Let’s See What’s Out There

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Thursday’s lesson was uneventful.  Party was interesting though.  We did have a gender imbalance with more men than ladies so I was in high demand.  Also, we had a special guest as a student from a Famous Franchise to the north was in town and stopped in to join our party.  I remember her from the Showcase we went to that wasn’t in our territory.

Normally, at parties, I don’t dance a lot with Kid T.  Part of it is because of the gender imbalance and she has to be a leader so that ladies don’t have to sit out.  But we ended up doing four dances – Cha-Cha, Swing, Bolero and Viennese Waltz.  The last two aren’t dances that they normally play at our parties but Tex and his wife leave for the big comp next week so they tossed them in to give them additional practice.  But its good for me since most of the other guys don’t do those dances so I get a chance to dance them with Kid T.

With the grind of the lessons, I had actually forgotten how much fun she is to dance with when we are just dancing and I’m not under her watchful eye.  Yes, if I screw something up, I still hear about it but there is a world of difference between dancing at a party and dancing on a lesson. Sometimes, I need a reminder of why I’m doing this and that really helped.

I did end up dancing a couple of times with the special guest.  We did a Tango and I was too afraid of messing up to do anything real fancy.  Later, we did a Fox Trot and I was more relaxed and threw some other things in.  Another thing I’ve forgotten is how good it feels to dance with someone who actually follows.  I don’t really know how that skill is taught but most of the ladies at our Famous Franchise anticipate like crazy and there are times when dancing is more like wrestling.  But when you got clear lead/follow, it is that moment when two people move as one and that’s a feeling I love but lack the words to describe.

Tex spent most of the night dancing with Z in preparation for his trip so I ended up dancing with his wife a couple of times.  I was really feeling brave so I tossed some things at her that I knew she didn’t know just to see what would happen.  She’s really a good dancer and most things went off without any major glitches.

All in all, it was a great party and really something I desperately needed to smack me over the head and remind me that dancing is fun.

It was Hilde’s last party, so she said goodbye to all of us.  But, for me, it was not goodbye.  I must apologize to you, my audience, because I’ve been holding back on you.  Early in the week, she texted me and asked if I wanted to go to a different studio that had a group class and party tonight.  We have had some conversations about other studios and I know she dances elsewhere which is what helped push her to leave so I guess she figured I would never ask her so she took the initiative.  I didn’t mention it because there were so many things that could go wrong and cause the trip to fall through so I decided to not mention it at all.

OK, that’s kind of anti-climatic paragraph.  The important thing is I broke free from the Famous Franchise for a night to see what other dance adventures could be had.  Yes, I know this has taken me forever, but I’m not know for moving quickly when something is outside my comfort zone.

The group class was interesting.  It was actually a six week Cha-Cha class and this was lesson 2 so we were coming in the middle.  But it was cool.  There was much more focus on technique than we get in a typical Famous Franchise lesson.  When the guy came over to critique me on a move I do all the time, my mental defenses went up right away.  But, I managed to let them down and listen to what he wanted which was just for me to move more through the upper body.  Of course, when I was thinking about it and trying to do it, it wasn’t working.  Later, as I stopped thinking, it did come a little more naturally.  He did remark at one point on something I did and I learned something so it was worth it.

This studio is really nice.  It wasn’t real crowded which isn’t much of a shock because I don’t really think my town is that in to ballroom.  This studio is located near where the Famous Franchise used to be and where the fake Famous Franchise is now.  There is another franchise nearby so there are three studios is close proximity to each other.  I don’t know how many full time students and instructors they have or whether last night was a typical night for crowd size.  Guess we shall have to see.  My one complaint would be the music.  The Famous Franchise tries to be hip so there is a lot of newer music.  This place focuses more on real old school type stuff and some of them were pretty slow as well.  But that’s a minor issue.

Hilde and I danced together most of the night.  At one point, we were talking when a song came on and the group class instructor grabbed her for a dance and I ended up dancing with another student.  As we left, the lady who took our money when we came in asked us to come back and said we were fun to watch.

No, I didn’t do much socializing but that’s just not how I roll.  Have to be there a few times before that becomes an option.  But I certainly told Hilde that I’d be up for a return visit so I’m sure we will go back at a later date.  It wasn’t half as scary as I thought it would be.





  1. Wow–most people don’t realize how hard it is to actually go outside the box and try another studio. So pleased you had the courage to give it a shot! Never hurts to expand one’s horizons.

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