Midway through my first meeting with my team in Seattle on Monday morning, as I was struggling with jet lag (time difference of 16 hours), my boss sat up excitedly to talk about “One Billion Rising” and a mass dance effort on 14 February. We (my team) were going to get the ball rolling in our company by learning the dance and recording our nascent efforts on video and posting that internally to get other people excited and involved.
I woke up immediately….dancing was definitely not on the job description when i applied for the job. They ought to have listed it there and maybe I would have second thoughts about applying or if I did, at least I know what I was getting myself into. The last time I did any sort of a mass dance effort was in University as a freshman during orientation…years ago…
Well, it is for a worthy cause (check out the website: http://onebillionrising.org) as it speaks up against gender violence. So I decided to keep an open mind and give it a try. Anyway, no choice as well right, what with being a newbie on the team, would probably be career limiting not to be sporting about it. Tuesday morning, I downloaded and watched the dance video (http://onebillionrising.org/pages/video-downloads) and my jaw dropped…it was going to be a fair bit tougher than I thought. And then, I got an e-mail from a team member who had to call off a meeting with me later in the day because she was injured (later I found out, from practicing the dance! Her advice after the fact: stretch well before practicing!)
So there I was, in the breaks in between meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday practicing the dance steps and getting confused. It didn’t help to be watching the video ‘cus when they tell you to “go left” and you are facing the video screen, you can’t help but mirror it and go right instead, essentially doing a mirror image of what you were supposed to do.
Finally, on Thursday lunch time, there we were in the auditorium with a video camera trained on us as we practiced and then did 2 takes…though it was quite cold being winter, by the end of the session, I had broke out into a sweat and was quite comfortable just in my tee shirt and jeans.
Quirky company culture this – doing a mass dance what being only 11 days in the company. And I hear that there is more to come in future!