Second Chance Dance

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Last night’s group class was the continuation of a theme – but not a good one.  As I’ve said before, I’ve been the guy who is totally lost and over my head in group class.  It is no fun not being able to figure something out when everyone else is getting it with ease.  I’ve walked off group classes before in my younger days.  So I have a lot of sympathy for this one couple.

But the truth is they are not at a level where they should be in the more advanced group classes.  Last night it was just him but it is a similar story when they both show up.  The problem is that the distribution of dancers in our Famous Franchise studio is decidedly bi-modal.  (Sorry, my statistics background is coming through).   There are a significant number of really new students who are still pre-bronze and in the very beginner group and a large number of us who have been doing this for years and are more advanced.  There are just a few who are just getting started in Bronze.

And, of course, the studio is short on instructors so they only have two group classes a night.  One is too basic for this couple and the other is too advanced.  Now, it wouldn’t be so bad except they are Kid T’s students and she’s doing everything she can to make sure they get through it and that means it almost becomes a private lesson for him with the rest of us just there.  The real problem is that she can’t maintain a consistent count because she’s watching him and reacting to his problems so she slows down leaving me as the leader with two options:  (1) try to keep to her crazy unpredictable count, or (2) just make up my own attempting to be near the tempo she started with.  Of course, what matters most is whether my current partner is listening to Kid T or trying to match what I’m doing.  You can still practice things like forward poise and footwork and some lead/follow but it isn’t always the most enjoyable experience.

Oh and the lead/follow thing is still my pet peeve.  I can’t really fault anyone because it is all in how you are taught and the Famous Franchise doesn’t do enough on lead/follow.  Well, to be technically true, our Famous Franchise doesn’t do enough.  And that’s part of how you move from two people doing steps to a couple that is actually dancing.  I’ve not been a follow but I’ve danced with those that do well and those that don’t and the difference is staggering.  I can only assume it is the same on the lead side.

And, not that I’m a perfect lead.  I’ve got some skills in that area but there is always more to do.  I bring this up because it is something Mindy really seems to focus on.  Small things like how much you move your arm make a big difference in what she feels and responds to.  She’s been known to stop on steps where I’m struggling and make me do it again and again until it feels better.  It sucks but it helps.

So, coming back to the title, we finally went back the Country Waltz as she brought it up for the first time since Showstoppers.  I’m less “meh” on the dance after performing it in front of an audience but it still needed tweaking so we worked a bit on adding some stuff although she got stuck in parts because she didn’t want it to look so “waltzy”.

There is a part of me that thinks this dance was just made up to fill out country categories at competitions.  Someone realized that some country music is to waltz timing and said “hey you could waltz to that” and tweaked a few things about waltz and, voila, the country waltz was born.  I know Country Two-Step has been around for awhile since it was done in Urban Cowboy with John Travolta so that is a more legit country dance.  Just don’t imagine a bunch of cowboys doing a waltz though so I’m pretty sure this dance was just totally made up to create more entries at competitions.

A couple of other random things on my mind today.

Yesterday was another workout with TrainerGuy2.  Got the end with a plank and I kind of face planted with 5-10 seconds left because I just couldn’t hold it anymore.  Hate when that happens.  The “fun” thing about the day after a work is guessing which muscle groups are going to be sore.  It’s a game.  You start moving around until something goes “hey that hurts” and then you have a winner!!  Today it is the triceps.  The more I work with the trainers though, I am impressed by how much they know about the various muscle groups and how to work them.  This guy is not over the top enthusiastic but he does enough to keep me motivated (at least until I collapse)

This weekend I was taking my shirts to the dry cleaners.  (I’m vain but lazy – I like the look of non-wrinkled shirts but I’m not about to do any ironing)  A guy was walking in dropping off shirts and picking up his order and he had roughly 16-20 shirts between the drop off and pick up and all of them were either white or light blue.

I was wondering how he decides whether it is a “white” day or a “light blue” day.  But I’m not going to judge him too much.  We all have to wear what we like.  Maybe his job requires conservative (boring) shirts.  As you know, I’m all about the color.  Yeah, that’s a personal quirk of mine.  I’m an introvert who highly values individuality so I wear things to draw attention to myself and then get embarrassed when people notice.

But I do get a lot of compliments on my shirts.  Yes, most of them are from the young baristas at my caffeine stops and they are probably just being friendly.  But I’m guessing there aren’t too many people who look at a white shirt and compliment it.  Maybe I’m wrong and since I don’t own a white shirt I wouldn’t know.  Nothing real important.  It was just something I noticed and felt like sharing.



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