Swango and Plant Rescue

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Three lessons in two days.  Lots of dancing to discuss.  Plus a little extra bonus personality thing just in case you needed any additional insight into the person behind these words.  Actually, it is nothing new but just another example of a previously discussed quirk of mine.  But we’ll get to that later.

I mentioned I signed up for another stint at Studio B.  We agreed to work on a Tango and a Hustle routine for their next Showcase.  Here I go again signing up for two routines but, after the reception I got with the other two, how could I limit myself to just one.  Tango is something I can always work on and Hustle is like Salsa – a fun dance but not something I really want to commit to at the Famous Franchise.

As with the West Coast Swing, I’m finding differences between the Hustle taught here and the one at the Famous Franchise.  So we have a language barrier to deal with.  Some of the steps are the same but just called by something different.  And some of the things are variations of a Famous Franchise step.  So far, we’ve learned a couple of things and she’s strung together a little amalgamation which looks to be the middle of a routine.  Still need a song but things are starting off in a good way.

For the Tango, she kind of threw me a curve ball.  The song she picked had parts that could support Tango and Swing so she wanted to do a routine with both.  And, she wants us to work with the very experience dancer I’ve mentioned before.  So she brings him over to talk about the song and he gets to a part where you could easily transition from Tango to Swing.  He was going on about the tempo for both being close and so it wasn’t that crazy to mash them together.  He even talked about something called Swango which I looked up (most of what I found was a mix of Argentine Tango and West Coast Swing, but its still a thing). Naturally, I was hooked.  Yes, an opportunity to do something a little bit non traditional and I jump right on it.  We will work with him next week to start the choreography and it should be fun.   Although I’m a little bit freaked out by what he’s going to say about my Tango but we’ll deal with that when it comes.

Yesterday, I had a double lesson at the Famous Franchise.  We did that because tonight is the Snowball and tomorrow we are going out to dinner with some people so, had we held to the original plan, it would have meant just one lesson this week.  She was free before group class so we had lessons sandwiched around the group class.

The first lesson was the Swing routine for Showstoppers.  The death drop is getting better.  She had me make the turns tighter to keep her closer but I’m able to be solid enough to keep her from swinging and to keep her down there for several beats.  My shoulders and upper back aren’t too happy with me today since I had a work out session earlier in the day and the lesson was just another upper back and shoulder work out.  This dancing stuff is hard work.

I had a little (well not so little) crisis of confidence.  There is a section where we are apart and we do this tap step thing for four counts while snapping each time.  This is the kind of thing I really don’t like.  When we’re in frame or in contact, then it feels more natural.  When we break apart to do things like this, I feel exposed and vulnerable and I start to imagine just how dorky I must look.  Weird how the insecurities come rushing back.  Can’t really explain why except I start thinking that I look stiff because I can’t get certain parts of my body to really move and get into the music.   She was trying to explain what she wanted and how to make it look better but that just made it worse for some reason.  I got real stubborn when she said she wanted to watch me to see what I was doing.  At that point, all the insecurities were out and I was feeling incredibly self-conscious and I basically ended up refusing to do it in front of her.  I did end up trying but not really sure how it will turn out.

And this is another thing I sometimes can’t figure out.  I’ve done some pretty out there kind of things in my various routines.  The Egyptian arms for the Quickstep are one example.  Doing them in the studio freaks me out because I just feel awkward and self-conscious and all that – even when no one is watching.  But get me on the floor at a Showcase with a significant number of people watching me and I have no concerns about looking silly.  I can’t figure that one out just yet.  Something about performing seems to turn me into a different person and I can’t yet channel that person during practice.

The second lesson was back to Waltz and Tango to focus on the things the last coach wanted to talk about.  As always, it is never as good when the coach is gone.  All the magic they have seems to disappear.  But I remembered enough to make certain parts work really well.  There is still more to do (it’s dancing, you never get to cross the finish line) but we have a few concrete things to work on and that’s always good.

So, now we get to a little story.  I’ve mentioned before that I have this ability to develop emotional attractions to plants and other inanimate objects.  It is what leads me to buy a stuffed elephant that I really didn’t need but found in the cereal aisle and felt sorry for him because he was lost.  Yeah, it is kind of on the border of endearing and quirky.  It may happen to others as well but, from what I’ve read, it is relatively common for us INFP’s so I’m quirky but not a freak.

Anyway, we were out on Sunday at the local hardware store to buy a few things and they had a sad table outside the store with a few straggly, leftover perennials and herbs at 75% off.  This is just the kind of thing that naturally draws me.  I mean these plants were designed to be in someone’s garden and to give joy year after year not to be left in a pot to die when the temperature gets cold.  How could I just walk away?  Well, it turns out that I did – the first time.  I debated but realized I wasn’t going to be able to plant anything so it would probably die anyway and I couldn’t be sure if I could keep anything alive over the winter.

As luck would have it, we forgot something and needed to go back to the hardware store.  Actually, I really didn’t want to go back but then I thought about that sad little display of plants and just had to go back.  There were four perennials on the table but three were shrubs and, while I felt bad about leaving them, I really didn’t see a place for them in our yard.  The last one was a little perennial and we already have several of them planted in a certain spot so I had room in the neighborhood for one more.  I can’t be sure we can nurse this plant over the entire winter but it was something I had to do.  The funny thing is the lady checking us out made a comment about how happy she was someone was buying one of the plants.  Maybe she’s a kindred spirit.  We’ll see if I get it through to spring.

So that’s what’s going on in my little corner of the world.  Oh, I called my Dad today just to check in and he’s doing well given the circumstances.  He and Mom are going back to see the doctor who did the surgery.  She remains motivated to get out the rehab center as soon as possible.  But we take that a day at a time.

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