A Magical Blue Fedora / by Ben Weston

This blue fedora has magical powers.

Back in 2009, I had just moved to Seattle and was in my friend’s basement, listening to a funk song.

It was so funky it physically hurt. It was the kind of funk that rumbles your bones.

But I couldn’t dance to it.

More specifically, I was still deathly terrified of and didn’t know how to dance.

So, I started taking popping and locking classes at the Jefferson Community Center on Monday nights taught by Chris and Jason Kaku. These brothers didn’t just dance. Their bodies BECAME the sound of funk.

And then, there were their fedoras. mmmMMMMmmm! God dayum.

They looked like crowns, only bestowed upon the funkiest of dancers.

Obviously I wanted to be like them.

Even as I got better and picked up some dance moves, I still felt like I was faking it, that I would embarrass myself in front of other dancers.

I didn’t feel good enough to say that I dance.

Just before leaving Seattle, the Kaku brothers gave me a gift - a blue fedora. And that blue fedora spoke to me.

It said:

You’re funky enough.

You’re good enough.

You belong. You’re one of us now.

So every time I put it on, I believe it. I feeeeel it.

I become 10x funkier. And I feel good enough to belong. To say I’m a dancer.

That song from 7 years ago, that I couldn’t dance to?

Here’s that song.

And now? Now, I can dance da SHIT out of it, thanks to the magical blue fedora.

Chris & Jason: thank you for believing in me. Thank you making me feel like I was good enough to belong and to shine.

This one’s for you.