So I haven’t posted since Sunday which isn’t that big of a deal except I tend to be chattier than most. Comes down to the fact that there is a sameness to the lessons and nothing has struck me as worth writing about. I know that in one week, I’ll be leaving for the Big Dance Event and I’m a mixed bag of emotions right now.
On the plus side, I do love the feeling of getting ready for a comp. There is something about having a target to shoot for that gives the lessons just a little extra meaning. Showcase prep is nice but a comp is the next level up and there is a whole different vibe about it. You do rounds and you don’t really have time to think because you are just going from one dance to the next in rapid succession. Done right, it helps get your mind in the right place because, at a comp, you can’t wallow in what didn’t go right in the Waltz because you have to pick yourself up and get ready to do a Tango.
It is work and that is a good and a bad thing. It is a good thing because you leave a lesson and look back on all you’ve done – nine dances in one lesson is a pretty nice accomplishment. And there is that “good tired” aspect which is the same thing I get from a work out when you know you’ve done something hard and physical. Does that sound weird?
The bad part is that I’m no spring chicken anymore and I’m going around on two less than perfect knees and I’ve got other parts of me that aren’t in the best shape. Which just means that a lot of me is achy and sore. Some of that is dancing. Some of that is also getting beaten up by my trainer and the other exercise that I do on the side.
I do feel confident in my closed and the solo. I have to avoid getting over confident because you never know what kinds of things are going to happen at a comp. One bad song, one mental blunder, one person crossing your path at the wrong time. All those little things that can take something you know well and still make it go horribly wrong. Not that I spend a lot of time worrying about those things but it is the check to keep me grounded. So, when we do closed rounds, I feel confident and ready and I want the Big Dance Event to get here because I want to get out there and show what I’ve got.
Then, I get to the open routines. Specifically, I’m looking at you Cha-Cha and Fox Trot. I don’t know the footwork enough to feel comfortable with them yet so I still have to think about what comes next and when we get up to speed, I get behind and feel totally lost. That feeling I could clearly live without. I don’t know why I have such a fear of looking like a fool because most people aren’t really going to be watching and I’ll only know a handful of people. So it really shouldn’t matter but it does. Even though both routines have places where I can reset and move on, I still have these total panic moments where I’ll figure I’ll just forget everything or I’ll try and do a move and run somebody over or any of the various other disaster scenarios that I’ve played in my head. It all stems from not feeling confident in what I’m doing.
And that always leads me back to wishing I had stuck to my guns and forced OwnerGuy to commit to giving me sufficient time for the open routines before taking this step. But I didn’t and I made the choice to do this so now I have to live with it. I’ve talked with Tex and he had a similar situation before the last event. Both OwnerGuy and Z make a big deal out of going even if you don’t feel ready because you’ll never feel ready enough. And that you have to do these on a floor to know what you need to fix so the sooner you get out there, the better. All of that is probably good advice but, in the back of my mind, I still think part of it is them wanting a large group to go so they’ll come up with reasons for going even if a routine isn’t quite there yet.
I will have to admit that there is another part of my brain talking to me as well. (It can be quite loud and confusing inside my head at times. Is it any wonder that I tend to be quiet a lot??) This is the good part of me that is telling me that I’ve never had a real nightmare scenario before. Sure, I’ve screwed up. It happens. I’ve left steps out of routines. I even momentarily blanked in the middle of a solo at one Showcase (that was some scary stuff, let me tell you). I can find a way to get through both of those routines. It may not be what they drew up but I’ll figure something out. It will be fine and I’ll probably be back here after the event telling you that it went much better than I expected. No, that voice is not always louder than the fear demons but it is becoming stronger.
I should also briefly talk about my Quickstep lesson with Sunny which didn’t go well. Part of it is that my focus is on the Big Dance Event so the Quickstep is taking the back seat. I’d love to give it my all but I’ve only got so much to give and all of that is focused on getting ready for the Big Dance Event. So she is telling me about the ending she and Kid T came up with which, as a concept, was OK. But they wanted me to chase after her but doing it with a walk that “fit the character of the dance”.
What they came up with was only slightly less ridiculous than race walking.
Yeah, you’re not going to make me do something that is going to make me look stupid if I don’t want to. She even tried to get Kid T to come over and show me and get me to do it but I wasn’t having any of it. They tied it to a step we do in the Peabody but the differences are:
- We only do four steps in the Peabody.
- We do it together.
- It is in the middle of routine so there are plenty of other things for the audience to see.
This would be the end and I’m not leaving looking like a pathetic race walker in a Turkish get up. I did a whole selection of other silly walks but I flat out refused to do what they wanted. So I was asked to think about an ending. I could probably do the walking but not the arms. Maybe I’ll suggest that.
Well, one week out. One lesson tonight and two tomorrow and just two next week.