So I have to say I’m not entirely sure why she was “super pleased” with my placements. No, they weren’t bad but they weren’t really anything to write home about either. I think there is an element of “everybody wins” at one of these Famous Franchise events and there’s really nothing wrong with that. After all, we all spend a great deal of money for lessons and these events aren’t cheap and who wants to have your soul crushed by being told how bad you are. So I think part of this is to make people feel good about themselves. She appeared to be truly excited about these marks and made a point to tell me how it confirms what I got at Northstar. Sometimes, I think she takes these more seriously than I do and I could have used my cold logic to rip into these placements but there was no need to do that. I think I fell into a little trap when she first texted me and built up my expectations which is wrong. I mean its OK to want to feel good about your dancing but if I can’t allow myself to get down because of bad placements, then the reverse must also be true that I can’t allow myself to get too excited about good placements. I walked into the event with no expectations other than to have fun and that must be independent of the placements.
I suppose this may seem a little odd to some of the more competitive of you who are out there. After all, how could you not care about where you finished? Well if I could let you inside my head so you could feel what I feel when I’m out there, then it might make more sense. I didn’t fly to Houston to be super competitive. I flew to Houston for the experience of being on the floor and to enter a different world for a brief period of time.
I have to say that I’m a little tired of the two reactions/questions I get after these events:
1. How did you do? OK, I guess I understand the curiosity but the scoring is so weird that I can’t give a straight answer. And, no matter what I answer, there seems to be this built in assumption that I should only be happy if I won so if I say I didn’t, I get something like “well, at least you had a good time”. No, that is not “at least”. That is the number one reason. How I did doesn’t matter to me. For someone like me, just getting out on that floor and continuing to push my comfort zone is the win. Again, I can’t let these people inside my head to feel what I feel and I can’t really explain it. So, a lot of times, I’ll just answer “I had fun” or “I did well” which is generic enough to stop further discussion. If someone wants to get into the details of the event, then I’ll be happy to give them a lengthy explanation but it isn’t about winning.
2. When are we going to see you on Dancing with the Stars? In a word, NEVER. You have to be a professional or a star and I’m neither. Stop saying that because it implies that some “reality” show is the pinnacle of the dance world which it isn’t. I know this is really the only connection to ballroom that most people have so I get that they are trying to be cute but just stop it.
Well now Showcase is right around the corner. Last night, we had a formation practice. We did a really cool hustle formation at the spring showcase and had about 8 couples involved. So they came up with a James Bond themed Tango, Cha-Cha routine for this one. I jumped at the chance but we’ve only got two couples who are doing it. They’ll toss in a pair of instructors just to make it fair but that will still be a tiny formation. Some days, I do wish we had a larger studio or at least had more students who would be active in events like this. Showcase is more fun when you’ve got a crowd rooting for you not a handful of people sitting in silence which is what we tend to get. I don’t want to be mean but this formation is going to be a disaster. The lady I’m dancing with is good and we aren’t having any real problems. The other two are an issue. The guy is still relatively new and so he’s struggling through the steps and the lady he’s dancing with doesn’t follow so she’s just making up stuff. There are parts where we are supposed to be together since it is a formation and I’m having to look behind me to see where he is and adjust my steps so we don’t get miles apart. I know this is supposed to be fun but I also don’t want to get up there and look stupid but that is a distinct possibility.
So I had my exchange lesson with the Body Double on Monday. She put together a little Argentine Tango amalgamation which we are dancing at Showcase. This was Z’s way of getting me to work with others so we get a break from time to time which we need even though this weekend wasn’t particularly stressful. Then, yesterday, I did some Two Step with the newest instructor. I was going to call her something else but I’m going to just stick with Three which is non judgmental in any way and just represents the fact that she is the third female instructor. She’s extremely extroverted and someone loud at times but she knows her Two Step so we worked through a few steps I’ve never done before.
Honestly, both lessons were good. I think they are both good instructors and the whole dynamic of the lesson was different from my lessons with Z. She likes to use humor (sarcasm) more on her lessons. At first, I thought that was because we’ve worked together for so long but I’ve seen her do it with others. It is just a style that works if I’m in the right mood but can create some of volatility that we’ve had. In contrast, I think the other two are more used to working with brand new students so there was a lot more support and praise during the lesson. I could see offloading some things from Z on to someone else but the problem is that I don’t think either of them could really handle the open routines and neither one of them compete so they don’t necessarily know what it takes to catch the judges eye at one of the competitions. No, I don’t care about the marks but it helps to work with someone who’s been out there and who has had to move around a crowded floor and can offer tips on how to improve things that go beyond the basic steps and timing. So I doubt I’ll ever get completely away from Z – at least as long as we remain in the calm zone we’ve been in for the last couple of weeks.
I do have lessons every night except one for the next two week leading up to Showcase. Have to polish up the formation, the hustle routine, the two-step, the Argentine Tango and some of the open routines. As well as making sure I don’t totally forget the closed routines we just did in Houston. Should be a busy buy fun time.