Remember that iconic 2001 Britney Spears VMA performance? If not, allow me to jog your memory by clicking here for the video:
There was a live snake, bellydance inspired costumes and choreography, and of course, sequins and scarves all while she belted her hit, I’m a Slave 4 U. The performance blew the music and dance world out of the water, and to this day, is still treasured as one of the greatest VMA performances of all time.
Well, what if I told you that just two years later, Ms. Britney herself would come to a SharQui class!? And more than that, what if I told you it was the ONE day I wasn’t there!
Ahhhh! True story! Let me take you back…
The year was 2003 and it was the dead of winter. The air was crisp, and I was exhausted. I had been teaching full time while certifying teachers for my program. Britney’s single Me Against the Music (feat. Madonna) was on the hot 100 list, and could be heard throughout the city playing in restaurants, markets, shops and dance classes. Anyway, I was desperately in need of a break and arranged to have one of my certified instructors cover my class at the World Gym in the West Village. It was unusual for me to get coverage because NYC students are a tad vocal when it comes to substitutes, so I was feeling a bit anxious about it. So, when I received a call from her when class ended, my heart nearly stopped, thinking there was a pissed off student.
I anxiously answered the phone and the sub said, “Oreet, you won’t believe it,” she said with anticipation in her voice, “Britney Spears came was in class today!” I was totally shocked, and all I could say back to her was, “OH MY GOD! Of course, the one day I decide to take a break is the day Britney freaking Spears shows up!”
I had a million questions for her and my curiosity was bubbling over. But before I had the chance to ask, she told me that not only did the stereo break down (what…no music?), but Britney was chatting with her friend the whole friggin class! They were also super disruptive and inattentive (two things I absolutely dislike while teaching!)
At that point, I was pissed! I knew that had I been there, the odds of Britney leaving as a converted SharQui lover were pretty high. After all, no one can sell SharQui better than me! I also knew that a broken stereo wouldn’t have stopped me. I would have whipped out my zills and created the music for class because I’m a friggin killer ziller! (I’m sure I would’ve impressed the heck out of her!) I would’ve snapped my finger and be like… It’s Oreet B****!
(Sigh) But it wasn’t the case.
So, in the end, what could have potentially been a life changing opportunity was an opportunity missed. It’s one of those moments that I think back on and all I can say about it is, c’est la vie! (who am I fooling – I’m still pissed!)
Life is full of surprises and potential opportunities and if this story has taught me anything, it’s this:
1) Always be prepared…’cuz anything can happen! Whether it’s a celebrity client or a broken stereo, having the tools and skills to handle unusual circumstances is absolutely critical.
2) And always be learning. The key to being a great instructor is being a great (non-disruptive) student! Even someone who has mastered their art.
So…here’s to the next surprising and exciting opportunity around lifes corner!
Oh, and don’t forget to shake your beauty!
(P.S. My next blog is the day I met the music producer, Timbaland!)