So this entire week has been spent on the hustle routine and the formation plus a few random Argentine Tango lessons with the Body Double. All I’ll say about the Argentine Tango is that I’m still not in love with that dance. I think we all have dances that suit us better than others and Argentine Tango just may not be for me. But I can get through the few steps she’s taught me which will be enough to get through Showcase and then we’ll reconsider whether there is a future. I might ask her to show me where this could go which might help me figure out if I really want to keep working on it.
The first part of the hustle routine was only about 36 seconds so it needed significant padding to become the appropriate length. The issue is that the Famous Franchise does not have a Silver level Hustle syllabus. OwnerGuy tells me someone wants to work on it but it has not yet materialized. They are pulling steps from somewhere though because they added a significant amount of material to the routine. In slow practice, it all made sense and I could keep up fairly well. Then, we tried it to music and it just felt so much faster than I couldn’t keep up and it was chaotic and not that good. Yes, I used the phrase “train wreck” to describe it which felt like an appropriate response.
I have gone into this before but this is one the areas that leads to major friction between Z and I. She HATES it when I start bad mouthing my own performance. Hates it with the white hot intensity of a thousand suns. For me, when I feel I’ve screwed up, I don’t try to give myself the “it wasn’t so bad” pep talk. So if it felt like an out of control car careening down a mountain road with no brakes and going off the road and exploding in a huge fireball, then that’s what I’m going to say. Its honest. (Yeah, but how’s that working out for you??) To be fair, I’m getting better at containing things but it just brings the whole ugly “I’m not ready” and “I’m going to look stupid” all to the surface and they aren’t easy demons to keep at bay.
Last night, OwnerGuy joined us on the lesson for a bit cause I think he could sense I needed some help. Problem was that we got to a point where he starts telling me to change something I’m doing but I’m doing EXACTLY what Z told me to do on an earlier lesson. Well that was a bit of a tight spot since I didn’t want to toss her under the bus but I also didn’t want to do something totally different from what she told me to do. Fortunately, she owned up and they were able to agree on a compromise. Then we hit another spot that just makes my logical head spin around and around and it takes all I’ve got to hold it in. He’s describing a step and tells me that to make it work, I have to step outside and slightly ahead of her. When I’m learning a step, I’m watching these people like a hawk and when they say something like that, I just lock it in as gospel. On the step to get into it, I had another question and he walks me through that but he ends up in a different position from what he told me was required on the first step. ARGHH!! But I eventually figured out that he was just being a little lazy and if I took bigger steps in certain places, I could make both parts work. Someday I will learn to focus only on the particular thing they are trying to show me and not worry if they deviate elsewhere.
Then we hit the second area of major friction. Z is a strong believer in a positive mental attitude. If you believe it, you can do it, blah, blah, blah. OK, if you forced me, I’d probably admit that she’s right and that’s really the best attitude to have, but it is just so HARD at times (In my head, I’m saying that with a really whiny voice but it doesn’t translate to the written word). I think to some extent, I just do it to soften the blow if something goes wrong. If I lower my expectations and expect the train wreck, then, if it happens, I’m not that devastated since I expected it. Of course, the flip side is that by expecting the train wreck, I could be setting forces in motion that end up causing the train wreck.
The ironic thing is, as I’ve probably said many times before, is that WorkMe has to be the positive force for good when the staff starts to get down about workload or worrying about how things are all going to get done. I get to be the guy telling everyone that things are going to be fine and that we are going succeed because we always do. I should ask sometime if they believe me when I’m saying these things or just put up with my optimism. I’m not the type that blows smoke all the time but WorkMe is so much different than DanceMe at times. Maybe I just use up all the good positive energy at work and all that’s left is the negative “nothing is going work” attitude for dance. Or maybe I do have more confidence in my abilities at work where there are so many times I still feel like an imposter on the dance floor. In any event, we did manage to not have any major blow ups last night but she does want me to come in with a positive attitude tonight. Told her I would but that’s easier said than done.
By the end of the lesson, we did run through it a couple of times to music and it had slowed down enough that I could think and it was not the complete disaster that the first trial was. Even though there is only just 10 days until Showcase, it is possible I can do this. Yes, I know that isn’t really a positive attitude but you don’t get an oak tree from an acorn in a single day.