There are times when I’m glad that I don’t have the real conversations that I’ve rehearsed in my mind a hundred times. I kept telling myself that I should set some expectations with Sunny right from the start. Just to say that I was only giving this a trial run and not committing to anything until I saw how things went. I mean she is new and Quickstep isn’t the easiest of dances so I had low expectations but I certainly didn’t want to toss good money away. Yeah, really glad I didn’t say anything.
I give her a lot of credit. This is clearly something she wants to do and she was prepped and ready to go. OwnerGuy came up with a little amalgamation of basic Quickstep things that gets us around the floor and in a position to loop it as many times as we need to. The good thing about Quickstep at Showcase is that very few people do it so if they need to save time, it is one of the first heats that gets shortened. If there are only 1 or 2 couples out there, then the judges can make their comments quickly and the show can go on.
It helped that these were all steps I’ve done in the past so I didn’t really have to learn anything totally new. She had things written on a post it so I could see what we were going to do and then we she started by showing me and then I followed her and then we did it together. I don’t quite know how to put this but I suppose I could have been a real a-hole and just brushed her off on the steps I already knew but that’s just not my style. I could really sense that she wanted to do this and wanted it to go well and it was kind of fun to watch her be the big, serious teacher. I hope that doesn’t sound bad. Seriously, while it was my lesson I wanted it to be successful for her (does that sound weird?) I don’t know her sense of humor that well so I dialed that back and just listened and asked a few clarifying questions from time to time.
And, she can dance. Again, and I keep coming back to this, but it was so obvious that she had done some serious prep work for this. The other thing that was obvious to me is that our frame felt a lot more solid than it does with Kid T. I’ve talked about that before and I think it varies from person to person and Kid T does a great job with rhythm but I don’t always feel her in smooth. With Sunny, she was there and it just made it easier to move around the floor.
Oh, and when I say she was “there” I mean she attached herself to my hip when we started. Not at first, but after a couple of attempts, there she was. I know this is how Quickstep is supposed to be danced but I’ve described my space issues before so I wanted to let you know she just got all up on me right from the start. (Well, not really all up on me but you get the point). I do think though that we need to stretch away the upper body because I don’t think you are supposed to be in contact as high up as we were. We had a spot where we went outside partner and then we never re-established the connection after that so we’d need to work on that.
And we worked on my posture and she said all the right things when I tried to stretch to my full height. I caught OwnerGuy sneaking glances out of his office wanting to make sure everything was going OK. He came on at the end of the lesson just to straighten one thing out where she was taking me back when it was really supposed to just go across the floor so we didn’t run out of room on the loop.
To be honest, I was actually a little impressed with how well we moved together given the dance and this being the first time we’ve actually done it together.
She’s going to be an interesting person to figure out. I know she doesn’t like people making fun of her (we share that) and there was an undertone of her wanting to prove to me that she knew what she was doing. Not exactly sure about the sense of humor but then mine is weirdly off beat and can sometimes be difficult to understand. But we got off to a good start and I’m actually looking forward to dancing this at Showcase.
The last part of the night was Cosmo’s formation. Sunny had a lesson so we were again short one person so I ended up dancing with Cosmo’s student while he just observed and directed the formation.
I got the sense that he was getting a little frustrated with us as we kept messing up some of the newer pieces. I suspect this being his first formation at our school that he wants it to go well. But, I think you have to remember that the formation is only as good as the material you have to work with. We’ve got dancers at different levels and with vastly different abilities at remembering and following choreography.
I could also tell that my partner was getting a little frustrated as were a couple of others. In a team setting, I suppose it is easy to feel like you are letting everyone else down when you aren’t getting the steps because you assume everyone else is even though that isn’t the case. But she also made a comment about how she’s learning it with me but then will have to dance it with Cosmo at the Showcase and I get that because I’m supposed to be dancing with Sunny. It is true that both Cosmo and Sunny are getting practice we aren’t but it still feels different with every partner and it could throw you off to have to switch partners right before Showcase.
With all the frustration in the air, I decided it was my duty to lighten the mood which consisted of various smart remarks because that’s just how I am. It would be one thing if we were professional dancers prepping for our opening on Broadway but we’re a bunch of students of varying abilities trying our best to pull something off without looking completely stupid. As long as nobody falls down or totally goes the wrong way at the wrong time, it is going to be fine. I figure we are all doing this for free and for fun, so why stress out about it? (I hear you out there. If I can do that for Formation, why can’t I do it for anything else?? Because its different. Why? I don’t know. It just is.) Seriously, I want to do a good job but I’ve done too many of these and I know things are going to get messed up. It just happens. If they don’t want us to mess up, then just stick with very basic stuff. But, they always want something with a WOW factor, so there are always a few places of somewhat tricky steps. And that is always going to mess people up. Set low expectations here and then we can exceed them.
At the end, Cosmo was trying to find another night to work on this since there are just three Mondays between now and Showcase. I was the limiting factor. Right now, I’ve got five lessons a week plus the formation. And I do have a life outside the walls of the Famous Franchise so I’m not giving up my Fridays. I think we are going to be fine. There will be some good parts and some funny parts and some things that get messed up. If everyone could just relax and have fun, it will go a lot better.
Well, tonight I’m back with Kid T and OwnerGuy is supposed to join us. Not sure what we are going to work on but I’m in a good mood right now so it might be a fun lesson. Only time will tell.