Take a Number

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Well, how about a quick recap of the last two days.  Thursday was party day at the Famous Franchise and I had a lesson and group before getting to the party.  Our lesson was on the open Cha-Cha routine which just isn’t quite finished yet.  Like the Fox Trot and Tango, they are all unfinished symphonies.  OwnerGuy just hasn’t gotten around to putting the final touches on them but I keep hearing promises that it will be done.  What I’d really like is a little less talk and lot more action.  There’s a potential dance road trip in July and they’d like a group of students to go.  I’ve been asked a couple of times by Kid T and since I hate confrontation, I’ve been my usual vague “we’ll see, my schedule is kind of busy, blah, blah blah”.  Truth is that there is really no reason for me to commit to events like these when I don’t feel the studio is truly committed to me.  I’ll have to find a polite way to say that the next time she asks.

The Cha-Cha routine is OwnerGuy’s brilliant vision for pushing me out of my comfort zone while attempting to make me be more visual.  So there is a lot of syncopation that requires fast, sharp footwork which really isn’t me strength.  We did eventually struggle through it and got all the pieces done.  I mean I can do a reasonable approximation of almost anything but it will certainly lack the flair that a real cha-cha would have.  I did prefer the routine I did with Z and I’m not sure why he didn’t just bring that back rather than designing a new one.  The only thing I could think of is that he has us starting apart like we do in Rumba and Swing.  That must be his evil vision for the rhythm dances.

Now, I had gone to a physical therapy session earlier in the day where they were working on my legs.  After my private lesson and group, my legs felt like lead.  My feet were aching a bit as well and my knees were a little stiff.  I’m such a freaking mess.  At times, I feel like I’ve got the lower body of an 80 year old.  Anyway, I get to that point and I am absolutely fine sitting out a song or two but it is hard to do at the famous franchise.

I was sitting out and Kid T comes over and I tell her I need to sit this one out and she makes me promise to give her the next dance.  Not more than 30 seconds later, Sunny comes over and we go through the same thing and she wants the next dance which I’ve already promised to Kid T so I book her for the dance after that.  Oh, and to top it off, there is another new instructor who shall remain nameless for the time being who is like a heat seeking missile at parties.  I never see her coming but she always grabs me for a dance early on.

Part of me thinks this is some grand plan of OwnerGuy.  Remember that he can be an evil genius at times.  He might be interpreting what I’ve told him as “make him feel welcome by pestering him for dances.”  (Have you ever considered that maybe the instructors like dancing with you??)   Oh, you again.  Yes, that’s what Sunny said to me in trying to drag me off the couch but that could all be part of the act.  (Seriously, do you think they’d go to all that trouble since you’ve already signed up for another tour?) You are really starting to damage my calm.  They are a business and keeping customers happy is good for business.  That’s really all there is to this.  (So instead of thinking that they just want to dance with you, you’d rather believe in some elaborate scheme of them trying to keep you happy?)  Well, yes.  It makes for a better story which you’ve just effectively ruined.  I hope you are happy.  (Just forcing you to think of other possibilities.)  OK, its a possibility.  I’ll acknowledge it.  But given the timing after my conversations with OwnerGuy, I’m still coming down on the side that they see me sitting out, figure I’m having a bad time and the Famous Franchise doesn’t allow people to sit out.  (Is that really what you think?) YES!  Now, go away.  (For now, but we aren’t finished yet).

Last night was my first trip to the Double B Ranch in several weeks.  I had Showcase prep, then I took a week off because of my knee and Hilde wasn’t available the Friday before Memorial Day.  I decided to skip the group because it was a dance I’ve only done in group classes so I didn’t feel like I’d be up to the material.  Hilde gave me all kinds of grief about that and I saw the end of the class and I think I could have handled it.

Funny thing was that as I’m walking in, the lady who is a regular at this studio makes me promise to save a waltz for her.  And then she made a point to tell that to Hilde as we were getting on the floor for the first dance.  Hilde told me I needed a dance card.  I was thinking more like those little number things you see at various places.  A song could come on and I’d say “Now dancing with number 13”.  What was funny is that for the first Fox Trot, she came up to “steal” me away from Hilde.  I find this level of attention to be mildly funny but very good for my ego.  (Oh, so the instructors at the studio were dancing with you because they had to while these ladies were dancing with you because they wanted to.  Is that your story?)  No, the ladies last night were dancing with me because there was a lack of good options.  Now go haunt someone else.  You are seriously messing up the pacing of my stories.  (I warned you we weren’t finished.  But, as you wish, I shall leave the rest of the post to you).  About time!  Well, he of course know that I’m running out of steam and ideas so the post is near the end anyway.  But both parties were actually fun.  My legs and knees were feeling a little better last night so I was able to dance a little more.

Now for something completely different.  I was reading the Thespian’s last post about the refugee from a Famous Franchise and suddenly I got a vision of masked dance agents from the Franchise crashing the dance party and dragging this young lady out.  Once a member of the Franchise, always a member of the Franchise.  You can check out but you can never leave.  Then, I had visions of secret underground independent dance studios trying to train students outside the watchful eyes of agents of the Franchise who want to control all dancing and keep all their students from having other options.  I can see the students at a Franchise studio with dead eyes being forced to learn and dance because that is the way of the Franchise.  Guess, I’ve read too many of those books where there is either a dystopian view of the future of some kind of alternate world where there is oppression.  I’m not saying that the Famous Franchise is that way in reality but the idea just popped into my head.  I was going to post this as a comment but I realized it would drag on way too long but I wanted to share it so here it is.



  1. Oh ballroom. My ballroom friends and I are going on a hike tomorrow at Devils Lake. Then it’s off to count the days until Tango Tuesday, then Salsa Saturday…Come on over and visit and leave a comment or two, it’s been awhile since I’ve seen you!

  2. I see there’s another new instructor. That seems like a lot of turnover. I only have my own studio to compare with, but why so much turnover for a studio that seems to be otherwise OK, if I read your blog correctly?

    1. Good question. We don’t always get the back story when people leave. For the ones who disappear in the middle of the night, I suspect they either don’t pick up the steps quickly enough or don’t convert enough new students.

  3. The ones we have lost have all moved onto either same brand name franchise but different studio 30-50 miles away, or have gone to open their own independent studios…outside the geographic range restriction that’s in their no compete contracts, of course. AFAIK, no one has departed due to not meeting sales quotas. We have been there 2.5 years. But then again, who knows how all of that works, behind the office door?

    1. Yeah, I was just speculating. With those that leave on good terms, we get to hear about why they are leaving. It is the ones that just disappear without another word that you wonder about. In some way, they just didn’t “work out” whatever that means.

  4. I had never thought of things that way before. Maybe that’s where all the kicking movements you see in dance came from, and who the dance ninjas actually are – agents or instructors from franchise studios chasing down former students to get them to buy more lesson blocks! It makes so much sense now! 🙂

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