Showcase is now just 30 days from now. One short month to get ready for one long day of dancing. Yesterday, at the studio, the sign up board for freestyle heats was up. As usual, Z put me on the list without asking so I was the first one on the list. She’s got me down for about 40 heats with her and then another 15 or so between the Body Double and 3 of 3. This with the three routines I’m doing. I may add another couple for some of the dances. The Rhythm section tends to go on and on so maybe picking up a couple more there would be good.
Our focus has been on the more complicated and showier open routines so we really haven’t touched on the closed routines since the last showcase. Most of them are old friends and will come back in a short period of time. Not sure if Z wants me to try to work them in to this showcase or just focus on the open ones to give me more practice at moving these routines through heavy traffic. But there is a possibility of a trip to a larger Famous Franchise competition/event in early June and I would have to do them there so I do have to bring them back at some point. (Note to self: Trust Z, she has a plan and it will work like it always does)
Thought I’d just go over where I think I stand with everything. This might not be too entertaining but I just want to lay it out on the digital equivalent of paper since that may help me stem the potential freak out that is lurking right around the corner.
First the three solos:
1. Hustle – we tried that last night and it was rusty. Got a lot of work to get back to where it was in the fall. But, I know I’ve done that routine before and I can make it work again. Figure it might take one lesson but a couple of complete run-throughs and I’ll be good.
2. Quick Step – My only worry is whether my knee will hold up for all the single leg lunges that are a part of this routine. Overall, we’ve done it enough so I don’t have any major concerns about any of it.
3. Shuffle – drunk on a plane. What can I say? I’ve done that enough that I’m pretty confident. I’m looking forward to doing this one. I think it will get a good response.
Now the 9 major dances – ranked in some kind of order of how I feel about them.
1. Rumba – The choreography is relatively simple – except for one step but I’ve done this enough that I can visualize the whole routine sitting here. The looping is also the easiest of the dances. Rumba timing is usually easy for me so I’m pretty confident in this one.
2. Fox Trot – I love this routine. There’s some cool moves but nothing overly difficult. Concerns are just around moving through a crowd since it takes about half the floor at our studio right now. Fox trot timing tends to trip me up so that’s my big worry. But I know I’ll be able to get through this one.
3. Cha-Cha – kind of a surprise number 3 for me as it isn’t one of my better dances. But the routine is also one of the less complicated ones. I can hear cha-cha timing really well but I can get off time with the fast ones. My footwork isn’t the best so I’m not going to look like a truly accomplished rhythm dancer but I’m pretty confident I can pull this one off.
4. Viennese Waltz – This routine is built from a solo I did many years ago so I know the steps. Usually, there are fewer people doing Viennese Waltz so there is floor space which helps because this one goes all the way around the floor at the studio. The only part I don’t like is near the end where she rolls out and we are apart and I need to hesitate and then come after her. There is always that awkward moment of whether I’m going to catch her or note. (Note to self: Trust Z, she knows what she is doing and will take smaller steps to let me catch her)
5. Waltz – There is a new part added by the last coach and the slip pivot which has to move in a different direction from what I’m used to that still need to be worked out. The slip pivot kind of made my knee hurt (OK, it wasn’t kind of) and the rise and fall can be a little difficult for me if the knee is acting up that day. Fortunately, smooth dances are first so the Waltz gets done before I’ve really worked the knee. Again, moving through a crowd is a challenge but I’m pretty confident in this one.
6. Tango – We ran through the routine yesterday and I’m relatively clear on the steps and I think I can get there with more practice time. We haven’t worked on timing at all and that could be a problem. My tango timing isn’t terrible but the slows and quicks aren’t always obvious. There are some fast viennese crosses at the beginning and the step where she leans into me that scare me a bit but with multiple attempts, I think I can get at least one decent performance.
7. Mambo – Kind of shocks me that this isn’t the last dance on the list. The freaky timing will always bother me and if they play a super fast Mambo, then I’m probably toast. But I’ve done a better job getting the timing down (counting a Mambo while doing it will wear you out). And there are some cool parts to the routine which should look nice when we do it. Also, it doesn’t travel that much so I don’t have to worry about weaving through a crowd.
8. Swing – I love swing music. This is the one dance I wish I could do better because it is fun. But it really doesn’t fit my skill set that well. This one has my free spin followed by four walks backwards into something else. I try but my free spin is slow so I’ll get off time if there is a faster swing. And it gets frantic trying to get back on time with the walks backward. I would have thought the Mambo would have felt the most out of control, but that one part of the swing really seems to be the most challenging. But I can also just fake a step if needed and I can use Z in those parts to keep me on time. (Note to self: Take the help that she offers, she knows what she is doing)
9. Bolero – OK, maybe I spoke too soon on Swing. I love the look of a well done Bolero and I’d love to be able to capture the spirit of this dance but it eludes me. I feel a little stiff doing it and the moves don’t really flow like they should. My Bolero timing is not great (in fairness to me, Z has admitted that this is one dance she struggles to hear and if her timing is off, then mine isn’t going to be any better). I probably should have rated this higher just on the ability to do the dance since I can get all the steps. But it is at the bottom because of my concerns about timing and just not capturing the character of the dance.
And the other miscellaneous dances:
1. Argentine Tango – Again, I may not be able to fully capture the spirit of this dance either. (Yeah, I may be slightly inhibited when it comes to the passionate dances, what can I say) But I’ve got a pretty good sense of the music and the steps aren’t that difficult. We are working on making it more like it should be which means a closer frame which I’ve discussed before so I won’t get into again.
2. Two-Step – This might belong at the top. I tried it with 3 of 3 at the last Showcase and managed to mess up each heat but in different places. But we’ve put together a nice little pattern and I’ve worked with her enough that I can visualize it. And, we did it at a party surrounded by a bunch of two-step rookies so I have no concerns about bending it around the floor.
3. Bachata – I can do it but it will only vaguely resemble a bachata. But, as I’ve said before, I’m doing this to answer a challenge so getting on the floor is a win.
4. West Coast Swing – the wild card. We haven’t worked on WCS since the last Showcase. Z actually had me with 3 of 3 which is interesting since I’ve never done WCS with 3 of 3. Think she was confusing me with another student. I may skip WCS in favor of adding more heats in other dances. That is to be determined.
So having laid it all out, it doesn’t seem too bad. But there is a lot to remember. No wonder dancing is good for the mind. On the other hand, there is really nothing with huge gaps in it and I think it all can come together in a month. (Note to self: listen to Z on lessons, she knows what she is talking about and it will go better). Yeah, I think I’ve got this.
Sorry, one more little brag on myself. After all, if I don’t do it, who will. There was a new lady at the party last night. This is a good thing because there aren’t many unattached ladies other than instructors so it is nice to have other dance options when the couples don’t want to separate. I danced a Fox Trot with her towards the end of the party and she said I did a good job leading. She had danced with several other guys during the night so I take that as a good sign. The only downside is the awkward “What do I talk about” during the dance. Ah, the joys of introversion.
One more lesson tonight. Then we hit it hard next week. Got two coaching lessons lined up for Tuesday. Time to get serious since Showcase is just a month away and I want to nail it.