The Substitute Instructor

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Yesterday, I get a call from 3 of 3 who wanted to let me know that Z had gone home sick and that she was going to be taking both of my lessons. For one, we would continue to work on the triple two step routine and the other was supposed to be about Mambo and timing. She had a crash course in our Mambo routine before Z left so she was going to give it a go.
See, the Famous Franchise does not guarantee that your lesson will be with a particular instructor. And they really didn’t even have to call me first but I got the impression that 3 of 3 did that on her own just to make sure I wasn’t completely blindsided which I did appreciate. I think they figure that if they tell you ahead of time, then you might cancel for other reasons but once you are in the studio, you are committed so what are you going to do? To be fair, this doesn’t happen often and it was illness related but it is part of the downside of going to a franchise rather than working with a private instructor. At least it is true of the Famous Franchise.
I almost cancelled anyway because we had a small but furious snow band go through right before I had to make the drive to the studio. Now, I live in a big city which I know to be true because we have a couple of professional sports teams and that makes us a big city. But we don’t have traffic problems like huge major cities like Chicago. The traffic actually flows in the other direction so my path to the studio is usually OK but when it snows, nobody remembers how to drive and traffic usually gets a little silly. I take the highway to get to the studio and it usually presents no problems but I hate getting stuck in traffic because it feels so claustrophobic and my car seems to shrink in on me. It is worse in the winter when I have to run the heat and defrost to keep things clear so the car gets very hot. I was not looking forward to the drive out there so I came close to bailing but decided to go anyway.
The drive wasn’t terrible and I was my normal 15 minutes early (we have really bad traffic reporting so I have to rely on a website that isn’t always reliable as the predicted back ups tend to not be as bad as the website would have you believe. It was dead as just the instructors were there so I said something about being the only one stupid enough to venture out to dance in a snowstorm. I told 3 of 3 that if the snow kept up that I might bail on our second lesson and she was cool with that but she actually sat and talked with me a bit before the lesson so it was nice to connect and talk about non dance related stuff.
The Mambo lesson was kind of a loss. OwnerGuy was supposed to help with certain parts but he didn’t know the routine and my notes were sketchy. I know they wanted to work on the new loop that the coach showed us but I had to tell them that I wasn’t really a participant in that part of the lesson. Yes, I did the steps a couple of time but it was with Z and/or the coach moving my arms for me. I think I remembered it but we couldn’t be sure so OwnerGuy decided not to work on it until I could do it with Z. We got to work a little on timing but it wasn’t the most productive lesson which wasn’t really anyone’s fault but it might have been better to have cancelled it.
There were several brave souls who showed up for group class so we did a fox trot pattern. I got to practice making my frame as large as possible.
After that, the snow had let up so I stayed to work on the country dances with 3 of 3 and that went much better. I mentioned before that she seems super excited about working on these with me and that came threw last night as well. She was talking about some ideas for how to perform it and I could see how much she really wants to do this so it was a fun lesson. Its country dancing so the steps aren’t difficult but it is supposed to keep moving so it has to flow from one step to another and I think we are most of the way there as there are only a couple of places where there is a start/stop quality to some of the moves. But I think it will be ready to go by May.
So no call tonight meaning Z must be back and ready to go. What we work on is a mystery. I suspect she wants to follow up with what the coaches did last week but you never know. At least the sun is shining and there is no more snow even if it is colder than yesterday. Tonight is also the practice party so it is a good day to dance. (But is there ever really a BAD day to dance?)

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