arm as the kid next to me lowers his.
You would think that the teacher would be used to having shitty students who didn't know what the hell they were doing. Not this guy, ohhh no! Any time I fell out of tune with the other kid, he'd yell and come over, grab my arm in a vice grip and "show me" how it's supposed to be done.
Yeah, seeing as I thought I was the star of the studio, none of this stuff sunk in. He probably hated me more than the other kids did.
This went on for a solid two months. The entire time we were prepping for this big dance recital. FINALLY a chance for the world to see my moves. This was going to be my time to shine!
There was only one problem.
It's Tuesday night, which meant dance night. I was all ready to go and bust a move.
"Dad, you ready to go"
"What do you mean? Dance class ended last week"
I mean come on, I was 8. If my parents said that the allotted classes for breakdance had ended, that means it ended. I never asked any questions and just left it alone, moving onto my next obsession. KARATE! (More on my Karate career another day)
Fast forward 20 or so years. It's a family dinner, everyone's laughing and having a good time when all
of a sudden my mom says.
"Remember the time you got kicked out of breakdancing school?"
No Mom. I guess you forgot to mention that.
Let that sink in for a minute. I was so bad that this guy refused to let me back to the class. The class my parents paid him for weekly. He was like screw it, no amount of money is worth this.
In my parents defense, they were nice enough to not tell me I sucked and wasn't good enough and just said the classes had ended.
So I was kicked out of breakdancing. I was so bad that they didn't want me in their recital and they didn't want my parents' money either. Sad turn of events I'd say.
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Shawn McGovern grew up on a farm 15 miles from Toledo OH. His life long dream is to one day visit that magical city and tell all of his friends about it.