I am the real Cat Daddy March 16, 2012 — by Dylan Jew “CAT DADDY …” I could feel my heart racing and my hands perspiring. As the high-pitched introductory words of the Rejectz song reverberated around the Journalism Room, I suddenly grew scared that I would blank and forget my routine or lose sync with the music. But, after I started, my body took over and each move led to the next. “CAT DADDY …” I could feel my heart racing and my hands perspiring. As the high-pitched introductory words of the Rejectz song reverberated around the Journalism Room, I suddenly grew scared that I would blank and forget my routine or lose sync with the music. But, after I started, my body took over and each move led to the next. I have never thought of myself as a dancer, and never thought of myself as someone who enjoys performing in front of a crowd. When I first saw my teacher, senior Peter Hsieh, who has been dancing since the summer of 2008, perform the routine, I was intimidated and found myself thinking, “How am I going to be able to do those moves?” Fortunately, Peter had experience teaching others from his participation in Quad Days and Dance Club. He told me that teaching is a good way to improve their own dancing skills since it forces teachers to break down moves in ways that other people understand. He believed that each dance style is learned best in its own way. For dances such as ballet or contemporary, classes are generally the best way to learn. For freestyle and dances like mine, however, classes are not necessary and they can be self-taught. Peter learned to dance on his own, from tutorials and videos from YouTube. His advice to me was to start with basics to develop a strong foundation before moving onto any difficult moves. My dance was a hip-hop routine, featuring moves such as the “Cat Daddy” and the “Dougie.” It was choreographed by Peter, who timed the moves to the lyrics and the beat. This made the moves easier to remember, but sometimes it was hard to be fluid while performing them. My performance turned out better than I expected. I would never have thought I could learn some of the complex moves, but I was able to learn them through practice. Of course, my performance could have been more fluid if I had spent more time practicing it. Before I started, I had no idea how much time people spent to learn and perfect their dance routines. Learning my own dance routine gave me an appreciation for all the work that dancers like Peter put into their work. Dancing smoothly and with rhythm turned out to be challenging, but with practice my routine improved. Although it was not anywhere close to Peter’s level, at least I will have a clue the next time “Cat Daddy” is played at a dance.