Venturing Out in the Cold

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There are days when it is tough to drag myself out of the house and go to a dance lesson.  Not because I don’t enjoy dance but because it is winter and it can be cold out there.  I get home and have some dinner and play with the dogs and have some pleasant conversation with the spouse and then I have to turn around and bundle up and go back into the cold.

Today wasn’t too bad but it comes after having a weekend that was more March than January.  We had sunshine and temperatures in the 50’s on Sunday.  Today it was back to January with clouds and temps in the 30’s and a little bit of a snow.  Something about cold and wet that just makes it harder to take.  It also doesn’t help that our side of the building is always cold so I walk out of work feeling chilled.

And, I’ve got my nice little set up here with a space heater I can crank up.  Get a candle going (yes, I buy lots of candles from Bath and Body Works, I like things that smell good, sue me) and the last thing I want to do is go back out into the cold.  It is better now that we are a month past the shortest day of the year and I can actually start to notice that it is lighter later in the evening.

Anyway, I went and it was a good thing.  We worked on both the hustle and the swango.  Started with the Tango part of the Swango which was new as of last week and just ran through it multiple times to try and get it down.  Even ended up doing the whole thing to music a few times which wasn’t great but didn’t suck either.  I do have some problems picking up the Tango timing after doing the swing which feels much faster so I think I’m rushing the Tango a bit.  There are a couple of transitions that are still a little rough because I’m not entirely sure of my footwork and the timing.

Then we switched to Hustle and it was the same process.  Walk through everything a few times.  Spend more time on the new stuff and then dance the whole thing to music multiple times to see where the glitches were.  Stop and try to fix the glitches and then repeat.  It was really a busy hour.  The good news is I was so warmed up by the time I left that it really didn’t feel cold at all.

The Showcase is sometime in April which isn’t all that far away but I’m feeling pretty confident right now.  There is nothing where I think “I can’t do this” so it is really just a matter of repetition and practice to get it down and smooth it out.  What I also need to do is spend some time trying to write down the parts of each routine.  I can visualize most of it but it isn’t all there and I’ve found that the act of writing it down really helps to commit things to memory.

It is really kind of hard to find words to express how a good lesson feels.  Even when you know there are still things to work on, you do get a sense of accomplishment for the things that go well.  And there are always steps that start to come easier and you can see that over time.  The stumbling blocks move from one part of the routine to later in the routine.  It is physical and mental work but it doesn’t really feel like work if that makes any sense.  I’ll give you that this part of the process is not as fun as when you’ve got it down and when you can dance from start to finish without thinking about the steps.  But this is what is required to get to that point so it was certainly worth going out into the cold.

Did I mention that I’m also on antibiotics?  Probably not, because I didn’t mention that there was anything wrong with me.  Well, for the last month (I know it was a month because I know how much Mucinex I went through), I’ve been having sinus problems.  Congestion followed by a runny nose followed by more congestion and I won’t get into the grossness of what showed up in the kleenex.  Kept telling myself it would clear up even though they never do and I’ve been prone to have sinus infections fester and/or turn into nasty bronchitis.  All of which should have been incentive to get to the doctor but I refused until Wednesday when I had a massive sinus headache.  These are the type that last a whole day and laugh off any attempts to medicate them.  Finally decided I should see the doctor and he did a little double take when I told him it had been a month and then wrote me a little script and sent me on the way.  You know how you can tell when something is wrong.  When you finally take something for it and start to feel better.  I know this is mostly about dance but I just felt like sharing that because feeling better is likely another reason why this lesson went so well.

And now for something completely different to close things out.  I’ve mentioned that we have a family of raccoons that seem to be permanently living under our lower deck.  I suppose I should evict them but it isn’t something we use that much and I’ve always had a thing for raccoons.  We have the bird feeders fixed up so they can’t destroy them and that makes it a little easier to tolerate their presence.  I know they don’t truly hibernate but they do go weeks where they don’t really come out but as we’ve had some milder weather, they are starting to make appearances.  I don’t know if they are smart enough to have figured this out but they certainly seem to be playing us.  They send out the smallest one as a scout to just sit under the bird feeder and pathetically look up and to pick through the crumbs that the birds drop.  Since the smallest one is the cutest, that just triggers us to toss some food down.  Then, the whole bunch comes out to eat.

So that was my Monday.

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