Ever have one of those days? Today was my first lesson since last Thursday and it is the early block. Last night, we got hit with a small amount of snow. Not enough to cause major problems but just enough to be an annoyance. I didn’t shovel in the morning since it was still coming down and I figured why bother. I got up my driveway OK but there was enough there to be a bit of problem and I couldn’t be sure that the guys were going to come and clear off the snow. (They did but I had to confirm with my guy that we had enough snow to warrant it). That meant when I got home I had to shovel just a bit of the driveway to make sure it was clear enough to navigate.
Then, I had to feed the dogs. Like most slightly spoiled pets, they certainly could afford to miss a meal or two but you’d think we were starving them to death with all the carrying on that happens when I come home and it is dinner time. They didn’t understand why I didn’t rush right in the feed them because they were starving. How could I be out doing something in the driveway when they were wasting away right before my eyes. How cruel could I be? Or at least I’m guessing that’s what all the barking was about.
I may have mentioned this but my wife is a consultant who works from home. Some days, her day is wall to wall phone conferences. Since I’m the one who needs to leave early, I’m in charge of cooking dinner on those days. Actually, I think I end up doing 60-80% of the cooking just because her schedule is so unpredictable. So, after feeding the dogs I had to make dinner. (If you must know, it was seared salmon over spaghetti squash with a jarred sauce and some other seasonings I found in our spice cabinet.)
Got done with that and had a little time before I had to leave for the lesson so I pulled up the traffic report to see that the highway was already a parking lot. There was a stalled truck at one intersection and an accident further down the road. Having no idea how long it was going to take, I had to rush out the door about an hour before the lesson. That’s a bit of overkill but if I get seriously stuck in traffic enough to be late, that would stress me out. I had to deviate off the highway at the last exit before it turned into total gridlock. There is a relatively easy back way through local streets but it takes a little longer. But, because I was compulsive about leaving early, I still had time to get my coffee and fill the car with gas (its a combo Starbucks/gas station) before getting to me lesson. It did turn my normal 20 minute drive into more like 35-40 minutes so I had to loosen up a bit after being in the car for that length of time.
The good news is that the sun is setting later. It is starting to be noticeable on these early lessons as it stays light almost until I get to the studio. Light is good. Snow cover in darkness just looks especially foreboding and lifeless.
The lesson was Peabody and Mambo. Nothing much new to report. Still working on connection in all dances and making them smoother. I did realize that my experiences at the party and in the other studio helped recharge my batteries. Getting to dance just for fun at a new place helped me connect to the magic that is dance and so even though this lesson was just more of the same old grind, it was easier to take. I’ll have to remember that. Mambo is coming along better than Peabody. We had a short discussion about Peabody but all I can tell her is that it still feels clunky and needs a lot of work.
Kid T again mentioned the open routines because I broke into that once during the Mambo. It was unintentional. She said if OwnerGuy remembers, he’s still working on them. I couldn’t help but laugh out loud and she kind of agreed with me. He’s big on talk and not always as big on follow through. So we shall see if they ever resurface.
Group class was Tango. The crowd was down since several of the regulars are off at the comp with Z and OwnerGuy. The step started with a corte. This is one of those steps where the man invites the lady but she determines how far to step into him. If she chooses to get seriously in my personal space, I can’t drop frame, scream “cooties” and run away, so I had to take it. My first partner is someone I’ve known for years and she had no problem invading my territory. I’m getting better but I’m still getting used to the whole mid section contact that happens from time to time. The other more experienced lady who was there did the same thing. The only one who didn’t was a newer student but she’s also a high school student and, I know it is just a dance, but there is still just something that could be a bit creepy about that. I did notice her moving closer with each rotation. I think I would have jumped ten feet if she made contact. Hey, I said I’m working on it. These things take time.
Felt sorry for the new instructor. This was again something over her training and with a gender imbalance, she had to be the lead. We did some rock turns and getting the correct amount of rotation was throwing her. She eventually decided to sit out so Kid T had to jump in. The good thing was is she had a positive attitude about it saying that she’d get it. I hope so.
Wanted to just loop back a bit on lead/follow since that got lots of interest. I think I bring a unique perspective as one of the few male members of the village. In thinking about what I said vs your responses, I think you are more right than I am. I kind of forgot my own journey here. Back in the day when I was more riddled with doubt than I am now, any affront to my ability to lead was a one way ticket to the dark side. I mean, if I couldn’t do that, then I really couldn’t do anything right. Only by dancing more and with ladies I didn’t know, helped to convince me that this is an area where I have some skill. Like all skills, it can be improved, but it is there. So now, when something goes wrong, I just reset and move to something else. But I think I would have responded OK to some of what you said you do in similar situations. Well, I’m sure I can always come up with more to say about lead/follow in future posts.
It was a busy day and I needed something to help unwind so I just did a little mind dump here. Helps because now all these thoughts are here and not in my head anymore.