The End of a Hard Week

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So we did a double session on Friday to get ready for the Big Dance Event.  Since I’ve briefly described the mess I was Thursday, you can probably imagine how bad things were after two lessons.  I also worked with TrainerGuy during the day on Friday so I’m sore in a whole lot of places.

The strange thing is that kind of feels good.  Does that really make me weird.  I don’t know why I continue to be amazed at just how physically demanding competitive ballroom dancing can be even for a mere amateur like me.  Ballroom is physically demanding already but the competitive stuff seems to amp it up to 11.  But there is something satisfying (?!?) about doing some hard physical work and waking up the next day and being reminded of it.  Maybe it is just a sign of accomplishment – that you actually did do quite a bit.

Despite the sweat and soreness (or maybe because of it), last night was great.  We were super focused and just rocked our way through everything.  Started off with the Viennese Waltz routine and I was wearing the shirt I plan to wear just to make sure I could dance in it without any issues and it worked just fine.  Then we just hit the smooth dances.  Her plan was to do closed and then open smooth followed by closed and open rhythm.  Her plans got derailed by OwnerGuy because he brought a student out on the floor and wanted to do rounds as well.  So we settled for mostly closed rounds although we did work in all of the open routines except for Tango.

I’m kind of thinking that things are going to be different this time and that is all due to Kid T.  She is not close to being at the same level Z was as far as dancing but her personality is much better suited to mine.  I was thinking about that because I threw all my self-sabotaging stuff at her and she never really flinched.  She just kept coming back with reasons to be positive and to keep going.  I know that kind of talk really irritated Z and she’d react badly and then I’d react badly and we’d be pissed off at each other by the time we got to the comp.  Didn’t happen here.  Kid T just let me rant with the fear and we just kept working and it has slowly dawned on me that I’m going to be OK.

Have you ever had a step that you’ve done thousands of times and all of a sudden your brain short circuits and you forget something easy?  That’s the kind of thing that can lead me to dark places because it often feels like the more you struggle to correct, the more your brain fights you and it can become frustrating.  That happened to us twice in the closed Fox Trot.  We got to a part near the corner of the shrunken dance floor and I had to change the rotation of the step a bit to get us moving again and that threw me off enough that I was forgetting to take one step and it was messing me up.  But we just calmly worked through it and moved to another part of the floor to recapture the step and then moved back to where we were and made it work there as well.  Its a little thing but the little things are what start to build confidence.

Here’s the contrast.  Our lessons were after group and Z and Tex had a lesson right before group.  As we are gathering for group, their lesson ends and he heads over for group and she yells out something about how he wants to work on timing.  He made a comment to me about how she was in a particular mood and I guess she had chewed him up pretty good on their lesson.  That’s that kind of stuff that would set me off and leave me with less confidence going into an event.  I said something before about how I’m not working with the best and that is true.  But, when I think about the personality match and its impact on me, I would never go back.  The cost is just too great.

So I’ve set some modest goals for me.  The point of the closed routines is to see if I can take them to the next level and be better aware of posture.  I’m getting better at correcting during a dance but we both agreed that she will give me signals if she sees something slip.  The open routines are a win just by doing them.

At the end of the lesson, she told me how much my timing had improved.  This is one area where Kid T is better than Z.  She even told me that she and OwnerGuy were talking at party last night when I was dancing and he told her how much better my timing was.  Told you that guy is the all seeing Eye of Sauron.  You are always being judged and appraised at the Famous Franchise.

Am I even going to feel totally ready for a comp like this?  No, I’m just not wired that way.  There is always going to be some level of fear and anxiety.  But, after this week, a lot of that is just a bunch of smoldering embers rather than the raging inferno it was earlier.  As long as nothing sparks it back up, I’m going to be fine.




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