Never Let Them See You Sweat (If Only)

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You don’t stop dancing because you grow old.  You grow old because you stop dancing.

I’m getting to old for this ****.

Ah, showcase prep when you have to deal with young instructors who seem to be part drill instructor.

Yesterday was … interesting.  I had a work out session in the afternoon.  Typical stuff but it included some leg lifts which are great except they can sometimes turn my legs into lead.  And I’ve got that cold/allergy thing which was messing with my head.  I seriously just wanted to take a nap but I had to drag myself into the studio because (a) it was too late to cancel without having to pay and (b) I’m just that dedicated.

But I was actually close to nodding off after I got there.  My pre-lesson coffee wasn’t strong enough to cut through the mental fog.

My first lesson was with Sunny and she decided we should work on both Quickstep and Argentine Tango which is a good thing because if she had made me do 45 minutes of Quickstep, I probably would have collapsed in a heap on the floor and actually just taken my nap.  We’ve reached the point where I know the steps in both and I really don’t have any questions about alignment or pattern or anything else so we don’t have much more to do than just do the pattern over and over and over and over again.

For Argentine Tango, she wanted one change so I was looking down at her while we danced.  I’ve been working so much on keeping my head back and my vision out over the ladies shoulder and I was doing that which doesn’t fit the Argentine Tango as well.  Now, I’m not supposed to bend my head over so my head is still up but I’m kind of looking down at her with my eyes.  She’s actually looking down so all I’m really seeing is the top of her head.  Well, to be honest, I’m not wearing my reading glasses so what I’m seeing is more of a blur than anything else but you get the picture.  I’m finding that holding the frame in Argentine Tango is a little tiring because I’m supposed to be farther around her back.

Anyway, after 45 minutes of that, we moved to group class which was Bachata.  There is some silly theme so all the group classes this week are Latin dances.  This was Sunny’s first time leading the big kids group class and I think she’s been taking direction from Cosmo.  We’d get part of the pattern, do it, do it again, rotate, do it again, rotate, learn the next part, do the whole thing, do it again, lather, rinse, repeat.  No real breaks.

I should also mention at this point that the weather outside had warmed up a bit.  It was a day that started off cool and wet but then became warm and more humid.  Not sure if the AC in the studio was on or, if it was, it was not on very high and the ceiling fans were at low power.  Yeah, it wasn’t real pleasant.  I could paint a picture of what I looked like but let’s just say I looked better after my workout session than I did after that first lesson and group class.

Oh and then we get to the final act which was my lesson with Kid T.  Originally, she was going to do all three routines which would have included a second pass at Quickstep but I talked her out of that.  So we just focused on the rest of the dances.  And by the rest, I mean we went through Bolero, Rumba, Cha-Cha, Swing, Mambo, Tango, Waltz and Fox Trot.  I think she just wanted to do the Rhythm dances but things were really clicking and so we just kept going.  Yeah, there were no breaks either.  I know I could have taken a break but I’m super stubborn that way and, besides water is for cowards, water makes you weak. (That’s movie quote #2)

What was really funny is how well everything went.  I felt myself towering over her which meant I was holding the posture that was needed.  I felt the connection in several places and I felt when we lost it and I worked to get it back.  The moves were really just automatic and everything just flowed from one to the next to the next with no awkward pauses or mistakes.  I just wonder if I was so damn tired that I really couldn’t think and maybe that actually made things better.  Wonder if I should go run laps before Showcase to exhaust myself before we start?

Well, we did have a couple of issues with the smooth dances just because we ended up getting into the formation practice so I had to cut things a little strangely which confused her a bit but I explained what I was doing and she was fine.  I can’t even begin to tell you how disgusting I felt at the end of the lesson.  Which presents a problem when you are trying to do Tango in a very closed position and I’m screaming “don’t touch me!!” in my head.  I suppose dance instructors can’t be squeamish about that sort of thing.

The crowning part of the night was that we actually knocked off a little early because I just couldn’t move anymore and the formation practice was still going on.  Cosmo saw us standing there and asked us to jump in for the last run so we’d have an almost full group (OwnerGuy was MIA).  Walked over, sat down and did it completely cold and it went almost flawlessly.  Really have to figure out how to turn off my mind because I seem to dance better when I can’t overthink everything.

At the end of the lesson, Kid T brings up Showstoppers which is something they do twice a year for their festivals.  I’ve explained it before but you learn a new routine which you get to demo at the end and it is something that can get expanded and get done at the next Showcase.

Well, she’s already got a song in mind. “Once upon a dream” by Lana Del Rey which I had not heard before.  She was super excited about this and enthusiasm is contagious for me.  I listened to the song and the waltz beat is a little hard to hear but I think I can manage.  Her voice is a little strange but the song has a certain quirky darkness to it that is just right up my alley.  I’m seriously curious to see what she comes up with for this one.  This is really the best part of working with her.  She’s got some interesting taste in music and I think she gets seriously fired up to find someone who’s willing to work with her to things that are just a little outside the normal.

I’ll admit that getting a glimpse of a future project is helpful.  I’ve been having all kinds of thoughts about what to do next and now there is something that has the potential to be really fun.

The downside of working with these youngsters is that they run me into the ground.  At the same time, I enjoy the enthusiasm and the different perspective on things.  That part does keep me young.

Another double today as the last week of Showcase prep rolls on.  Bring on the Dancing Horses!


One comment

  1. Katrina Parker sings a 40mpm “fast waltz” version of “Once Upon a Dream” – Use Audacity to change the tembo to 48 mpm and it may work for you – it is quite beautiful

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