On A Happier Note

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Last night was the best night I’ve had at the Famous Franchise in quite some time.  I was going to try and figure it out but I think it is best to not overthink things and just enjoy the moment.

I have to set the stage because it is important.  I’m not going to go into any details except to say that Z is going to have to miss the Big Dance Event that starts on Friday due to health reasons.  (She’s doing better right now).  Which means that Kid T is having to dance with her two male students so there is a lot of stuff to learn and naturally that means extra lessons for both of them.

I guess all this went down on Thursday when I wasn’t there.  It might have been in the works for a bit but by last Thursday it must have been clear that she wasn’t going to be in shape to do that type of event.

I can’t imagine being in a spot where you’ve paid a significant fee for a dance event and, at the last minute, you’ve got to do all your dances with a new partner.  To be fair, he does take lessons with Kid T so they aren’t complete strangers but there are many dances he only did with Z.  If it were me, I’d probably be asking OwnerGuy for my money back but I’d certainly be super stressed. Given the way my lessons had been going, I offered to give up my slot(s) this week in case he wanted some extra time but he didn’t take me up on it.

So we were working on our closed rhythm dances.  The only new one is Swing and that’s where we started.  It was clear that we weren’t going to refresh all of them in time for the Showcase in September especially since we’ve been spending so much time on the routines.  It isn’t that the closed routines are bad, but after a few years, they certainly no longer have that new car smell.  They are like my current car with 80,000 miles on it and a few scratches on the outside and lots of dog fur in the back with dog nose prints on the window.  OK, that analogy went bad but, in other words, they are really familiar.  Although, I did just discover a little button on my back hatch that closes the hatch without having to touch it so even when something seems familiar, there are still new things to be discovered.

The Swing didn’t start off really good because I don’t have it memorized and I haven’t taken the time to write down the steps.  So it took a bit to get back into it but, at one point, it was like a key turning in a lock and something just clicked and things started coming to me.  We ended up looping it twice without having to stop and think about what step comes next.  And the moves were flowing.  It was great.

Then we moved on to Rumba.  We do these walks with a sharp change in direction so she reminded me to get all my weight on the leading foot on the slow and then snap back in the other direction before starting to walk.  Gives it a little more flair and supposedly shows musicality.  At least that’s what she said and she’s the teacher so I’m assuming she’s right.  I still tend to keep my hands too low in her swivels so that’s something to work on and I need to keep my arms out and away from my body when we are in the two hand hold.  But, the Rumba is an old friend and it went well.

Then we did Cha-Cha and Bolero.  Had another thing with the arms in Cha-Cha where I’m supposed to keep them still while I’m moving so she can swivel.  It is kind of hard since your moving and your arms want to move with you but the point is to be solid so she has something to work off.  At one point, we hit a glitch and had to stop to remember but then I just jumped right back in and was on time(!!) which made her very happy.  The bolero also went much better than I expected.  We have a contra check where I’ve been trying to learn to twist more and really get into the front foot.  I guess I wasn’t really thinking that much about it and my body just decided to show me how it was done because she was super impressed with my efforts there.

The last dance was Mambo and there is a part in the closed that starts exactly like something in the open and it kept tripping us up but we breezed through the Mambo without a problem.  The only thing I was focused on was the spin whip where I have to transfer hands behind her back.  The key is to bring her right to my shoulder but I always seem to have that moment where I sense another human being coming towards me and I veer out of the way slightly.  I’ll blame my personal space bubble for that.  I was fighting against that last night and it worked because she was very happy with my spin whip.

For me, the best thing was that all the dances just moved smoothly without a lot of effort.  That’s when you can get lost in a piece of music and just move and dance and nothing else matters.  I was happy with last night.  Walking off, she’s telling me that I did a great job and something about how I was starting to use my body more.  Not really sure what she meant other than the contra check but, again, I’m not going to try and analyze what went right last night.

Actually, I am just a little bit.  Really think I just managed to turn my brain off and just move.  Certainly not completely off because I was thinking about certain things.  But just not paying attention to the other lessons or distractions in the studio and just feeling the music and the dances.

Oh, and I don’t want to forget about Monday and Studio B.  I have both routines videoed and I need to sit back down and write out all the steps.  I didn’t get a chance to do that last week because of family coming in but it needs to happen so we don’t spend the first part of each lesson catching up.  Still, we are able to put together longer sequences without having to stop and think about what comes next.  There are still a few places where I get a mental block and it gets me every time.  I’m off next week so my next lesson there is in two weeks which is why I want to write things down just to keep it fresh in my mind.

But last night was a good reminder that I’m not as bad at this as I think I am.  That’s a good thing.

 

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