Ghost Town Studio

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Showcase is just around the corner and I can’t help but think back to the last one in our town and how much has changed since then.  Was it really just six months ago?  At that time, there were five instructors:  The Statue, the Body Double, 3 of 3, Kid T and M-Dawg.  We had three students doing three solos which I think was a first.  That was the night Z and OwnerGuy officially retired from competitive dancing so they joined in the pro show at the end of the night.  They had both started to take nights off because there were so many other instructors and I think there were plans for their future now that the studio seemed to be in a good place.

Even with 3 of 3 leaving that night, the studio was still a hopping place.  Yes, it sometimes made it hard to find empty spots on the floor to practice the long open routines I was doing with Z at that time, but it never really bothered me.  There was such a good vibe coming from the place and you walked in the door and several people greeted you and you could watch others taking lessons and having fun.  Even when they got frustrated, you could think “been there, done there”.  I guess the word to use is “alive”.  Yes it was noisy and chaotic at times but isn’t a dance studio supposed to be noisy and chaotic?  I don’t know why it didn’t bother me as much as doing an event but maybe because the overall energy was different.  There isn’t the stress level when people are on a lesson so it felt like one big happy party.  Granted, I wasn’t always in the middle of it but sometimes we introverts just like to be watching and we can feel like we are part of the group – in our way, but still a part of things.

Fast forward to now and things are so different.  I’ve come to lessons before and been the only student in the studio.  You would think I would like that better but it is a little like being the only kid on the playground.  Yes, you get to play on all the things that are normally crowded but it just feels off.  There are supposed to be people here dancing and laughing and having a good time.  There are supposed to be others waiting for lessons who you can chat with.  I’ve had lessons at the end of the day when I was the last student in the studio, but that was different because the echos of all that happened were still there.  But, when you come at what should be a busy time and are the only one in the studio, it just gives off a weird sort of vibe that is kind of sad.

Lady Gator is around but she’s not really in to that much socializing.  Either that or I pissed her off by deciding not to dance with her at this Showcase.  My relationship with Z is still frosty and showing no signs of a thaw so I get the real awkward feeling at times when I’m the only student there.  Let’s just say it doesn’t always feel welcoming and that’s the one thing this studio always had going for it.

There’s a hard core group of us who show up for most groups and parties and a couple of newcomers on the fringes who may end up breaking into the main group.  There are other students who been around for awhile but, for a variety of reasons, have cut back on their lessons so there just aren’t as many people taking lessons.  Some group classes get full but, when the regulars don’t show up, it can be pretty empty.

This Thursday is our Showcase warm up party where everyone gets to demo their routines that will be on display at Showcase.  We also get to do our Formation (I’ll have to write on what a disaster that is right now).  But since it is mostly us regulars who do the Formation, I don’t know if there will be anyone in the audience to watch.

Nothing lasts forever and even dance studios don’t always stick around.  I’ve been there so long that I’ve seen ups and downs so this could be just a down period but winter tends to be a slower period so I don’t see things picking up anytime soon.  I had a very strange dream the other day.  OwnerGuy took me and another student to a new studio he had just opened but was being very secretive about because it was outside the Famous Franchise world.  The dream was so real and I remembered little details like the name of the studio and the county it was in.  That’s really what triggered this post because the dream suggests something was on my mind.

I hope things pick up.  I do enjoy being able to do the Quickstep and Viennese Waltz without having to bump into anyone but a dance studio should be full of people.  Arriving to an empty studio is just a little unsettling.  (And it doesn’t happen all the time but it did happen twice in the last two weeks which is unusual)

2 comments

  1. Before coming back out to the Island, I was dancing during “prime time” at one of the biggest ballrooms in Manhattan; their main room is the size of a football field and they have 4 smaller private” rooms. There were always incredible dancers on the floor (Emmanuel-Pierre Antoine, Joanna Zacharewicz, etc.) and the energy was off the charts. Now I train at 7am on a postage size floor all by my lonesome. On the one hand, I’m really getting a “private”, but on the other, I so miss being on the floor with other dancers, watching them and being watched. What I don’t miss is the nearly 4-hour round trip travel time!

  2. Same thing happened when the studio I’m at changed owners. Most people are competitive students now who take lessons during the day. So it’s almost always just me and Teacher when I show up after work, maybe one other lesson is going on. I agree, it’s weird and sad when the studio is empty.

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