Collision Course

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I’ve mentioned my personal space issues before.  And, yes, it is a drawback in ballroom when certain dances work best when you are in closer contact.  Well the Salsa I’m working on has two parts when Mindy spins into me and I’m supposed to sort of catch her by wrapping my right arm around her mid section while allowing her to sort of sit on my left knee.  Yeah, she’s all up in my personal space on those two parts.  Yes, it is just a dance and just an illusion and if we hit the right line, then it looks good.

There have been many problems.  Sometimes, I don’t open up enough towards her so she’s got nowhere to go and she kind of runs into me.  Sometimes, I try to rotate after catching her and I go too far and she’s off balance.  I’ve also not brought my right leg back into place which leaves me off balance.  The worst has been when I’m watching her all the way through the spin which ends up having me lean over too far and that means we are both off balance.  Haven’t dropped her yet, though!!

We did end up kind of fixing it tonight.  She gave me a focal point to look at high up on the wall which is still a challenge because you see a woman spinning in to you and your first instinct is not to look away but to make sure you catch her.  Still, I did seem to manage to make it work a few times towards the end of the lesson.

I was thinking a little more about the difference between doing solo routines and the rest of the dancing that I do that is more structured.  OK, I think about a lot of things all of the time.  See, I’m always looking for that one piece of the puzzle that explains everything.  Problem is I keep finding pieces and thinking each one is the key until I find a different piece.  Actually, I was kind of thinking more about dancing in general but it kind of came back to this concept.

What triggered it was re-reading a book on the INFP personality.  Not going to dive off the deep end into the personality stuff.  You know it is an interest that may border on an obsession.  And I’m not going to try and excuse everything I do based on the personality type.  But the more I read, the more I find things that ring true.  And then I like to share them.  Why?  Because I can.  When you listen to people all day, sometimes you just want to talk.  Kind of like the Toby Keith song “I wanna talk about me”.

Anyway, the specific thing I read was about creativity and having an outlet for that being important for the INFP.  I’m sure I’ve said that before since I’ve read it before but there are times when you read something 100 times and then the 101st time you get an insight.  Or maybe that only happens to me.

Another thing that you should know about me is that I like a loose structure with lots of room to interpret things.  The more you tie me down with rules and regulations, the more strangled I feel.  I can parse a procedure with the best of them and I’m always looking for ways to creatively live by the “spirit” of something rather than by the exact rule.  Funny that I’m in a position when I often have to make people follow the rules.  Yeah, not a fan of that but there are certain things where there is no flexibility so I just have to tell people that it might be a stupid rule but it has to be followed so stop trying to buck the system.  I mean if I’m not looking for flexibility then it should tell you there is none.

So, dance is a creative outlet but only to a degree.  There have always been rules (heel leads, timing, etc) but they never felt all that restrictive.  As we’ve amped up the technique, there are more and more rules about head position, body position, arms, etc, etc, etc.  First of all, it is a lot to remember.  But, at times, there is a part of me that doesn’t like to be boxed in by all these requirements.  Which is a little silly because I don’t think interpretive ballroom is really a thing.

Which is why I like the solo routines better.  Yes, there are still rules and technique things to be considered but there are more opportunities to add my own personal touches and entertainment value.  Give me a chance to wear a costume and I’m a happy dancer.  I guess I feel like I can express a little bit more of myself in those routines than in the closed routines where you are just executing a little pattern of steps.  Maybe I’m just a bad method actor.  I could see myself asking “what’s my motivation” at the next Showcase.

There is the other part that lacks confidence and figures I have no shot of placing well so why waste time drilling on technique which can be a grind.  Let me just be free to camp it up a bit but still have enough dancing that it looks like I know what I’m doing.

And I kind of have to admit that I can get to be a bit of a pain when there are too many lessons in a row that just focus on technique.  That’s kind of another function of the INFP.  Make us do something that our heart isn’t really into and we can be apathetic and procrastinate and push back in a somewhat passive aggressive way.

But it also means that if I really, really look at myself, then I’m not giving my all to dancing.  I can probably justify it a thousand different ways but, somehow, it no longer feels “right”.  And, I’m sure I’ve probably said this before on multiple occasions but this just feels a little different.  I know it is my money and I can spend it however I like but is it really fair to anyone to half ass my way through certain lessons because I just don’t feel like working that hard.  Ouch, that hurts a bit.  But sometimes the truth does.  I really think I have been giving full effort at Studio B because we are just working on routines but not always giving 100% at the Famous Franchise.  Wonder what would happen if I did?  Maybe we’ll find out.

Besides, I’ve got this as my creative outlet.  Yes, I know this is mostly just a free association diary of the events of my day but it gives me the ability to play with words and phrases and toss out several different metaphors.  And the free association thing just speaks to my extraverted intuition which is always making these leaps.  For example, when I typed metaphor back a sentence ago, I flashed to the Star Trek TNG episode where Picard gets kidnapped by the captain of another species that only speaks in metaphors and stories.  Picard eventually figures out how to communicate with them but there is some tragedy as the other captain is killed in the process.  See, more free association and rambling.  I’ve actually had to learn to explain my thought processes to people.  There are so many times at work where someone will ask me a question and I bounce through several different scenarios in my head and then answer with something that doesn’t make sense if you haven’t followed the thread.  I lose some of the more linear thinkers all the time.

OK, that’s enough rambling for now.  I promise to try and give the Famous Franchise an honest effort.  (Do or do not, there is no try)  Enough!  Post over.

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