I didn't realize that I would need to bring my dancing shoes to my work conference. Literally. Our three-day meeting in Arizona included one "fun activity" night of salsa lessons from a professional dance group. As I was swinging my hips and step step step'ing with one of my colleagues, I was thinking that I'm happy to be working for a company that knows how to have fun. Even though these are no longer the days of start-ups where I ride my razor around and take foosball breaks, this huge - and I mean HUGE - corporation still knows how to let their hair down. Or maybe I should say they know how to let MY hair down.
After our lessons, the next step was for each regional group to choose one representative to perform and compete on behalf of the team. Even though I've been with the company for three years, I've only been with this office and division for a month. I was still in my more "quiet and reserved" mode, so I didn't think I'd be chosen.
I was wrong.
Eight of us ended up in a side conference room to learn our routines from our professionals. I was partnered with Eduardo (roll that "r" as you hear his name in your head), a short, dark-skinned guy with highlighted hair, a gold hoop in his ear, a yellow LiveStrong bracelet on his wrist, and a shake in his booty! He had a lot of ideas already, like how we would start with a storyline: I would pretend to almost kiss him, with my hand under his chin, but I would reject him and turn the other way. As I strutted away from him, he would turn me back around by the shoulder and throw my feather boa to the floor before we began our salsa. So spicy!
I was the first to perform before my peers. With the music blaring and the crowd roaring, I felt like I was on Dancing With the Stars. Except this was more like Dancing In Front of My New Boss, the VP, My New Colleagues... I was hoping this first impression wouldn't be a negative one. I guess everyone learned fast that "shy" is not a word often used to describe me.
After the judging from three American Idol-like judges, I ended up coming in third, behind one guy wearing a huge afro wig and another man whose hairy tummy protruded out of his t-shirt which stated "I'm With the Band." How could I compete with that? For the remainder of the meeting, people kept coming up to me telling me they enjoyed watching, that I was robbed, etc. Even when I'm not trying to be a ham, I must just scream oink oink!
Well, if nothing else, my name is now known. Even some people from the home office who didn't make it to the meeting told me they'd heard. I have a feeling I won't be hearing the end of this anytime soon.