The Show Must Go On

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The last two days were two good lesson, one not so good lesson, and a chance to perform!

So let’s jump in the way back and journey to Wednesday (not really so way back) which is where I left off.  I was expecting two lessons with Kid T since that was the plan on Tuesday but it changed.  Guess the new couples cancelled and so I was back to one lesson with Kid T and a second with Sunny with a group class between the lesson sandwich.  (Does that make the group class the creamy filling – sorry got Oreos on the mind, but certainly not Pumpkin Spice Oreos)

I had mentioned to Kid T that I wanted to do the Peabody at the next Showcase which she hadn’t planned on but was pleasantly surprised.  I really do think you have to do a solo twice since the first time is usually a little nerve wracking.  Plus, you get some feedback and can tweak things to make it even better.  And, with Showcases being six months apart, it is still somewhat new to the audience.

Besides the Peabody is fun and I bought a Mad Hatter costume which I’d better get to wear more than once.  Peabody is kind of a silly little dance that seems to have been developed in the 20’s.  There seem to be a lot of dances that date back to that era.  I’m sure there’s some connection to prohibition – your doing a lot of illegal drinking and having a good time so why not make up a dance.  It is fast paced like a Viennese Waltz or a Quickstep but it doesn’t really feel like either.  Parts of it are somewhat like a Quickstep but, for some reason, Quickstep seems a bit more formal.  Like you’d start out doing a respectable Quickstep and then, after everyone has a few drinks, you break out the Peabody and just have a good time.

The routine came back very quickly which is a good thing since we hadn’t touched it since May.  There were some tweaks required.  My pivot felt like a rock turn to her – not sure why but we corrected it.  But it is now in the mix and on the calendar for Showcase.

The studio was doing a little fundraiser last night.  Like many studios, they participate in a local “Dancing with the Stars” type event where they teach local “stars” to dance and there is a big party at the end to raise money for a designated local charity.  This year, they decided to do an open house at the studio with a silent auction of few items and a chance to just donate to the charity.  Some of the couples doing the event were going to be there to demo and they wanted students to demo as well.  I was actually not even planning on going but, at the end of my lesson, Kid T asks if I want to do a demo at the party.  Me turn down an opportunity to perform?!  I think not.  Thought about doing the Peabody so we could save the Viennese Waltz for Showcase but I decided the Viennese was the better choice so that’s what we agreed to do.  I’ll come back to that later but since I’m doing this post in some kind of chronological order, I wanted to introduce it now.

Group class was a FoxTrot which was mostly uneventful.  So I was feeling good going into the lesson with Sunny and it actually started off good. We worked on the pieces parts and went over them a couple of different times and they were starting to move nicely.  Then, she put on the music and things fell apart.  There are two sections where we do a spin turn and each ends with me doing a back lock.  One turns into something call a V6 where we rotate and start down the floor in a slightly different direction.  The other one I keep going outside partner and get to promenade and then collect her and we do some silly, slightly hoppy thing with a bunch of quicks all in a row.  Well I thought I was doing the V6 but she wasn’t following so it must have felt like I was doing the other thing.  But her only solution was to do it again and it didn’t magically fix itself which just made it all the more frustrating.  It may come as a shock to you but I can be a bit hard on myself and having something go wrong multiple times is kind of a trigger.  I was mad at myself for screwing up but I was also frustrated because she couldn’t fix it.  I mean that’s what I’m paying for, right??

Then, she tries to be super helpful.  “What can I do?” kind of stuff.  But all I can really think of is snarky stuff like “Teach me the step!” which I can’t say without sounding snarky and sarcastic so I get stuck for words.  Yeah, I can be a real pain the a** as a student sometimes.  Anyway, we finished the lesson but I could tell she wasn’t real happy.  Then again, neither was I so maybe it all worked out.  Something about those lessons with Sunny.  When it goes bad, it seriously goes bad.

But lets put that aside and get on to the better stuff.  Lesson on Thursday was just going over the Viennese Waltz a couple of times and then we focused on trying to implement what the coach taught us about the Fox Trot.  It would have been easier if I had actually managed to record the lesson on the IPad they gave me.  I swear that the counter was going but I guess it wasn’t so nothing got recorded.  She remembered enough for us to work through things though so that was good.

The party was good.  It was nice to do some social dancing and just have some fun.  Three of the people participating in the event were there to do their numbers.  One couple didn’t seem prepared so they just did an abridged version but the other two did some good stuff.  There were two other students doing demos which is probably why they asked me since they couldn’t find others.  I ended up being the last of the demos which was cool.  We pretty much nailed it and it felt good.  The coach changed the beginning.  Originally we came out and stood and then connected and exploded.  He had us start facing away and then turn towards each other and connect and then explode.  It was to create more movement and I had another student come up after and talk about how it caught his eye so score one for Coach N.

It was good to do it in front of a crowd though.  It was nice to get a chance to live test the new parts the coach added and to have them go so well.  Gives me some confidence going into Showcase although Showcase is still a month away so plenty of time to lose all that confidence.

Had to say goodbye to one of the baristas at the Big Coffee Chain I go to before lessons.  I’m not the most talkative of sorts but you see someone over a long period of time and you strike up a conversation or two.  Eventually, the person goes from being a stranger making you coffee to someone you greet with a smile and chat with a little bit from time to time.  She’s graduated college and is going off to bigger and better things.  I had ordered my drink knowing it was her last day and she was making another drink when one of the others switched with her so we could say goodbye.

These type of relationship are a little strange to quantify.  Would it have been appropriate to ask for contact information to keep in touch?  Would I want to?  I wondered if it would have been appropriate to reach across the counter to hug her and wish her good luck.  There were times when I got the feeling that we both kind of wanted to but there was just too much space to make it work.  I also figured there might be a bit of a creep factor for me as a much older guy to be asking her if she’s on Facebook.  So I just wished her well again and said goodbye and went to my lesson because there was a car at the drive through who was another regular who would want to say goodbye as well.

Well, that’s all for now.

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