Well they showed up on Thursday which is another step in the inevitable march towards the event that shall remain nameless (but I did tag it so it isn’t tagless). I believe the Thespian commented in one of his posts about appreciating the absurdity of this little hobby of ours and this was a perfect opportunity for me to do that. The pants (and vest) come unfinished, so you are supposed to try them on, get pins in important places, take photos and send them back. I know nothing about how these are supposed to fit so the studio offered to help me. Imagine the scene of me standing on the dance floor in these pants while OwnerGuy, one of the other instructors and even a couple of students are down crawling around my legs sticking in safety pins in appropriate places and trying to get things to line up correctly. Then I get to strike my best GQ pose while someone walks around taking photos of me in the pants and then in the vest with the pants. I have been fitted for a suit before so I know a little about this but it did seem a little silly for it to be happening in the ballroom with lessons going on. As for the pants, well they are a bit tight so I can’t gain any weight between now and then. I’ll admit they do feel different but I don’t know if they contain any super powers to improve my dancing. The quiet instructor who never says anything did give me a shout out about how nice they looked. The vest was off so I hope it can be fixed. Where they wanted it made me feel like a sausage so that wasn’t pleasant and fortunately everyone agreed it was too tight. But I shipped them off today with pins in place and many photos.
We decided to work on two-step at yesterday’s lesson. That’s because they played one at the party on Thursday and I couldn’t even remember the few steps I do know. I can pretty much do everything but I can’t seem to retain any of it and it really ticks me off which was obvious yesterday. Coupled with the fact that we had been doing Tango all week and there was something about her smooth shoes that were causing her some problems so she needed a break. But, it also was part of her new master plan to keep me from giving into the Dark Side. She tells me that she’s totally confident that I know the routines (glad one of us is) and that she has no worries there. The expanded frame and dancing bigger is not there yet but it is something we can continue to work on. But she knows the mental thing is going to be the hang up and that when I make little mistakes (she calls them little, I think they are huge), then it starts me on the whole downward spiral and the voices of the Dark Side become ever so tempting. And, even though two step will not be a part of the aforementioned event that I can’t speak of, if I mess up there, it goes to my confidence which impacts everything. On this, she is right on (and much smarter than she lets on at times). So trolling around the floor a few times to some country music to show myself that I’m not a failure may help to boost my confidence in everything. Seems like a reasonable plan. She did ask why I get so frustrated with not remembering things and said something like it isn’t that big of a deal. I had no real logical answer other than my ego and perfectionism which says I should never, ever forget something I’ve learned before and if I do, it is a sign of failure and no failure is tolerated.
I think OwnerGuy is in on it as well. At one point, she tells him to watch us so he can also tell me that I didn’t cock up the two step. After we ran through the pattern, he comes out to tell us that it was fine but then starts raving about my posture. I got a little pissed off during the lesson so right after she yells at him to watch, I kind of hit a pose that was designed to express my indignation but it turns out it was actually good posture. Who knew? But he also starts going on about how at the party on Thursday, he was watching and was impressed with my posture – he said I was standing out on the floor which is what they are trying to get me to do.
One last little positive note because the week was mostly positive. I’m starting to notice at group that little things that appear natural to me aren’t to others. We had a swing group yesterday and there is a ladies turn to Lindy timing and to make the turn end well, the man needs to drop his hand at the right moment. Drop it too late and she things something else is coming and the step ends badly. I was just doing what felt natural without really thinking about it but the guy next to me kept struggling with it so much so that the instructor had to make a point of it. There was another part where we end up in sweetheart position and then are both supposed to rock back but the lady I was dancing with was wanting to rock forward. After the first time, I decided to just slightly tighten up my hold on her so it was more obvious that we were going back and that she really didn’t have an option to go forward and that helped overcome the muscle memory. At the Famous Franchise, they don’t like to single people out so the instructor will always just say “Now, men …” or “One thing I see you guys doing …” so that way it isn’t obvious who screwed up but my instructor also made a point of telling me later that she wasn’t talking about me when she said that. (That is likely also part of Operation Feelgood described above) No, I’m clearly not perfect and there is always more to learn. But it is nice for me to at least feel some tangible signs of progress.
Lastly, in case you were wondering about the second part of the title, I feel the need to share just a little bit of the fun from Friday. But I’m not fully prepared to rip away my carefully crafted veil of anonymity so you only get this shot. For the full effect, you should probably be mentally playing ZZ Top’s “Sharp Dressed Man” in your head. Actually, I just see that my elbows should be higher but I was holding the vest in a certain way so that wasn’t possible. That’s a partial of OwnerGuy behind me. Cheers!