I am not a dancer.

In clubs as a teenager, I had one move — flailing arms. Friends have actually compared my dancing to Elaine's on Seinfeld.

So a free night hip-hop class offered by the city of Ottawa seemed like the perfect opportunity to put my dance skills to the test.


In celebration of May as Physical Activity Month, the city is running its annual Try It! Campaign, where various city facilities, YMCA-YWCA and community recreation centres across Ottawa are offering a wide range of free classes and activities to children, youth and adults, from meditation to nordic walking to kung fu.

The goal of the campaign is to get people active, and give participants a chance to explore different activities in the hopes that they will find new, fun and convenient ways to exercise within their communities.

The night hip-hop class I attended at the Kanata Recreation Complex earlier this week is one of the regular weekly classes that opened itself up to drop-ins during the month.

"I think it's great that (the city) is giving people the chance to come out and participate in something that they might not normally register for without trying first," said Tiffany Carroll, who teaches the class.

"The city has a lot to offer in terms of classes and activities — if you look through the city guide, you can pretty much find anything in there."

At the end of Carroll's high energy class, I'm left panting, having memorized all the words to the Top 40 song the dance was choreographed to, but none of the steps. Although I seemed to be the youngest one in the class, these older women were far groovier than I was.

"See you next week Tiffany!" I heard a woman from the class proclaim as she practically skipped out of the studio.

As for me, I sauntered off quietly to put my dancer dreams to rest, and to decide what I should try next.

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