Last night was the unofficial end of the Tournament of Champions at the Famous Franchise. Technically, you can get points until Saturday and I will be at another lesson tonight to keep adding to my total. I did hit the magic high number which will get me the $250 off at the next showcase which just means I’ll be adding even more freestyle heats come May. I may or may not have ended up in first place. Like last time, Tex is pretty serious competition but if he wants my title, he’s going to have to work for it.
They wrapped up with two big events. The first was on Wednesday night and is the Snowball dance. This is just a time to dance so there are no routines, no judges, no awards. Everyone just gets nicely dressed and you have dinner and dance to mostly Christmas music. If you are a Scrooge who hates this holiday, then this is not the dance for you. But since I’ve got no issues with Christmas music (I fired up my Mannheim Steamroller Pandora station the Monday after Thanksgiving), I had a great time. I will say they did stretch the definition of dance types since some of the songs just barely fit the dance they called out. And they had to work in a few non-Christmas songs to cover some of the dances that aren’t well represented. Fox Trot and Swing appear to be the most common themes for Christmas songs.
I spent most of the night dancing with ladies from our studio as some came without a significant other but I danced with several who did as well. At one point, an instructor from another studio grabbed me for a dance (they do that from time to time). That always creates a slightly awkward situation for a true introvert like me. What do I say while dancing since small talk isn’t one of my strengths. But I remembered her from Showcase and she mentioned that she was rooting for me there and that she liked watching me dance. Later in the evening, I actually asked her to dance which is a little out of my comfort zone – hey I may be growing a bit here.
Yesterday night was the showstoppers party. As I mentioned before, this is where they convince people to learn a new routine (doesn’t have to be more than 30-40 seconds) in six weeks and then perform it at the party. Then, they try to talk you into taking said routine into Showcase where it will need to lengthened just a bit. Of course, since my goal is to do three routines at the next showcase, this is not a problem for me. We had more participants this year and some really nice routines. A lot of people really upped their game. I talked with some others after and everyone is nervous and everyone focuses on the little mistakes they made during the routine but the key is to not show it on your face. If you just keep going, then you are the only one who noticed. I also decided specifically to not talk about my mistakes. That was always my first reaction in the past when someone would say “nice job” and I’d say “Well yeah but there was that one little part where …”. But that doesn’t do anyone any good. It makes you feel bad and you kind of defeat the purpose of the compliment. So just keep those negative thoughts buried.
We did our last Quickstep lesson right before the party started. There were three other couples on the floor and two of them were also practicing routines for the night. So we kept trading music so each of us could do run-throughs of our various routines. They go by so fast that you get to a point and my mind says “wait, its almost over”. I think I forget to breathe while I’m out there because it always takes me a song or two to come down from the performance and catch my breath. The country shuffle was also fun because we kept the song (Drunk on a Plane) hidden from Z for the entire six weeks. It is her favorite song and she mentioned a couple of times that we could do the shuffle to it but 3 of 3 kept telling her it wasn’t going to happen. The best thing was that we had a lesson before my Quickstep lesson and Z left to go get dinner which was perfect because we could practice to the song. When it came on for real, Z just flipped out. It was great! I now can’t wait to keep working on these and then go full out with costumes in May.
At the very end of the night, a couple came in for a lesson after the party ended. While he was out working with the Body Double, his wife stopped by to talk with me and another person who was sitting with me. I think she was waiting for a minute to jump in on the lesson. I’m not sure why she decided to share with us and I’m sure he would not have been pleased with what she was sharing. It sounds like he’s having the whole adult beginner issue where you have the intense fear of looking silly while trying to learn something new – something I can totally relate to. But she tells me that he had a panic attack and actually skipped the party because he didn’t look as good as I did. The very thought that I would be intimidating enough to keep someone from dancing just blows my mind. I told her that we all start from the same place. If he only knew how much I still struggle with some of the same issues. I want to say that he shouldn’t be comparing himself to someone who’s danced as long as I have but then I compare myself to pros which is even stupider. OK, karmic life lesson here – don’t compare yourself to others. The only comparison is your own improvement and you can’t improve unless you actually dance and that involves getting over the feeling of looking silly while learning something new. I may have to find a way to talk to this guy because he needs to dance for himself and not worry about others.
Well next week is still going to be busy. There is a coach coming in on Monday so I’ll be working on Swing. Then I’ll get a break over Christmas and I’ll have to work out a new schedule to balance lessons with Z, the Body Double and 3 of 3 so we can work towards May. OwnerGuy mentioned that he’s looking for other small events like Houston since he doesn’t appear to be having much luck getting people to sign up for the larger Dance-o-Ramas. He mentioned the possibility of one in March. I will continue to work on improving my positive attitude but even though my knee aches and my feet hurt and my shoulders are tired, I’m excited about the upcoming year.
Lastly, just because some of you might be interested. Here is a little peek at the man behind these posts. This is the Quickstep from last night. Ignore the shirt, the theme of the party last night was favorite rock star. Come May, I will be channeling my inner pharaoh.