The Death Grip

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Sorry ladies, but I’m going to pick on one of you today. Not trying to be mean but just a little insight into the problems we run into from time to time. Yesterday’s group class was shuffle or triple two step. This is 3 of 3’s attempt to broaden the appeal of country dancing at our little studio. OwnerGuy has a strong aversion to country music even though Z is a fan and I think the Statue likes country as well. But 3 of 3 has done a lot of country dancing and she’s been very active in trying to get more people doing it which is why we now have the occasional group class that features a country dance.

I have pretty wide and varied musical tastes and there is a lot of country music that I do enjoy even though I don’t normally browse the country channels on Sirius when driving to and from the studio. I find country dancing to be a nice distraction from the other ballroom dances. I know there are places where it is taken very seriously but not at our Famous Franchise. So concerns about posture and frame are less important as I’m mostly dancing for fun so timing is all that matters and timing of the shuffle isn’t that difficult.

Anyway, I’ve now probably given you way more set up than you wanted so let me get to the main point and why I chose the title I did. I was dancing with my designated cha-cha partner and she usually doesn’t do this, but, for some reason, last night she locked onto my left thumb with a surprisingly strong vise like grip. For the basic steps, it didn’t matter but we were doing turns and some other steps where she just clamped down on my thumb and would not let go. I tried a couple of times to subtly disengage from her grip but she would just latch on at the first opportunity. Ladies, please don’t do this. My thumb actually is a little sore today – that is how hard the grip was. I decided to avoid saying anything in hopes that she would get the hint by my sliding my thumb out of the bear trap any chance I could get but that didn’t work. As I said, she normally does not do this so I don’t know why it showed up last night. Just remember, the thumb is not a connection point. As guys, we are taught to avoid the “remote control” connection and to keep the thumbs loose and out of the way. Please leave them alone.

After group class, I picked up again with 3 of 3 to continue working on our routine and to do a little two step. I’ve had a heavy dose of 3 of 3 last week since Z was out sick and while the Mambo lesson didn’t work so well, the country lessons are just great. We’ve plotted out the beginning of the routine and added a few little bits of silliness. There a part where we do a turn where the song says something about flying into the clouds so she wants us to have our arms out like we are flying. You do something to Drunk on a Plane and you have to expect a little silliness. But, unlike the formation, there is a lot of dancing to this routine so a couple of silly bits won’t detract from that. I really can’t wait to roll this out.

Tonight, I’ve got a lesson with the Body Double which will probably touch on the Quickstep since we haven’t done that in awhile. I’ve avoided Tuesdays so I could skip the formation since I haven’t officially backed out yet. I guess I should try to show up and see if I’m so far behind that I can just bow out gracefully. (That’s a cop out because there is nothing in the formation that is really difficult but I’m still not on board with doing it yet). There’s this internal competition waging within me. I said I would do it and the others who’ve stuck with it have all asked me to keep doing it so I’ve got that pressure. But it really does cross the line from entertainment to cheesiness. I know, I should just lighten up and go with it but I find it difficult to let go and just embrace the silliness. Its an ego thing. I take dancing very seriously and, while I get frustrated with my limitations, I’ve got this quiet part of me that is very proud of what I’ve been able to achieve. It just feels like a step backwards to do something that isn’t intended to be serious.
I know that must sound bad but I’ve worked too hard at this to just get up and clown around. Oh well, maybe they’ll just have assumed that I’m out and my problem will be solved.

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