Episode IV: A New Hope

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Any doubts I had about walking away vanished last night.  I tried taking a step back from this but found myself drawn back to check in on the rest of the village.  It is strange that we’ve never met and yet I do feel a connection to the rest of the village and I am interested in hearing how your stories unfold.

And, I toyed with changing the name or the appearance but ultimately decided against it.  This is my story.  The good and the bad.  One could say that we have a new chapter or a new book in the series but the events that have gone before have put me where I am now.  Even though I am happier and more secure about my dancing (more on that), the earlier steps were part of that journey.  I don’t go back and review anything I’ve written earlier but it now seems important to leave it back there as an archive and perhaps a reminder of what was.

Lastly, even though I’ve used this blog as therapy and a way of working out the bad stuff, I did finally realize that it is also a vehicle for sharing the joy and the good things.  I do talk with my wife and friends about dancing but they don’t have a frame of reference to really understand how it makes you feel and I can’t give them that.  You, on the other hand, all know what dancing can do and so you can better relate to the good and the bad.  I know that things that come out on paper (well really on the computer screen) don’t fully capture the true emotions, I think you can draw from your own experiences to really understand the victories.  And, even if you don’t I guess at the end of the day I still need a vehicle just to release the emotions that dance brings to me.

So are you ready to rumble?  I’ll just say it right now so you know where the rest of this post is going to go.  Last night was just amazing on so many levels.  I walked out of that studio so fired up and excited.  It was like I really didn’t want to leave.  I can’t wait to get back today.

To set the stage, I will tell you that I left my dance shoes at home.  I didn’t realize it until I had gotten to the coffee place near the studio and, by then, I was looking at a 45 minute round trip to get them so I just decided to make the best of it.

Had two lessons sandwiched around a group class.  The first was with Kid T and we continued to work on the Peabody routine and put the ending that will be in place for Showstoppers.  I can’t help myself, that dance just makes me smile and laugh.  Maybe it is just the bounciness or the silliness of some moves but I’m laughing during most of the lesson.  The part she added at the end is one where we take three steps forward and kick to the side and then three steps backward and kick to the side.  Sounds strange but you are lightly bouncing the whole time and it just made me smile.

At one point, we did get serious and started working on the technique the coach gave us last week.  More about posture and being forward and turning my center towards her when our connection is through my right hand like it is in a normal dance frame.  We did our pivot that way and she said “Good, I can really feel your thigh”.  There are just things that sound really weird outside the studio and this was certainly one.  But, for a pivot, they tend to teach that it works best if you are connected at the thigh so you are moving more as one.

Now, I had worked my way up to getting comfortable doing that with Z but I had been hesitating with Kid T.  Part of it is the age difference and another part of it is that I kind of sensed she wasn’t as comfortable with that level of contact.  There is certainly a great deal of trust that is required to do the body contact that is required in certain moves.  Anyway, the pivot went great so I see that as kind of a mini breakthrough.

I won’t spend much time on group class.  It was Peabody again so the good thing was that I got practice leading the step.  The first time I did it with Hilde, we ended up in the wrong spot and then the light bulb went off and I realized that I wasn’t dancing with Kid T so I couldn’t get lazy and I ended up focusing more on the leading.

Then, Hilde and I got our second Waltz practice in.  She had poured over the video to memorize the steps and I hadn’t even looked at it.  Sorry, but that’s just how I roll.  So, she was walking me through the steps during the beginning while we were waiting for OwnerGuy.  It was rough at first but I did pick it up rather quickly so we worked through the parts we knew.

He added a couple of newer parts and that actually filled up the space we needed for Showstoppers.  There are parts where he is changing how I’ve done things to create a different look so there was a part where I was struggling but, after a couple of time, it just clicked and I could see and feel where my body was supposed to go.

At the end, he wants us to do a dip.  So I’m supposed to finish a step in front of her, get my arms under hers to support her back, rotate my hips to send her to my left while she goes back.  I’m then supposed to rotate to the right and just stand up to let her rise.  He wanted us to finish in a pose where she comes up and puts her head on my right shoulder.  Now, you may have a mental picture of this but she was seriously in my personal space for this entire move.  I will admit that the first time it seemed a little awkward to have a lady I’m not married to in that kind of hold but, really it was only awkward for a minute.  I think I ended up in a different mindset – that this was really all about the performance and it was just dancing and nothing more.  That just made it feel more natural.

We did a couple of runs and both Kid T and Lady Gator stopped what they were doing to watch us.  There was another couple in the studio who also stopped to watch.  And this was us doing it rough and me in tennis shoes so I couldn’t slide.  This is a new experience and it is exciting to just see how far we’ve come in just two lessons.  I really can’t wait to see it grow beyond Showstoppers to the next Showcase.  And I really want to just get back in the studio and keep working on it.

So there you go.  Two routines, two performances that are totally different.  The Peabody is quirky, funny and silly.  The Waltz is dramatic and other words that escape me.  But I was really feeling each character by the end of each lesson.  I’m truly excited about doing both!


  1. 1) Great title….you always get points for using Star Wars references
    2) I’m glad you didn’t stop blogging 🙂 I love reading about your journey and I can’t wait for your post about the Showcase!

  2. All rriiiiiiiggghhhhtttt !!!!!!!!!
    Side Note: You, asides from myself and another lady at my studio, are about the only people I know who actually like and still do Peabody. It’s an absolute riot!

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