The Politics of Dancing

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Author’s Note:  The title has absolutely nothing to do with the following post.  I’ve had a bad sinus headache for about 24 hours and it has robbed me of the ability to think of a catchy title.  So I went with the title of a catchy tune.  Just more pure 80’s dance pop gold!

What a difference a day makes!  My potential second dance home B2B had their normal Friday night group class/party with extended hours due.  Hilde and I had already agreed to go so we met up there yet again.  The group class extended what we had learned the previous week but there were many new faces so there was some catch up.  The ladies outnumbered the men so the rotations were a bit tricky but we all got through it in some form or another.  I got a couple of compliments on my leading – after the Famous Franchise party failure on Thursday, my inner demon that needs validation was very pleased.

Random observation from the group class.  You dance with a bunch of people and you notice things.  At one point, we were practicing part of a step where the man has the lady in a two hand hold.  The lady I was dancing with starts feeling my fingers.  Now, there was nothing more to this because I’m the type of person that also has to keep my hands busy so you put something in them and I’m going to start moving it around.  I assumed it was the same thing here and I really don’t think she was conscious of doing it.  Why did I bring that up?  I have no idea.  Just one of those random little moments that seemed like it should be mentioned.

The party was much better than the one on Thursday.  At one point, Hilde mentioned something about how we are fitting together better which is certainly true.  Dance with someone long enough and I think you get used to how each other move and it makes dancing that much better.  She still likes to anticipate and I’m just mean enough to put similar steps together to catch her when she doesn’t follow.  I don’t do that all that often but, sorry, it is kind of fun to catch someone in the act.

I can’t remember the detail but I think she stepped out for a bit and, since there were many ladies, I decided to ask a couple to dance.  Then, I get back to the table and she says she’s not going to let me out of her sight.  And she was sort of half joking, half serious.  The ironic thing is that she got swept onto the floor by a much older gentleman who loved to dance but didn’t really get the steps.

The most interesting part of the night was when a bachata came on.  I’m pretty sure I’ve only danced that a handful of times since The Body Double left but Hilde dragged me out to do it.  Wasn’t really a popular dance at this place since there may have been one other couple out there with us.  I’m just doing some real basic stuff and some simple turns – all side, together, side, tap.  And I become aware that many of the people who aren’t dancing are watching us.  There was some comment about “nice routine” as we left.  I wonder if there wasn’t another couple out there because ours was just basic steps.

Hilde is doing a hard sell on the indy dance studio life.  As we were doing a West Coast Swing, she mentioned that her new studio does a class on Wednesday night and that there are all these great people there.  She was pushing me to take a lesson with the instructor who lead the group class and then suggested she was going to buy me a lesson as a birthday present.  She’s totally adopted the independent life and has all the passion of a true believer.  I’m a little agnostic about the which way is better.  I’m really not ready to jump ship at this time.

The party was extended but Hilde had to leave a bit early as her feet were killing her.  Shocked that she gave out before I did.  I decided to stick around for just a little longer.  (Yes, I stayed in a somewhat new place with my security blanket gone!  Big victory for my introverted self)  OK, I only stuck around for a couple of songs to dance with a couple of the ladies that were still there.  But it was necessary to help convince myself that I could go to this place without Hilde if need be.  As one of my dance partners told me, there tends to be a shortage of men who can dance so I’m sure I would be welcome for that reason.

I’m amazed at how much of a difference one day makes.  I know that I didn’t suddenly become a better dancer in one night.  I’m the same dancer on Thursday that I was on Friday.  Why did Friday go so well and Thursday didn’t?  Clearly the fault is in my head.  Funny what the mind can do.  Somehow, I psyched myself out of the party on Thursday and may just have set myself for the failure that it was.  Last night, I was more open and it was a good time.

I do wonder if my subconscious isn’t trying to send me some kind of message.  I remember after the break up with Z thinking back to all the lessons and the times that I really didn’t want to be there but I kept going hoping for a different outcome.  It just took some time for my conscious mind to catch up to my body.  Could be a similar situation here.  I know that they people in my studio enjoy having me around and so many of them have become friends that it would be hard to leave.  The other instructors make me feel welcome so that isn’t the problem.  It does come down to Z and OwnerGuy.  I’m a good customer and I spend a lot of money at that studio.  So why do I sometimes feel like they would be fine if I walked out the door never to return??  It is that feeling that often leads me to think that this isn’t “my” studio anymore and that I’m just an outsider looking in.  No different really than the people who walk by on the sidewalk and stare in at us dancing.  I’m just inside the studio staring at all the people dancing and wondering why I don’t feel like joining in on the fun.

I have a feeling that this upcoming Showcase is going to be critical to my future.  The last two proved that Kid T and I can be a good pair.  If we grow and show improvement and work in a couple of the open routines and nail the Peabody routine, then it is a springboard to the next part of my dance life.  If I fell like I’ve stagnated, then it would be a sign that leaving is really the best answer.  Oh great, now you just said one Showcase determines your future.  No pressure there.  OK, it probably isn’t that cut and dried but this next Showcase is important.

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