Living and Dancing in 3/4 Time

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So much to recap.  Was trying to remember where we left off …

Kid T was back on Wednesday.  We were going to follow through on what OwnerGuy was preaching but it didn’t work out so well.  Hit a part in the closed Waltz where I just totally blanked on what was supposed to happen next.  And, no matter how many times Kid T showed me, I couldn’t make it work.  Yeah, that was not a good thing.  We did try to do some sway and shaping and, in some steps, it came a little more naturally.

Then, we come to Thursday.   I had my weekends all messed up and I thought the Showcase was at the end of September.  Turns out that it is only two weeks away.  Cue the panic attack!  Honestly, the difference between two and three weeks is minimal but it was really the change in mindset that did me in.  If it is only two weeks away, then it is more real and we still have that glitch in our waltz routine and some of the other open ones aren’t where they need to be and the routines are not polished and on and on.

Really wish I could find a switch to just shut that part of my mind off.  Its not like I’ve every totally screwed up a Showcase – at least the last couple of them.  I’ve had one routine where I momentarily blanked but got it back and another one where I left out a step.  But, if I took everything as a whole, I’ve got a pretty good track record.  I know I’ll be better when the actual event is here but it is these two weeks of hell before where the doubts just keep coming up and trying to take over.

At one point, Kid T did have to pull me aside to talk about what my greatest fear would be.  Oh, how can I limit it to just one?  There are way too many to pick from.  But the biggest thing is just getting into a solo routine and totally forgetting where I am and screwing it up royally in front of all those people.  So we just ended up drilling on the two routines to get the footwork more comfortable and embedded into my memory.

The problem was with the Country Waltz that I was cutting a section short where she wanted me to take it in a different direction.  Then, she tells me that I haven’t been doing this all along so it must be a new thing.  Of course, my brain starts racing because I’m trying to remember if she told me this before and I’ve just forgot or if I never really knew and had just been lucky all the previous times.  Now, I can see that neither one really matters because it was a simple fix but in the midst of some performance anxiety, these are the things I think about.

Oh, and then she starts telling me about the rise and fall in Country Waltz which directly contradicts what she told me before.  I can’t argue with her because it really doesn’t solve anything.  But it does make my brain start doing flip/flops since I’ve been doing it a certain way and now, with two weeks left, she wants me to change a few things.  The good news is that is has been hard for me to do no rise and fall so adding a small rise on a few steps won’t be an issue.

Since I’m now writing this a few days after the lesson, I can take an objective look and say that we did do both routines from start to finish multiple times and both are going to be OK.  And, this is really just the debut performance of each to work out the issues and be ready to do them again in November at our local Showcase.  Really wish this objective part of my brain could stay with me but it runs for cover at the first sight of my lack of confidence demons.

OK, now I have to be a little mean for just a bit.  The studio’s Medal Ball was a week ago.  We were just getting back from vacation so I missed it.  There is a couple that I’m good friends at the studio and I guess they graduated Silver II.   This technically puts them a level above me since I’m still in associate Silver and they are moving into Full Silver.  And there are some dances (Hustle) that they do well but I was watching them do a Fox Trot.  As much as I’ve heard about posture, I was cringing at the way this guy’s head was coming forward.  And he was forcing most of the leads which I can sort of understand since I’ve danced with his wife and she stays so far away that it is hard to get a good connection.  I know, we shouldn’t judge and they are on a different journey with different goals and so the studio moves them along.  And, I know if I wanted to move on up that they were certainly make it happen.  So there are times when I wonder why I’m killing myself here and why I’m setting such high standards because I want to “earn” the next level.  It really only seems to matter to me and it does feed into that feeling that I’m on the treadmill running in place while everyone else keeps running by me.  If I allow my ego to momentarily take over, I know that the extra focus on technique and other things makes me a better dancer even though I’m a level behind.  But sometimes that is hard to really feel.

I stayed for a bit of the party.  Couldn’t tell you why buy my legs felt like lead.  And then my feet started to hurt as well.  I don’t know anymore what “normal” feels like.  I’ve just accepted a certain amount of aches and pains from being my age and trying to push my formally couch potato self through strength training and dancing.  It is just that there are times when all the little things just become a bit too much and you have to wonder if it is really worth it and whether I’m pushing too hard.  Those are the days I wish I could go back to my younger self and tell him to get in shape and stay in shape.  I know that in a lot of ways I’m paying now for the years of inactivity and weight gain.  I’ve said before that you can’t live life with a lot of regrets because you can’t change the past but this is one of those things I do regret.

Yesterday was my make up session with Mindy because my head was going to explode on Monday.  Glad we did that since going three weeks between lessons would have left too much rust.  As it was, there was plenty of rust to shake off but we did manage to get through the West Coast Swing at least one time.  And the Salsa is coming along.  As long as I don’t think too much about my non-Latin hips or how I’m probably dancing both dances a lot stiffer than I should be.  The movement in each is great and they do flow really nicely.

Had another strange dance injury.  I have a terrible problem with keeping my head back in certain places.  (I know this about myself so I can be more judgemental when I see it in others).  Well, we have a place in the Salsa where she does sort of a free spin and I’m supposed to take a step and then get slightly into a bent left leg and catch her around the waist while she sort of rests on my left leg.  I wasn’t keeping my head back and she was doing some arm styling and got me right in the eye.  Well, it was glancing blow that stung for a bit but did no permanent damage.  Keep your head up and back at all times!!!!!

And, yes, with my Victorian outlook on things, this position was a little awkward at first.  I swear between her and Kid T that I’ve got ladies falling all over me and I’m having to connect in semi-awkward ways with little margin for error.  Then again, the training wheels have to come off at some time and, if I don’t think about it too much, then it is OK.  Dance is all about illusions anyway.

Oh, let me come back to the upcoming Showcase.  I did bite the bullet and made a reservation at the hotel where it will be held.  Its only about an hour away but it starts at 8 AM and I didn’t want to wake up early and try and drive there.  And I ordered some stuff for the themed party.  Hopefully, this will help convince me that I’m committed and there is no backing out now.


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