Junkie Gratitude: How ((305)) Gave Me Confidence
Junkies are always feeling #blessed and #thankful. Before we speed right to the winter holidays, we're taking the time to pause and hear what y'all are grateful for. ((305))'s community is why we do what we do! Honestly, truly.
We chatted with NYC OG junkie Anthony on how ((305)) gave him some serious confidence on and off the dance floor.
Kicking things off, how did you hear of 305?
Like that swanky retro tank, ((305)) Fitness and I go *~way back~*, well before it even had a name! I went to Brown University with Sadie and have been taking classes with her ever since she came up with the idea for a fitness class that was genuinely challenging but equally just as fun.
From musty college gyms to state-of-the-art studios, it's been an immense pleasure to dance through the evolution of ((305)) Fitness!
Dope! What was your first class like? What made you come back for MOAR?
I discovered my love for dance through ((305)). Growing up I had always been self-conscious about my body and weight, things that required grace and coordination always seemed out of reach. My first class revealed to me that I actually had a knack for movement, something that would have otherwise gone untapped had I never dared to dance.
Since then, ((305)) has shown me that fitness is more than just physical, and that the euphoria I feel after every class is even more valuable than the calories I've burned.
So what does "confidence" mean to you?
It's that unshakable feeling of "I'm the shit, and you can't tell me different" you get when you walk into a room with a fresh haircut and a fly outfit. It's the belief that you can and will do what you set out to, so long as you try. It's the knowledge that your "mediocre" is someone else's "excellent," that your lowest points are someone else's goals. It's an unspoken commitment to inspire, just by being you.
As Beyoncé once sagaciously said, "Some call it arrogance; I call it confidence."
How did ((305)) help you build on your confidence?
((305)) taught me how to get out of my head and into my body. I am a severe over-thinker and can oftentimes worry myself into paralysis; taking a tough class like ((305)) regularly shakes me out of that negative mindset. If I can not only survive but thrive in an hour of an intense workout, then why can't I flourish in everything else I do? That realization alone has multiplied my confidence tenfold.
Which ((305)) song or choreo makes you feel the most "confident" in class?
Beyoncé's "Formation" hands down. Apart from the song being a literal masterpiece, few things are as empowering as dancing through intersectional feminist rhetoric that's sung over an infectious beat. The choreo is one of ((305))'s toughest to master, but once you get it down, damn does it feel good to slay in the black light!
How does your confidence impact other areas of your life?
Outside of the dance floor, I'm currently working on my PhD in Sociology. People tend to think that all academics do is read and write, but there's actually quite a bit of performance involved in the practice. Whether I'm running an intimate discussion seminar, presenting my work at a national conference, or teaching a lecture to 400+ students, I need confidence to succeed.
It all can be a bit scary, but ((305)) showed me that if I can unashamedly twerk upside down against a wall, then I can most certainly effectively communicate my thoughts and ideas as a scholar. It's all about balance!
Last question! If someone is nervous about taking class, what tips would you have for them to feel confident?
There is going to be a moment when you think one or more of the following thoughts:
- "I can't do this."
- "I look crazy!"
- "I don't know what I'm doing!"
- "That person is WAY better than I am, why am I here?"
- "I should just quit."
Every time any of these thoughts come to your mind, promise yourself to keep going for just one more minute. The second you want to give up, give yourself that extra time to keep trying and see if you still feel the same. Even if it means slowing down. Even if it means modifying. Even if it means taking a water break. Honor that fear, that doubt, that confusion, and respond to it with perseverance.
It's better to have struggled than to not have danced at all. ✌️