Stayed in to hand out candy tonight but it was a sucky night here in my part of the country. Cold, rain and snow showers. Felt bad for the kids out in the rain and it was so cold that they had to wear coats over their costumes. We overbought candy (as usual). I give everyone multiple pieces though since it is Halloween and we live at the end of a pretty long driveway so anyone who makes the effort deserves a reward.
I mentioned this last year but I manage a very creative group of people who really get into Halloween so I have many who enjoy dressing up. As the boss, I had resisted for the longest time but last year I just went all in and joined the fun so I participated again this year. The good thing about doing solo routines at showcase is that I have some ready made costumes so I just pulled out what I wore during my epic West Coast Swing routine to Highway to Hell (OwnerGuy called it something like epic so that’s just not me talking). As I’ve mentioned many times before, I bury the needle on the I side of the Introvert/Extrovert scale every time I take the Myers Briggs test and one of the challenges of being an introverted boss is sharing some of my personal internal world with the group. You can be a technical genius but people really want to know that their boss is a human being and someone they can relate to. Dancing has given me the opportunity to do that. I did hide my dancing for many years until I was unintentionally outed but it has given them an opportunity to see me as more than the “boss”. Wearing a costume on Halloween really does the same thing and it is fun to see the reactions. We work in R&D so you would think there would be more creative and quirky types who would get into the spirit but my group is the only one that really participates (we have quite the reputation by the way). But I’ve come to realize that people spend a great deal of time at work and having opportunities to have a little fun and act a little silly eases the drudgery and really helps to recharge people. You can work hard and still have a good time. At least that’s my motto. But it does make Halloween a special day – wondering what people are going to come up with.
Yesterday, I had a very good lesson. Originally, I wasn’t supposed to have one since they had an event scheduled but I guess the Statue screwed up and didn’t cancel her lessons so Z had to be at the studio so we booked a time. The good news is that we were the only ones on the floor which meant I could do the Viennese Waltz routine and not worry about running over any newbies. We basically ran through almost all of the dances – Cha-Cha, Rumba, Swing, Bolero, Mambo, West Coast Swing, Waltz, Viennese Waltz and Fox Trot. We skipped Tango because we did that at the studio open house last week. Also did a run through of the hustle routine to music. With the exception of Rumba, I’ve given up on doing the open routines for this Showcase. Just not enough time and I think it is better to just really focus on the technical aspects of the closed routines (i.e. keeping my stupid head up and trying to dance on time). Amazing how different my perspective is at the end of the week since I just posted something earlier about my fears. The hustle routine has come together quicker than I expected. It is still rough but it has moved from “no effing way” to “doable”. I don’t expect a true polished version but I won’t embarrass myself either. I know I was just in Houston two weeks ago doing all the closed dances but it was good to shake off the rust and see that they were still all in good shape. Showcase is now nine days away and I feel much better about it. I think for this next week, I need to get my game face on and just push the doubts to the side.
One other little thing. The guy who went to Houston with me really wants to get into competitive dancing big time. He’s making noises about wanting to do the Famous Franchise event in Vegas which is this weekend so he’s shooting for next year. I’m assuming he’s still planning on working with the Statue but he’s had a couple of lessons with Z this week. As I was watching one lesson, I could see the look in his eye that I must get as well when she has crammed so much information into your head that you just can’t process it all and also there is so much that needs to be worked on that you start to feel like you can’t do anything right. Whether her style is appropriate is debatable but she does get results and will push you hard. From what I’ve seen with the Statue, she knows how to dance and she does know a lot of details but she tends to focus more on making things look pretty and maybe not as much on some of the technical details. I know Z made a couple of comments about his timing in Houston (good to know I’m not the only one with that issue) so she may have jumped in to help him with that.
So yesterday, they were having a lesson right before mine. At the end of the lesson, Z calls me over to serve as a demonstration figure. I guess they were discussing frame and closed position for tango. I’m not sure what triggered this but he must have said something to give her the impression that he was going to put all the ladies in closed position whether they wanted to be or not. So, as I invited her into frame she took a position away from me and then had me pull her into closed position to illustrate what isn’t cool. The lady determines the space and if they aren’t comfortable dancing in closed position, then you just work with it. (See, you ladies have all the power). So she demonstrated a couple of other far away holds again to give him an idea of what he might expect dancing with other ladies in the studio. Then, she did an example of closed position just to reinforce that it is the lady who determines the space so I just offered my hand and she got right in my grill. Instinctively, once she did that, I lowered slightly and twisted which is what you are supposed to do in Tango. She wasn’t expecting that but it turned out to be a good thing since she basically jumped up and said “Did you see what he just did?” and the guy said yes and she went on about that because she was trying to teach him that during the lesson but again, it is something you do after the lady has settled into frame and not while she is settling into frame which is what I think he was doing. So I got a few extra bonus points which was nice.
It was a rough start to the week but it ended nicely. Now I have the weekend even though tomorrow is going to be abnormally cold (have I ever mentioned how much I HATE cold weather). Then the closing push next week with multiple lessons and then SHOWCASE. As I type this, I’m starting to get excited.