First, it is seriously cold out there. And not your run of the mill winter cold. This is single digit, life stealing cold. The kind that just gets into you and keeps you cold all the time. When all you want to do is stay in a hot shower forever. Where you can wrap yourself in multiple layers and it still doesn’t help. Arctic stuff that only a polar bear could love. Or maybe a walrus since they’ve got so much blubber that I guess they don’t feel it.
I did take the dogs out today because I was off work today and they assume that when I’m home, they get a walk. During the day, the sun was out and I could delude myself into thinking that it wasn’t so bad. Until I got into the walk and realized I couldn’t really feel my face that much anymore. This is the cold we are talking about. Fortunately, my area doesn’t usually get long blasts like this and things are supposed to get back to seasonable by Wednesday but there is snow in the forecast then. Two good things about this. First, January is more than half over. Secondly, in a month, I will be escaping for a week with sun and warmth. It is the little things that keep you going.
But, back to group class. As I’ve said before, the studio is about a 20 minute drive for me. Which means that to attend a group class, I spend about as much time on the road as I do in the studio. So, I need a serious pay out for the time invested. When you start with how cold it is and how much I really just want to stay inside, you can see that group class would have to be a major attraction to get me to venture outside.
The cool kids, Z and OwnerGuy leave for sunnier and warmer parts of the country for the big dance competition tomorrow or Wednesday. OwnerGuy loves to mention that they are going far, far away and to a much warmer place. Truth be told, if I was escaping the Arctic for the tropics, I’d be talking some stuff as well. But I’m just not in the mood to hear it. The problem with group has been that when someone is practicing for the comp, they get center stage and so the group class gets pushed into a smaller corner of the studio and the comp people get the music for the majority of the lesson. Again, I fully understand why they are doing this and if I was going to spend major bucks to go to a comp, I’d come away thinking it is more important than a simple group class so I’d want the music and space. For me, I just don’t need anymore reminders that I’m not going. Even if I was still dancing with Z, this was going to be a comp I missed just due to the cost and time involved. But with everything else that has happened and my uncertain future, I’m just not in mood to have that in my face again. Winter is tough on me anyway and when it is cold and dark, it is just too easy for my dark moods to take control. So why give them fuel for the fire?
And, Hilde is no longer attending. Despite the fact that she loved to lead, she was one of the highest skilled ladies we had at the studio. When dancing with her, it was easier to not concentrate on the steps and try to focus on the technique of the given dance. That is really what I need to be doing now. I still love dancing with the newer students and it gives me work on lead/follow which is all fine but you do find that you might have to be a bit more aggressive with the lead than I would with Kid T. Still believe there is value in dancing with the newer students but, without Hilde, it does decrease the value of a group class. Besides, Hilde was consistent in her attendance. The studio has shrunk to the point that there really are just a handful of people who might show up to any particular group. It might be a good mix, but it might be a bad mix. And that’s not really a strong incentive to venture out into the frozen wastelands.
Lastly, and this is probably just wishful thinking on my part, but I do feel that at times I get taken for granted out there. I’ve been going there for so many years and I’ve been a very active student that they just assume I’m going to be at most group classes. Time to change that assumption. With everything that is going on out their now and the way it just “feels” to me, there isn’t as strong a draw to leave just for a group class. Especially when it is cold out. I did mention that it is cold out, didn’t I?
Oh, and the same set of circumstances will likely exist tomorrow as well. It may not be in the single digits but it is still going to be cold. May take another day off tomorrow as well.