Have you ever just been in a real good mood that nothing could shake? It can be pretty powerful. I probably shouldn’t try to figure out what I was but that’s my nature. It is Friday and this was the first week for me back at work after a nice two week holiday break so that might be part of the reason. But, like most of the country, we’ve had Arctic like conditions with brutal winds and temperatures in the single digits and dropping below zero at night. If you aren’t aware, winter is not my thing and there is nothing worse than leaving a warm house to drive somewhere when it is cold and dark outside.
There was a swing group before my lesson and they were playing something that sounded like Stevie Ray Vaughn although I couldn’t really place the song. For some reason, the music just spoke to me. The beat was obvious but I was doing some additional unscripted moving to the music while listening to the Statue explain the various steps. I was feeling good when I came in and the music and steps put me in a better mood. One thing I will say about myself is that I usually get these group classes relatively quickly so the steps tend to flow naturally; I see others do a little start and stop as they try to remember the parts of the pattern. Its just a good feeling when the transitions are smooth and the whole pattern is seamless. So I was in a very good mood going into the lesson with Z.
So I’ve determined that there must be some master plan that this year is the year when they push me past my personal space issues and also get me comfortable with some of the showier parts of the various dances. Maybe it is just the dances we’ve been working on but the revamped Tango routine has two places where she is all over me. In one part, she does some funky leg move and then wraps her leg around my left hip while the rest of her is on my right side and then I’m supposed to move away from her slightly just to create some kind of look. Yes, it is only dancing, but it ain’t the kind of position you are normally going to be in and there is certainly a lot of potential for things to go horribly wrong. I will have to give Z a lot of credit because she kept the focus on learning the step rather than my discomfort. Not to say that she didn’t have some fun with me but if it is kept to a minimum I can deal with it. I mean, with my personal space issues, it was a little awkward at first so you have to deal with that somehow.
Later in the routine, we do a move where I step back on my right leg in a slight lunge while she leans against me. This is actually more of an Argentine Tango move but she and OwnerGuy decided to work some of that into this open routine. But it means we are in serious body contact. That one was harder than the leg wrap in part because I had to focus on supporting her while getting used to having someone draped over me like a blanket. It turns out that the most difficult part for me is the lunge which requires me to bend my not so great knee and it is certainly complaining to me right now about what I did to it on the lesson.
I actually have a strange (for me) positive feeling about this Tango routine. I know it will take quite some time and a lot of work to make it come together and we’ve just focused on footwork so we haven’t opened the can of worms that is timing. But it has quite a few “wow” moments that could generate some buzz. I see the vision and I’m kind of excited about where it can go. Now, if I can just find a way to bottle this feeling and come back to it when things get tough down the road.
The other thing that I just realized is that in the heat of the moment, the negative body image thoughts never came to the surface. I’ve said this before, but part of my hesitation around some of the showier moves – especially the ones that require close contact – is that I can still picture myself 100 pounds ago as a shapeless blob swallowing up my poor instructor. (Yes, that is way harsh but that’s sometimes where I go). But that isn’t the reality anymore. So why not have a little fun showing off the newer body? I’ve worked pretty hard to get and stay in this shape so what’s wrong with having a lovely younger lady hanging on me at certain points in a dance? Who knows, this could be a real breakthrough year.