No Longer a Cool Kid

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I know that I am prone to feeling things too deeply.  I done some other personality type tests and one comes back to say that the most likely combination of things I’ve got makes me one of the most introspective types.  Yeah, that’s not a shock.  I do spend a great deal of time inside myself.  Sometimes it just feels like I’m a giant amplifier and outside events just get picked up and magnified and can drive me into darker places.  And I know this can be self indulgent and I’m prone to periods of self pity.  I figure by discussing it here, I can just put it behind me and move on.  Because these are just feelings that I can’t put into concrete words and to share them and so it just so easy for someone to invalidate them.  But they need to come out and that’s what this post is all about.

The lesson started out innocently enough.  When I got there, the floor was full.  Z, OwnerGuy and Kid T were all teaching.  That is the first time in recent memory that has occurred and it actually gave me a little boost.  Our lesson started off OK.  We were going to do Cha Cha and Fox Trot.  I made a mental note on the Cha Cha to focus on emphasizing that third step and I thought I was doing it but then Kid T gives me the “remember we said to work on this”.  Don’t you hate it when you think you are doing something right and find out that you aren’t?  I call this a Goldilocks method of learning.  This step was too small.  This was was just right.  Well, when the difference between too small and just right doesn’t seem to be that much, it is really difficult for me to process and correct.

The Fox Trot portion of the lesson went much better.  I’m getting better at holding the frame and keeping my head over my heel and not looking at her even though it feels weird.  She commented on my pivots being better and the only thing we really had to focus on was one step before a grapevine which is a slow that I tended to turn into a quick.  That’s an easy one to fix.

While we were on our lesson, Tex and his wife were working with OwnerGuy.  I know they are getting ready to go to a comp in a couple of weeks so they are being drilled on how to dance as a couple including getting on the floor and positioning themselves.  But, as I saw both Z and OwnerGuy working closely with them, it really felt like Kid T and I were intruding.  We were both doing traveling dances but I was the one watching out for them and moving when I needed to.  What keeps flashing in my mind is OwnerGuy telling me how he was going to work with me and Kid T and how he really hasn’t.  And, so I’m not going to this comp so that just means I get pushed to the side?  Kid T and I get to dance anonymously while the two of them devote all of their attention to Tex and his wife.  Yeah, that’s a bit of envy coming out.  I’ll freely admit that.  But they used to make me feel special.  Now, at times, I just feel like I’m in the way.  Yes, I’m sure a great deal of this is in my head but I can’t help the way it made me feel.

I got off the lesson and I just wasn’t in the mood to stay.  I’ll come back to group class because there was a lot that happened there.  I got to party and I was feeling even more off.  To be fair to myself, I had been feeling crappy all day.  I slept in and missed a couple hours of work because I had a killer headache and it had only just faded a little bit when party started.  And my knee decided to act up so there wasn’t a lot of happiness to start with.  As I tried to lead some ladies through the first couple of dances, I realized I was falling back into my old habits to compensate for how I felt.  Since I figured I was doing more harm than good, I left the party after just three songs.

Now, let’s talk about group class.  Z was leading the class but we started with an equal number of men and women so she could just lead and not have to be part of the rotation.  Z’s group classes are all over the place.  One minute, she’s actually giving us good and useful information.  The next minute she’s screwing something up or making some kind of off color remark.  And, her style is to pick on the men in the class, tossing out little one liners at appropriate times.  For some reason, I became a target.  Actually, I am now thinking this is just her way of showing that she’s over it and life goes on.

We were doing Rumba and she had a step where you rock away and then come together and do a couple of second position breaks.  Well, you can get as close as you feel comfortable so her comments to me were basically making fun of my personal space issues.  In some ways, it just means that to her, I’m like a fly preserved in amber.  I’ll never change and always be that person who was uncomfortable with her trying to get in my space.  OK, there is no doubt that this is something I still struggle with but there has been progress.  The progress only happens because I have instructors who have a little more sensitivity and don’t make a big deal out of it.  But it makes me a convenient target whenever we are doing a dance move like that.  I really didn’t know how to take it.  I never really think fast enough to come up with a good response so I just take it in silence.

Here’s the other interesting thing that happened during group class.  As the rotation went through, I was dancing with someone who I think does physical therapy.  She could also sense I wasn’t at the top of my game so she asked if I was alright.  Fortunately, I had the headache to use so I could stay away from the things that were contributing to my down mood.  Suddenly, she’s behind me massaging my shoulders and neck.  Now, that’s an invasion of my personal space I can live with!  Well, seriously, it was a little strange that she was doing this while Z was trying to explain the next step in the Rumba.  Don’t really have anything big to say about that but it was unusual and so I figured it was worth mentioning.

I did try to channel the happiness I could sense at the party but when I get into those moods, it does sometimes just make me feel more alone and isolated.  Why am I in such a down mood when everyone else is having fun?  But the good news for me is that these never last and I can get myself out of it.

So, I don’t have a seat at the cool kids table anymore.  Yeah, I enjoyed being special and maybe things will change once they get back from this comp.  I know there is a lot of prep work needed to get ready and they want the students who are going to have a good time and I can logically understand that.  There is just the emotional part of me saying “don’t forget about me”  I’ve still got dreams and desires and potential and I need some help to get there.  That’s all.  I’ll deal with it.


  1. I agree! We’ll make our own table. 🙂
    I totally get what you mean though. Part of the “customer service” of ballroom is making you feel special, but then when their attention is diverted to someone else, it’s like “hey, wait a minute!” It’s hard to go from center of attention to feeling like you’re practically invisible. And it’s hard to find a middle ground. Sounds like you know yourself well enough to deal with those inner demons though. And you have your Villagers to vent to as well!

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