What We Learned

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Sometimes I wonder if Pinterest isn’t some kind of Ouija board because every now and then something just pops up that captures what I was thinking.  I was trying to decide whether to do a “year in review” type post and then, I see this quote.  I’m only going to reproduce the first part of it because it speaks to me.

“I’ve learned a lot this year … I learned that things don’t always turn out the way you planned, or the way you think they should.  And I’ve learned that there are things that go wrong that don’t always get fixed or get put back together the way they were before.  I’ve learned that some broken things stay broken, …”

Pretty much sums up my year in dancing, don’t you think?

I have no idea how the next year is going to turn out.  This year turned my world inside out and upside down.  I knew there were storm clouds on the horizon but I had no idea that it would turn into an all out hurricane that created incredible destruction.

On balance, I know this was a good thing. Logically, I know that we were too opposing forces that were built for conflict and that we couldn’t get past the huge personality differences.  There was way too much water under the bridge and too much that was unresolved for us to continue indefinitely.  It was a bad relationship that was damaging to both of us.  Her style didn’t fit with what I needed and, despite being able to teach me a lot, she never could find a way to stop stoking the fires of doubt that would consume me from time to time.  So we are broken and will likely stay broken.

From 3 of 3, I rediscovered how much fun it could be to do a solo and to play a character.  She brought a whole different attitude to teaching and emphasized the fun part of dancing.  Yes, there was still a lot of learning but it was always fun.  She got me to do things on stage that were out of character for me but I found out that was a good thing.  And then she left.  This may sound silly but I’ve stopped doing country dancing because nobody could really compare to her.

I’m not a planner but I can be a dreamer.  I start to see the future and potential and possibilities almost from the start.  So I came off the bad break up with Z and landed with the Body Double.  Suddenly, I was working full time with someone who was a much better fit.  I’ll never forget that “Tango Trance” moment when the studio just fell away and it was just the two of us doing the Argentine Tango at some small dark club.  It was easy to imagine the future with her.  We’ll never know how it would have turned out but I think it would have been great.  I wish we had been given a chance on the big stage but life had other plans for her.

Now, I’m working with Kid T.  I will say that the last two Showcases were among the best I’ve ever had.  So much of the tension that existed between Z and I was gone and I was more relaxed than I’ve ever been and it showed in my dancing.  But, I have no idea how long she wants to remain at the studio and so it is hard to really think about the future.

As I said, I’m not a planner but I still like to imagine where things are going.  But Kid T is not one to talk about the future.  Again, at her level of experience, she’s not really had to put together a program before and doing it for someone at my level is a challenge.  Still, it would be nice to have an idea of what we are going to be working on.  Are the open routines ever going to come back?  Is OwnerGuy going to make some of the changes he promised?  Do we add any new Silver stuff to any of the routines?  I know this is also my responsibility so I’m going to have to bring this up in the new year rather than living lesson to lesson like we are now.

Oh, and one thing that didn’t go as expected.  I had the opportunity to briefly work with Hilde on the Waltz routine.  That was an experience far outside my comfort zone but it was rewarding for the short time we did it.  Again, I was already having visions about what it was going to look like at the Showcase but life had other plans for Hilde and now that is off.  Part of the excitement was that it was something new.

So, yes, this year put me through the emotional wringer.  There were extreme highs and some really ugly lows.  I don’t know what this next year will bring.  I would hope for calm seas but it seems like the only constant is change so I’ll just need to hold on and see what happens.

(And, yes, potentially exploring other options but that takes me WAY outside my comfort zone so expect me to move slowly)






  1. Wow, Wall, when you lay it all out like that, I really feel for the losses you’ve had to bear. Too bad the FF policy of forbidding students to have any way of contacting departed teachers precludes your letting 3 of 3 and Body Double know how much they meant to you. They have a right to know that. IMHO, they earned it. A possibility you may wish to consider is adding another car to your dance train. You could find another studio and take some lessons there without leaving your current one. You could even join a “street dance” community – studios and clubs oriented to Lindy and West Coast, for example, are loads of fun. The street dance cultures are more laid-back and extemporaneous than ballroom. Heading over to my extra studio once a week breaks my FF routine up and keeps me fresh. Whatever you decide, have an AWESOME 2016!

    1. I’d like to think that somehow they both know. Thanks for the good wishes and, yes, I am working myself up to venturing beyond the walls of the Famous Franchise. Stay tuned.

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