The Last First Dance

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Again, I’m feeling rather chatty.  There is just so much going right that I’ve got a lot to say.  It is just so nice to not have all the ups and downs and to feel like progress is made on every lesson.

Start with group class which was Rumba. We had a more than usual surplus of guys last night.  I swear we have to be one of the few studios on this planet where the men outnumber the women.  They should use that in their marketing.  And, being down two female instructors, there aren’t a lot of fill in women.  The Body Double was teaching so Kid T was drafted.  They were going to pull Z in but she was busy at the front desk so M-Dawg got to be a woman.  He does want to work on his following and Famous Franchise instructors have to dance both parts so there you go.

For the record, he is not a great follower.  He basically walks through his parts whether you lead them or not.  But what was interesting is that he started to provide some feedback on what he felt.  Don’t think we was doing it in the roll of a teacher but more like someone who is new and still realizing that people will lead differently and it will feel different with each person.  He did single me and another guy out so we got high fives after leading him through the step.   The pattern was a combination of spot turns and I was dancing next to Tex.  At one point, Kid T dropped out to go teach some new students so we were left with a hole in the line so one student was always sitting out.  So when I would dance with his wife, the rotation just worked out so he was without a partner.  I noticed him watching my feet as I was going through it.  Hope I was doing things right.

The lesson with the Body Double started with the Cha-Cha.  There are three places where I get a little hung up and so we focused on those areas.  I’m sure I was taught these steps a long time ago but when you start putting together a routine, the individual parts may start to suffer if you don’t reinforce the basics and that is what has happened in a few dances.  The good thing about the Body Double is that she notices these things and so we are back to focusing on those little holes in technique that have developed.  And that just makes things go smoother and when things are really working, it is so much more fun and the demons get locked away.  There was a couple who was in the group class and they were changing their shoes to leave but stuck around to watch us go through the Cha-Cha pattern.

Then we got to Swing and it was the Body Double who called it our last first dance which I’ve mentioned before as well.  The first time through, there were rough parts which is a combination of it being almost two months since I’ve done it and adjusting to a new partner.  She moves differently in places so steps that made sense with Z are a little more complicated with her.  But we zeroed in on those and got to work on fixing them.  The one thing she wanted me to do was rotate the basic a little more to create more momentum and suddenly things just clicked.  I was flying through the steps and got to a part near the end and I was like “where’d the rest of it go??”.  It was almost effortless and just moved with one step kind of automatically leading into the next without that little pause of “what comes next”.  It was brief because the routine was short but, for that brief moment, I was totally in the zone.  Love that when it happens.

M-Dawg was doing some solo practicing and so she calls him over to show off.  So we blast through the routine for him and I get some more high fives.  He started with hip hop and he’s great with that but you can tell he now loves all forms of dancing and all of this is still new to him so he gets excited but it was fun to see his reaction.  I also think the Body Double enjoyed showing off.  She’s the one who got me to rotate so she deserves the kudos as well.

Confession time.  I have had this secret fear that the only reason people enjoyed watching me dance was because I was with Z and she’s a very advanced dancer who throws in all the flair and moves that pros do.  Not saying the Body Double isn’t a good dancer but she doesn’t have the competitive experience that Z does.  Anyway, that’s another bad thought I can just toss in the garbage disposal and grind into little bitty pieces.

Is it important the people like watching me dance?  Yes, I’ll own up to that as well.  It is hard to describe the mixture of feelings that it gives me.  Like I’ve said, I’ve always been the smart, quiet one.  And I’ve gone through a lot of negative self-image stuff.  Now, I get a chance to shout “look at me” without having to talk at all.  Despite all the ups and downs, I’m really proud of what I’ve been able to do because I’ve never been able to express this side of myself.  To have people respond in a positive way is just …..  Well I don’t have a good word but it just helps me take all the bad crap I used to feel about myself and tear it into a thousand pieces.  The good news is that working with Body Double so far has not been the one step forward, one step back into the dark side that the last couple of years have been.  All of these dances are ones I’ve done many, many times before but a lot of this last month has made me feel like I’m doing them for the first time.

I wish I could explain why I’m responding so much better.  When Z corrected me, it felt like a knife getting stuck in me (well I really don’t know how that feels, so that was artistic license).  With the Body Double, it is just another thing to conquer and keep moving forward.  Don’t get me wrong, this is still a heck of a lot work and maybe someday the honeymoon will end but right now I’m going to enjoy it as long as I can.  Dance On!

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