A few weeks ago, I auditioned to teach step aerobics at New York Sports Club. For those of you unfamiliar with the gymography of New York, NYSC is the McDonald’s of the bunch: there are classier gyms, but this one can’t be beat for convenience, as there are some 50 locations in New York. You can’t walk two blocks without bumping into one. Landing a gig at New York Sports Club (which would allow me to teach at any of the locations) would be a clear and unmistakable advance in my fitness career, the high point of which has heretofore been filming an exercise video for smack and coke junkies.
So I went to the audition and was disheartened to see that there were 30 people there, until I found out that 24 of them were auditioning to teach hip-hop classes, which heartened me right back up again. Each auditioner taught ten minutes of a class made up of all the other auditioners. The 24 hip-hop dancers went first–I was surprised and pleased that I managed not to break my neck, as I am not a hip-hop dancer–and then came the steppers. There were three of us, and I have to say that I was by far the best. One of the other two was competent but boring, and the other seemed not to have a musical bone in her body. Perhaps her cochlea was musical, but that didn’t help her step to the beat. I was enthusiastic and peppy (two qualities I can fake in abundance when necessary) and taught a combination that was both interesting and clear.
So of course I didn’t get the job. “We loved your energy,” said the woman I spoke to on the phone a few days later, “but you were too bouncy.”
She was referring to a very particular physical element of my technique rather than my personality, but still I think that’s got to be the best reason anyone has ever been turned down for a job. “We really liked you,” she said, “so we want you to work on that and come back in a month or two.”
And I was like, Oh, don’t you worry about THAT, missy.
During the next several classes I taught, I focused on being less bouncy; I also met with him to get some pointers. Before long I had eliminated all bounce from my stepping, and I knew that when I auditioned again I would blow her out of the water, along with the 24 hip-hop dancers.
Fast-forward to Tuesday. I went to my local New York Sports Club to take a step class; I finished breakfast late and had to run, but I got there on time–only to find out that the scheduled teacher had been in a car accident. “They’ve called somebody,” said one of the other students, “but they don’t know when she’s getting here.”
I may have many flaws, but failing to recognize an opportunity when it stares me in the face is not among them. I flew upstairs to the general manager’s office, introduced myself, and offered to teach the class.
It was fabulous, and I’m meeting with the woman who originally auditioned me in a week and a half.
Too bouncy, my ass.