Bring on the Dancing Horses

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I should just say right from the top that I can’t remember another in studio performance that went as well as last night.  It is possible there have been others but I just can’t remember them.  Yes, last night was great.  One of those nights when I left the studio and just wanted to turn right around and go back in and tell to keep the music going cause I was still ready to dance!  Of course, my knee was telling me we were done so I drove home instead.  My next lesson isn’t until Tuesday and I’m ready to go right now.

I think most of you know this already but I seem to be picking up new readers so if you aren’t familiar with the Famous Franchise, they do these six week festivals twice a year.  Every party has a theme and the studios compete with each other so students get points for lessons, group classes, etc.  Last night’s party was the close of the event and the highlight is what they call Showstoppers where you are supposed to learn a “new” routine during the festival and then we all get to demo at the end.  New is sometimes a stretch since my Quickstep routine was just an intro and ending slapped on to the amalgamation I did at Showcase.  But OwnerGuy had his competitive student do her open Rumba routine with just a few tweaks.  My Viennese Waltz was new though.

I was the only one doing two so I was in each heat.  After some general dancing, they announced they were going to start the show and Sunny and I were up first for our Quickstep.  We had done a very quick practice on the opening at party but, that’s all the prep I had.  For some reason, I had no nerves at all which is unusual for me because I normally get those butterflies in the stomach (what a really odd visual but it does feel that way).  Can I say we nailed it?  OK, we nailed it.  The intro was just spot on.  We hit the right places at the right time and then launched into the actual Quickstep portion of the routine.  The first spin turn was by the DJ booth which OwnerGuy was manning and I heard him say “Nicely Done” so I think I landed the turn like I’m supposed to.  The routine ends with a dip coming off the second spin turn.  Again, I had built up so much momentum during the turn that by stopping and just slightly rotating to the left, it really made it look like I was tossing Sunny to the side.  Her glasses didn’t fly off but I noticed they were askew after bringing her up.  High fives and applause followed while I had to sit down to breathe.

Then, it was back to general dancing and I was dancing a cha-cha with Kid T when they announced that the second round of dances were going to be up next and I was the lead off hitter again.  So we lined up to do our dark Viennese Waltz.  Again, I was not nervous at all.  I know we had practiced this much more than the Quickstep but I just felt good going into it.  I could feel Kid T slowing me down in places and I think we mostly stayed on time.  Some of our explosions actually got some nice applause.  She was seriously happy with how it went and I got more applause and high fives.

It is just nice to have everything come together like that. I know I’ll get another shot at these but I don’t think people understand that you practice this for weeks and you get one shot to get it right.  There are no do-overs.  Maybe that is part of the “fun” of performing.  I know it isn’t like competing but there is something about actually getting through a routine without any major mess ups that is such a great feeling.  Now, we keep working on them and we have to add the appropriate costumes and watch out!

There were other highlights of the day.  I was dancing with the newest instructor who has yet to be named and in the middle of the second or third dance we had done, she gets this far away look in her eyes like she’s really thinking.  Then, she tells me how smooth I am and how it makes it easier to follow.  I have to say that this is not the first time I’ve heard it but you know how slow I am to believe something good about myself.  This time, though I’m going to own and embrace that.  If there is one thing that I do think I do well it is continuity of movement.  As you move from pattern to pattern, it is the transitions that matter.  I’ve seen people who dance a step and then there is almost a little pause while the figure out what step comes next.  It creates kind of a start/stop motion that you can see.  I do think I’m better able than most to create a more continuous flow from pattern to pattern so there are no abrupt pauses or changes in direction.  And I would think that does make it more fun.  Gee, this giving self compliments is hardy.  I’ve got all kinds of self-effacing, witty remarks primed and ready to go and I’m fighting the urge to type them.

I’ve also realized that some of these guys are terrors on the floor.  They better teach some of these guy floorcraft befor they kill someone.  Alright, its not that dramatic but we’ve got a couple of guys who are at the stage where they are so focused on their steps that they really have no concept of who’s around them.  And they haven’t really learned to control direction so they end up coming back against line of dance when you don’t expect it.  I had to do some quick maneuvering at a couple of spots which also earned me some compliments from Kid T.  Yeah, there are things that I do well.

Oh, and OwnerGuy showed up on our lesson.  Kid T and I started with the Viennese Waltz to get ready for Showstoppers.  About half way through, he comes on to look at our Tango routine.  So we dusted it off while he’s looking at things and talking about what he likes and what he wants to change.  A lot of it is about posture and attitude and striking different poses in a few spots.  I watched him do these things and he’s talking about me dominating Kid T – you know being all manly and stuff and it just triggered my urge to run away and get small.   No, that’s not me and I can never pull that off so don’t ask me to do it.  Of course, I ended up trying a few things and they do look pretty good.  He did figure out a way to loop the Tango so I now have three completed routines.  If this keeps up, I might just make that Big Dance Event in August.

Hilde is unavailable and I was going to go to my second dance home tonight but I’m starting to think that I did something a little more serious to my left knee.  The right knee is responding fairly well to the physical therapy (they include some massage work around the knee and that really helps).  The left knee not so much.  It has actually been a little swollen since Tuesday despite my many ice applications.  I go back to the Ortho doc a week from Monday so we shall see what happens.  But it probably means that a night of rest is the smartest course of action.



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