So tonight was the last full lesson at Studio B before the Showcase on Saturday. We’ve got a last minute lesson on Friday but it won’t go the entire time since Mindy has to leave for another obligation. But I don’t think we’ll need the whole time anyway. (Oh, look who sounds confident)
There was another pro/am on the floor practicing their routine for Showcase, and other people in the studio. So there were times where everyone was dancing and looking at the others out of a corner – checking out the competition. What are you doing? How do you look? OK, we aren’t really competition since there are no prizes and you really just dance your dance to show off. But, you’ve got to know what you’re up against, am I right?
The West Coast Swing was more solid and that was true of the last lesson as well. We added in practicing the walk on and walk off so we did some complete runs that included both the entry and exit. The timing of the song is such that I can really hear the first eight count so I was starting right on time (bonus!). There were a couple of small glitches in one part when I realized I was turning to the left instead of the right. And this was a part I hadn’t screwed up before. That kind of weird stuff seems to happen the closer we get. The brain decided to temporarily malfunction just when you think you’ve got it down. Ever happen to you? (Wait, you said that was the more solid of the two and now you are saying you screwed up) Yeah, but once we fixed that, we had 3 solid runs in a row and decided to call it a day. I’m even getting the little ending trick down and making that more consistent.
Oh, we did have another little glitch in a different run. I got to a point and suddenly blanked and assumed I had just missed a step. Mindy reminded me that we had already done that whip. I think this is another strange aspect of doing these routines. When I’m first learning the choreography, the routine seems so long and then, once you’ve got it down, the time just flies by and, every now and then, I hit a part and say “we’re here already”. Think that was also part of that little glitch. The routine had just flown by (and not because we were rushing it) so I assumed I had left a part out.
We did the same thing in Salsa working on the walk in and walk off. We don’t do that as much at the Famous Franchise. They’ve done it for me when I go to a Big Dance Event but not for the Showcase. I think it is actually a good thing to practice every little part. I mean you are on stage from the moment they start announcing your routine. I was even making sure I was standing up as straight as possible during the walk on. After all, you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression so you might as well project confidence right from the start of things.
Anyway, I like the way both of these routines have come out. A lot of it is really basic type steps but the flow is nice and there are some fun things in each. I did get a little ahead on the Salsa at one point where we’ve done a lot of stuff but then I get to chill for a bit and I wasn’t chilling because I was just ready to go, go, go. Mindy got me calmed down and the last couple of runs went really well.
Have no idea how they’ll turn out on Saturday. That’s the thing, you practice a routine for six months and then you get one shot to make it happen. Any number of things can go wrong. The good news is that people don’t know your routine so if you keep moving and keep smiling, you can usually get by. That’s happened to me a couple of times. Of course, I want them to go well and I’m as prepared as I can be. So we shall see what happens.
In the category of “the dance world is a small place”, I ran into a guy who used to be our instructor at the Famous Franchise. This was back when my wife and I were still dancing and we were working mostly with OwnerGuy. This was towards the end when Z and OwnerGuy were getting ready to leave the nest and start their own studio. That meant OwnerGuy was preoccupied with getting that set up so they had us work with this guy. I actually saw him a couple of weeks ago when I went to the party at Studio B with Hilde but I didn’t get a chance to talk with him. Well, he recognized me and so we said hi. Didn’t get a chance to really chat since I was on a lesson but later I saw him talking with a new couple so I guess he is working there. Wonder what happened with the studios that used to be part of the Famous Franchise. I’ve probably mentioned this before but there was a great schism in the Famous Franchise world in our town many years ago. The guy who owned three studios left/was kicked out of the Famous Franchise and turned his three locations into independent studios. I guess he had most of the instructors under contract since they all stayed in place. So this guy stayed with the Ex Famous Franchise but now he seems to be doing some work at Studio B. Interesting.
Oh, and there was another instructor at Studio B who started at the Famous Franchise right after Z and OwnerGuy opened it. He didn’t last long and bounced to another Famous Franchise studio before dropping off the face of the Earth and now he’s reappeared as a dance instructor. He didn’t recognize or acknowledge me so I haven’t pushed it. Overhead him talking to this other guy and re-introducing himself. My former instructor didn’t have real positive things to say about our Famous Franchise. He said it was one of the weaker studios (which is probably true) but then went out of his way to praise OwnerGuy. Think he was going to say something about Z but decided against it. He doesn’t yet know that I still dance there.
Its a small world after all.