Mambo Down the Road

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The last two nights were mostly focused on getting the Mambo routine down.  We started by practicing the end multiple times and then worked our way up to doing it to music.  Starting with a slower Mambo and then working up to the song we’ve selected.

I don’t know what it is about Mambo but I’m finding that I like it a lot better than Cha-Cha or Swing which are the other faster Rhythm dances that I do.  Maybe it is because it doesn’t have the cha-cha-cha or triple step that those dances do.  Maybe it is just a bit faster and with just a bit more energy.  Anyway, Mambo is just fun.  I’m not entirely sure that I’m making it look like a Mambo but I’m having fun.

Maybe it is also because it comes at you so fast that you don’t really have time to think about the steps so each one just follows right after the other.  It does mean you have to really know the choreography and have it totally in muscle memory.  There were a couple of times when I sort of blanked on the next step and that automatically puts you behind.  So it was just repetition until the parts were coming naturally.

The trickiest thing is the next roll where I have to keep my arm level because she’s doing the work of ducking under it.  When I’d forget and try to raise my arm, I’d end up bumping her head.  Seemed counter intuitive but I think it was that with a flat arm, I got out of the way quicker.  But I think it has the potential to look really good so I was getting a little excited about doing it at the next Showcase.

We also pulled out the Bolero which is the newest routine just to again make sure the choreography was locked into my body.  I’m getting a little more comfortable with the Bolero.  There is one part OwnerGuy changed where we pivot and then she rotates in my arms and lunges away while I keep my left arm wrapped around her.  I’m supposed to stretch away to let her do what she needs to do but not really follow her so we create another one of those nice lines.  It took me a bit to get comfortable really trying to extend and stretch into it but I think we did end up creating a nice shape.

I sometimes find the concept of memorizing choreography to be interesting.  When I tell people I’ve got 18 different routines (9 dances in both open and closed), they sometimes want to know how I can remember all of them.  I don’t tell them that I usually have a few more rolling around if I’m doing a solo or an off dance.  But I can’t really explain the process of locking something into memory.  I’m sure there are multiple ways to do it but for me it is writing things down which allows me to visualize each step and then I can just run it through my head multiple times.  Its like memorization of facts for a test but not really like it, if that makes any sense.  Its just another thing that if you are a dancer, you get.

I ended up staying for group class both nights and for the party on Thursday so the week was filled with dancing.

There was some awkwardness for me and it, of course, involved Z.  Perhaps she is again attempting to make a connection but doing it in the worst possible way.  Here was the first thing.  During the party, they were playing a West Coast Swing.  I like WCS but I just don’t do it often enough to really remember the steps that I know and I was tired so I was sitting out.  OwnerGuy looks over at me and says something like “of all people, you should be dancing WCS”.  I’m not sure how the “of all people” comes into play.  I know I’ve done WCS routines at multiple Showcases, but that it different than pure social dancing.  Anyway, Z is between OwnerGuy and me and she decides to respond by saying I wasn’t dancing it because she taught it to me.  I suppose this is just the play on her running commentary that I hate her and maybe it was an attempt to be funny but it isn’t easy to respond to that.  I could keep the joke running and make some kind of crack related to why I would never dance WCS again.  But that just continues something I’m tired of.  Or, I could try to answer it honestly, but then it looks like I can’t take a joke if that was supposed to be a joke.  I chose my normal response which was to say nothing.

The second time was later in the party when she was talking to a new guy and I only heard about half the conversation since there was music and I was changing my shoes to leave.  But she was saying something to the effect that he could talk to me to really know what she was like.  There was a joke about her being mean and she again told him that I’d be the best judge.  Then, she started telling him that I had been her student for many years but I didn’t catch the part when she talked about why we weren’t working together anymore.  Again, I guess it was supposed to be funny and none of her other students were there so I became the default target.

Oh, and one last little thing.  There must have been something in the air last night.  When I got there, Kid T was working with a couple who alternate between her and Z.  They get off the floor after the lesson and are sitting at the table with me and the guy said something about how he couldn’t believe the lesson was over and that time flies when you are having fun.  Then, he looks right at me and says something like “not like when Z is teaching.

Speaking of strange conversations, I went into the optical shop at the eye doctor today to get a pair of glasses fixed.  The young lady who takes my glasses greets me with “you haven’t been here in awhile”.  An attempt to be nice but, on the other hand, this is an shop within an eye doctor’s office.  It isn’t like a place you just drop in for no reason.  I have one eye appointment a year and if my glasses don’t break, there is no reason to stop in.  Maybe other people break their glasses more often so she’s used to a lot of repeat business.  Then again, I’m the king of awkward small talk so maybe she’s just a kindred spirit.

Well, winter is taking one last shot at us.  No real snow thankfully but a shot of very cold air.  Probably going to kill off some of the early flower bulbs that came up thanks to the super warm February.  I knew we’d pay for that.


  1. Wow – Is Z the foot-in-mouth princess, or what? Talk about clueless. I have no doubt she is trying to re-connect, but just does not get it that her usual ploys don’t work with you. She’s obviously a bit lacking in the social intelligence department.
    Wonder what her good points are? Perhaps she’s generous or conscientious, or brave.
    Be so cool to lock the two of you in a room, get you both boozed up, and somehow mandate a conversation consisting only of “I” statements: “I felt really ____ when you said ____ to me.” “I always felt that no matter what I did, ____.”

    I’m buying!

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