Every job has occupational hazards.
For example, I accept that I will copy edit every piece of writing I see from now until the day I die, even though I stopped working as a journalist in 2009.
But a ride in the car with Catherine earlier this week underscored a newer job-influenced habit I had not noticed before: To me, music is no longer just about tones and notes. As a result of being a Jazzercise instructor, the lyrics and musical phrases are intertwined with the queues and patter I use to keep my classes motivated.
I noticed this when Don Omar‘s “Danza Kuduro” came on the radio when I was driving Catherine home. In this case, I have no idea what the lyrics mean; still, aloud I inserted the following italicized comments at the beginning of each line or phrase:
Las manos arriba (Skip it up to me. Big arms!)
Cintura sola (take it back low)
Da media vuelta (give me party arms!)
Danza kuduro (knees!)
No te canses ahora (Skip it up again.)
Que esto solo empieza (bend your knees!)
Mueve la cabeza (arms!)
Danza kuduro (pick up your heels; wiggle your knees)
Quien puede domar la fuerza del mar (tap, tap, chasse…)
I would have kept at it, but for the reaction from Catherine.
Not surprisingly, she was horrified. “Stop!” she said.
I can’t help it.
You might be parsing the naughty lyrics in Usher‘s “Scream,” but I’m concentrating on, “Hip walk; get low. Make it funky. Heels — single, single, double.”
Here’s how I hear Cobra Starship‘s “You Make Me Feel”:
… And if you listen you can hear me through the radio (step together, step hop)
In that bright white noise (hips facing forward)
What I been missing in my life (use your arms; drive this move!)
What I been dreaming of (c’mon, let me see some energy!)
You’ll be that girl
You’ll be that girl
Everything you want so let me get up there (double jabs)
I’m the baddest baby in the atmosphere (kick it through your heel; toes and knees facing me!)
Tell me what you want so we can do just what you like (make it sharp!)
You make me feel that (scoot it!)
La la la la la (lift those elbows)
You make me feel so (How do I make you feel?)
My classes respond to that last query with loud affirmative hoots and hollers.
I guess if I asked Catherine, she’d say: “Embarrassed!”