Sunday, January 4, 2015

Yeah, I Got Moves

It's been a while since I last updated. Last time you heard from me, I was nervously waiting for word of my renewal. My CT and friends here told me I didn't have to worry, but... I'm a worry-wart.

Good news! You've probably already learned this (I mean, if you're reading this you're most likely family or friend, and word has likely spread on FB, haha), but I was renewed and even signed my new contract and got my bonus days, yes! I'm about one week away from visiting home for a good chunk of the month, but I thought I thought I'd talk a little about living in Korea. After all, I'll be here a while longer.

Living in Korea as a Mormon is... different. An interesting, and maybe a little bizarre, different. Many aspects are the same, and then there are things like YSA (young single adult) dances. I attended one in the Summer (did I mention that?) at a YSA conference I impulsively decided to attend at the last minute. I remember people telling me, "our dances are different here," and they certainly weren't wrong.

For those not familiar with LDS Church dances in the US, let me paint a picture for you. The lights are dimmed, the music is blaring. If you're from Arizona, you'll probably get a mix of pop songs, swing, country and Spanish music. There will be clumps of friends collected around the gym floor maybe dancing, maybe pretending to, and the occasional couple who glide by who actually know their left foot from their right.

Korean Mormon dances are nothing like this. In the Summer, I walked into the building we were holding the dance in and saw all the lights on, genders basically self-segregated and music playing in the background, but no one even half-haphazardly bobbing to it.

Less this...

When I discovered KMormon dances were like this, I couldn't help thinking about the old musical film, Calamity Jane. I don't know why this particular movie came to mind in that moment. It might have had something to do with the fact that I had a bingo paper around my neck that reminded me of Calamity's dance card at the ball.

More this.
Instead of letting us loose to put shame to the word "dancing" (you know it's true, fellow US Mormon dance goers), we were partnered up and LEARNED choreographed dances. Some of them were really confusing, at least for me, and some were really fun. I managed not to step on any toes and I actually felt... a little glamorous?

Fast forward to December 27th. I didn't really know what to expect. I'd heard one thing here, another thing there. It's a ball, it's line dancing, it's funk. It was all of these and more. It was like the Summer dancing, but with more music and a couple of the dances changed. I managed to do the first dance (in heels, might I add). The second one, cha cha, I .... pressed forward until it was done. The waltz.... managed to trip on some tarp material by the dance floor and stumbled RIGHT onto my partner's foot (still VERY sorry about that). We also learned a line dance to the song Sunny, found here.

During the dance, it was pointed out to us that there was a "confession note" table set up. If you were interested in someone (I'm not sure if it was for both men and women), you could write a letter to them and it would be delivered to them later during the event. Interesting....

When I went to the last dance, there was one other foreigner. This time, there were four of us in total. We shared in our awkwardness, and maybe because we were in this little "foreigner bubble" it made us bolder. Near the end we decided to "American Style" it up. The song "Happy" was playing, we'd just consumed pizza and a few cups of soda, so I also blame it on that. I'm not sure what everyone thought of this circle of Waygookin girls in the center of the room, just doing whatever and laughing like crazy people, but I know I was having fun. We had a couple Korean friends join in with our insanity, and even a leader. So.....

(Except the injured foot of a certain gentleman...)

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