Open Routines Down

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One down, three to go.  That’s the number of lessons I have left this week leading up to Showcase on Sunday.  Yesterday we brought out the open routines since that’s where I had hit the wall last week.  Like the work with Mindy on Friday, something clicked today and they mostly went off without any major glitches.  We did even manage to dance some of them to music.

Wait, before I go into a rant, find one thing that went right.  OK, here it is.  We did the Fox Trot routine one time to music without Kid T counting and I only got a bit ahead of the timing right at the end.

So, what’s my overall impression??  You can probably guess.  They’ll do.  Of course they don’t rise to the standards I set for myself but then what really could.  I still find there are spots where I’ve noticed my frame has slipped and I have to constantly remind myself to pull my head up and back.  My arms sometimes droop at my sides like they aren’t supposed to.  If I took a positive spin, I’d say it is a good thing that at least I’m aware of some of these shortcoming mid dance which gives me an opportunity to correct them.

But there is still that nagging overall feeling that this is as far as I’m going to go.  I have no doubt that I could learn new steps and eventually work them into the routine but steps don’t equal dancing.  Yes, I got all excited about the magic moment in Waltz a couple of lessons back but that has since faded.  It is hard to keep up the belief that you can break through and reach that next level when everything continues to feel the same.

Somewhere, in the middle of the lesson, Kid T was talking about practice, practice, practice.  Think it was the key to learning the open routines.  She’s right but practice can be such a grind.  I know it is necessary but it just sucks the life and soul out of me at times.  I’ll admit that when you have a particularly hard practice it can feel good at the end of the night when you look back and can feel like you really accomplished something.  There is something about the volume of work that can be impressive.  I mean thinking back to last night we did Fox Trot, Waltz, Tango, Viennese Waltz, Rumba, Cha-Cha and Swing and did them all multiple times and did several to music.  Taken as a whole, that’s a lot of work and I can take a little pride in that.

My problem is that tonight I get to come in and start all over again.  Yes, it is different dances but it is still the grind.  It is like that guy who has to roll a rock up a hill for eternity.  Just when he gets the rock to the top and has accomplished his task, it rolls down a hill and he has to start all over again.  That’s what practice can feel like at times.  Just an endless series of pushing rocks up a hill only to have to start all over again when you get to the top.  You never get a chance to stop and feel like you’ve truly accomplished something because there is the next day and the next hill and you need to keep pushing that stupid rock.

Well at least I’ll be able to stop briefly at the top of the hill on Sunday.  For a brief moment, I can put on fancy clothes and enter the fantasy world and dance.  Yes, I mentally know that the hours of grinding makes Showcase better but there are times when I just don’t think the scales balance.  I’ll be on a high for a bit after Showcase which makes the rock feel a little lighter but that wears off and then it is back to the grind.



  1. Yeesh, do you always do that many dances in one lesson?? Teacher and I only ever get through two. Sometimes he’ll say at the beginning of the lesson that he wants to go over three, but it never happens. The lesson format might be different though. He likes to pick a technique or style concept to work on and we’ll use pieces of the routine to focus on that, instead of just dancing through the whole routine over and over. It sounds like you need a new challenge! You CAN take your dancing further, but you might need to change up your methods or strategy. Maybe build a pulley or conveyor belt system to help with that rock. 😉

    1. No, most lessons we just focus on a couple of dances. This close to an event, they shift to just pure repetition. It helps with two things. First, you just dance through no matter what. Second, the rapid changes in dances is to simulate actual heats where you have to do all your smooth in succession.

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