Leaving on a Jet Plane

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OK, its one of those horrid little regional jets but you get the point.  Can’t believe that in three days I’ll be hopping on a plane to fly off for a one-day dance competition/showcase.  Never, ever would have predicted that when we first walked through the old studio doors all those years ago.  This will clearly be the farthest I’ve ever traveled for a dance event and we shall see if this sets the stage for other trips in the future.  Hard to say but it is worth doing once just to see how it goes.

Realize I’ve been a little quiet as of late.  It is one of those times when a busy period at work coincides with preparation for an event and that doesn’t leave me a lot of free time here.  Besides, we’ve settled into a fairly normal routine and the last several lessons have been amazingly drama free.  That is certainly good for my general mood but not the greatest for a blog as it doesn’t give me a lot of topics to write about.

At party on Friday, they gave out the plaques we received from Northstar.  I know it is two months after the fact but it probably takes awhile to construct these for all the competitors.  Basically, they have to lay out all the heats you participated in which varies from person to person and that likely explains why it takes so long to put these together.  Then, they supply little tokens to represent your placements.  Gold, Silver or Bronze for the closed and Blue, Red, Yellow or White for the open.  Problem is that the instructors then have to piece them together from your score sheets.  Technically, I suppose they could just hand me the plaque with a bag of tokens and just say – stick em on yourself but OwnerGuy wants to drum up interest in these events so they wanted to do a little presentation at party.  Last year, OwnerGuy was responsible for doing mine and he just slapped the tokens anywhere so they didn’t really reflect how I did.  Kind of ticked me off.  This year, Z did it and did it right.  Again, the logical part of me is not really sure how to take these but the line of golds and line of blues do look impressive.  It triggered a couple of conversations with people at the party – wanting to know what the colors represented and why they had different for closed vs open and what it all meant.  One guy looked at mine and remarked that I must be crazy for having done 32 entries.  I get the cost but spread out over two days, it really wasn’t a big deal.  So I’ve now got a nice looking plaque to showcase my efforts back in August.

We had a lesson last night.  Well I’ve got lessons every day this week – kind of like finals in college where you’d cram for the exam.  Z was talking about a comp they had attended over the weekend and she was going on about this vest she saw someone else wearing that would I guess be perfect for me.  I will have to admit that it sounded kind of cool from the description.  Better than the basic one I’ve got now.  Which probably means I’ve gone over the edge now if I’m starting to think about costumes and clothing choices a little more.  Just another reminder of how visual this sport really is and how much of it is about getting the right look.

We went through the two newest routines – Mambo and West Coast Swing.  I’m pretty comfortable with the Mambo.  I have no real expectations of dancing on time but I’ll give it a shot.  The West Coast one for some reason still eludes me.  There is a whip that comes up after a basic and I just can’t seem to remember that.  Well I’ve got a couple of days to work on it.  Then we moved to Tango.  The rest of the week will just be various rounds of the dances.  I’m still not really that nervous about things.  Every now and then, I get a flash of “WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU DOING” that causes a minor panic attack but I can beat those back.  This is really just more for fun and the experience than anything else and it will provide a good warm up for showcase which is less than a month away.

Speaking of showcase, they had the sign up sheet for people to plan for what entries they want to do.  As is our custom, Z simply fills out what she wants me to do.  For the most part, I just go along because when it comes to showcase, I’m all about dancing as much as possible.  She had four of every major dance that we do and then a couple of surprises.  We had talked about me trying out the other instructors back before things really broke down and it is something I had considered but I was planning to do that after Showcase.  She’s signed me up for four Argentine Tango heats with the Body Double (who really wouldn’t be a Body Double if we are doing a real routine together).  I guess this is to give her something a little different to work on so I can get an idea of her teaching style and whether it works for me.  Also, she had split the Two-Step up so she was doing 2 with me but had signed me up to do 2 with the newest instructor who I will now have to name.  I guess she made some noise to Z about wanting to work with me and two-step is a natural since she teaches it at group classes.  Funny thing is that I was actually thinking of seeing if I could move two-step to this person since she enjoys teaching it and I’ve had fun in her group classes.  But it means I will have to find time to work with them both before showcase.  Guess I will set those up this week and see what happens.  Will make the two weeks after Texas interesting since I need to polish my hustle routine, relearn all of my open routines and work out Argentine Tango and Two-Step with different instructors.  I see a lot of lessons in my future.

But, for now, the focus remains on Houston on Saturday.  I am really looking forward to it.

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