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End of last week and Kid T is teaching me the final steps of our little Peabody amalgamation.  There is a step known as “Horse Kicks”.  Let me try to describe it.  You start in frame, take two steps forward and then two to the side in a sort of promenade position in a more open frame.  Your still connected but you are both facing forward and moving in that direction.  You step forward with your left leg and then kick the right leg back.  Then, you bring the right leg to cross behind the left leg and then kick the left leg forward.  Repeat twice while moving slightly forward.  Yes, it is about as ridiculous as it sounds but something about doing it just made me laugh.

Then I thought about the silliness of the whole thing.  Sometime in the 1920’s, someone came up with a dance named after somebody named Peabody.  I don’t know if there were rules or formal steps or whether someone just adapted the steps and position to the music.  Sometime later, some group of Famous Franchise people must have sat down and wrote up rules and a syllabus for this dance and somebody decided that their needed to be horse kicks in it.  What kind of conversations must they have had trying to decide what to include and what not to include.  I get that you need a standard in an event that is going to be judged but it does seem a little silly with this dance.

The absurdity of kicking like a horse kind of improved my mood just a bit.  I’m still a little blase’ about the upcoming Showcase though and I’ve got a couple of reasons why.  They tend to run together but I’ll pull each little thread just to give you an idea of why this event may not be doing it for me.

  1. The huge emotional lift of the last event.  I put a lot of meaning into that last Showcase.  Might have said or implied that my dancing future hinged on it (gee, that wasn’t over dramatic?)  As someone who watches a lot of competitive sports, there are plenty of cases where a team has a huge emotional victory and then comes out flat in the next game.  On some level, that’s a little of what is happening here.
  2. What is the goal of this event?  Back to the whole journey vs destination thing.  The goal for the last one was clear – dance a competitive event with Kid T and see how we gel as a couple.  Well it went much better than expected.  So now what is the purpose here?  I don’t know that I need another event to enjoy as an event.  I want to build on the success but I’m really not sure what a good goal is.  I’m usually not all about goals but I think I need something to work for as a motivator.
  3. Lack of new stuff to get excited about. Really, this is almost a carbon copy of the last event.  The only additions are a couple of Peabody heats and the Quickstep routine and heats.  The Peabody is going to be fun because it isn’t a dance that many people do and I get to kick like a horse.  I’ve already gone through my trepidation about the Quickstep and how I can’t help but feel that it just isn’t a dance that good for Kid T and me as a couple.  The rest of it has a “been there, done that” kind of vibe and that makes it a little hard to get properly motivated.
  4. Physical issues.  I’ve talked before about my knee and the arthritis I’ve got.  I wavered on getting a cortisone shot and now I can’t get one until after the event.  But I know I’m reaching the end of the effectiveness of the last one because the pain comes back quicker and lasts longer.  I’ll still do everything but it does make things more difficult when you need to bend it or lower into it or push off it.  On top of the knee, I’ve got a muscle in my shoulder that is bugging me and that makes keeping a frame tougher.  And, I’ve got assorted other muscles that are protesting all the work we’ve done lately.  My response is to just keep pushing because I can rest after Showcase.

There’s some other minor stuff but those are the big things.  I’m trying to mentally picture all the good things about Showcase. It will be nice to see my dance friends from other studios who I only get to see at events like this.  I suspect it will hit me later in the week – I’ve got double lessons on Wednesday and Friday as a final prep and those usually help get me in the mood.

Friday nights have been interesting because England Dan and his wife take lessons at the same time as I do and they usually take lessons as individuals so he dances with Z while his wife dances with OwnerGuy.  They dance apart for a bit and then they bring them together to see if they’ve learned something.  I know they are working towards their first Showcase and then using that to get ready for the dance event in Hawaii.  I did ask and they are going to extend a week or so and stay in Hawaii which makes sense but part of me is concerned that they really don’t know what they are getting into.  I suppose it isn’t possible to really capture what a comp is like but they’ve never even been to a Showcase so this is going to be a whole new ballgame.

Well tonight we have our last big formation practice.  We may get it together and pull it off but I have my doubts.  Part of the reason my shoulder hurts is that I’ve been a little more forceful in my leading during practice.  The amount of strength you use during leading has a Goldilocks quality.  Too much and you throw the lady off balance.  Too little and she doesn’t feel it and goes off and does something weird.  But you also have to deal with the fact that some ladies fight for control and you can either back away and let them do whatever they want or force them to go the right way.  In social dancing, I usually don’t worry about it unless they are just doing something so weird that I have no idea how it is going to end.  But, in formation, we have a definite pattern and you have to stick with it so I’ve had to crank it up just a bit more than I’d like.  It is my pet peeve about ladies thinking too much about their steps and anticipating their next move rather than just allowing it to happen by feeling where the guy is trying to lead them.  Yes, I’m well aware that the guy has to be able to lead and two of the four guys in the formation are probably a little shaky with the lead.  But it makes life so much easier if we aren’t both fighting for control.  At the end of the day, the formation isn’t judged and it is supposed to be for fun but there is the part of me that wants to put on a good show.  So I want to smack some people upside the head and ask them why they can’t get this because it isn’t that complicated.  (Yes, my empathy button is a little busted at this point because we’ve been doing this for so long and it just isn’t that complicated)

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