Well we finally finished the Bolero routine last night!! It’s funny because when the dance was broken into pieces and I was learning the pieces, it seemed like a lot to remember. But, when we actually put the pieces together and I got to dance the whole puzzle, it wasn’t so bad. I remember actually getting to a point in the routine and thinking “we’re here already, that means this is almost over”. And we worked out a way to loop it so we practiced dancing it through twice and even got a couple of opportunities to dance it to music!
I must say that the finished piece is greater than the sum of the parts. I’ve still got some areas where I’m not 100% sure of my footwork (but I can fake it with the best of them) but I like the overall flow and feel of the dance. Even if my main job is to stand tall.
One of the new pieces we learned last night started with a pivot. Then, she is supposed to roll around so she’s facing away from me and she is supposed to do some kind of lungy thing while my right hand is wrapped around her right side. At first, she was giving me all these warnings about having to be split weight and standing firm so she could do her thing because if I wasn’t supporting her, she’d fall on her face. So I was a little worried until we actually did it and I’m like “what am I holding? A feather?”. I told her this although not in question form. I have mentioned before that she’s kind of small.
Still I’m going to attribute some of this to my strength training. OK, I’m going to take any opportunity to try and give myself credit for that. It was actually kind of funny because on Friday, I was working with a different TrainerGuy, and he came up with this thing where I’m supposed to be standing split weight and holding a thick stretchy band. He’s at the other end walking around me and pulling on his end from different angles trying to knock me off balance. Now, he was pulling his punches because he probably could have easily yanked me down but he was putting force on the band so I had to resist. I know it isn’t the same exact thing but it was an exercise to focus on core and balance which is exactly what was needed in that step.
Now, I do have to draw you a bit of a picture. In the pivot, we are in frame which means my right hand is on her left upper back (shoulder). She’s turning in to me to get into this lunge. And it happens rather quickly. The first time, I wasn’t really entirely sure what was going to happen which meant my hand ended up crossing some real estate that it shouldn’t have. Yes, more accidental gropage. Fortunately, Kid T brought out another instructor so she could do the man’s part and we figured out that I needed to be in a more Tango like hold with my arm at a slight angle down so my hand is more in the middle of her back. Then, we safely avoid touching parts that would generally get you sued for harassment and fired in most large corporations. Just another day at the dance studio!
I’m sure I’ve had this thought before but it kind of struck me how much trust is really required to do this pro/am ballroom thing. I’m thinking that the male am/female pro is the combination that requires the most. There is so much that can go wrong in a lead and you can tweak someone’s shoulder with the wrong kind of turn. And, for the lunge and dip, she has to trust that I’m going to be there. If she senses I’m not, she might be able to hold back but there is still a lot of trust required to make the step work and look good. Then, there is just the amount of physical contact and having to deal with the potential for gropage. In this case, I suspect my Victorian personality helps because my reaction and embarrassment kind of make it clear that it was accidental and I go out of my way to try and avoid repeat performances. There was one time Z complained about being pawed by older men which makes me wonder if there are guys who just take advantage of the opportunity and do more “accidental” touching than really warranted. I guess the trust thing comes down to the fact that you have to trust that the guy isn’t some kind of creep.
But the bolero is done. Now we can start working seriously on everything and start prepping for Showcase.
There is this one hurdle and that is the potential for the Big Dance Event at the end of April. I initially expressed interest but I am seriously wavering. But Kid T is already talking it up and I’m not sure I can go through with it. And, OwnerGuy was already showing me the schedule so it is just a matter of time before he calls me into the little room to show me the prices and I have to decide what to do. Right now, I just don’t know what to do. If I don’t get inspiration soon, I’ll just consult my Magic 8 Ball and see what it says.
Well, off to another lesson with Kid T. Have no idea what we will be working on tonight. I assume it isn’t Bolero, but you never know.