And if you have similar musical tastes, you can probably hear the opening three notes and then the guitar riff. The red leather pants. The headband. Ah, the 80’s. Sorry, got a bit carried away there.
So Kid T has a plan and it is a good one. She wants to work on two dances each lesson. One open routine and one closed routine. I like this plan since it means that each dance should come back through the rotation quicker. And it will potentially give us more time to work on the new parts of the closed routines and to continue to work on some of the technique like we did with Tango.
In the last lesson we had with OwnerGuy, he changed the ending of the closed Mambo but, because he was late getting on to our lesson, we didn’t have time to really work on what he added. And it had faded a bit from my memory. The end where I’m supposed to do kind of a walk around turn but slightly wrapping myself in my arm was totally lost to the mists. With a little time, it did manage to come back to me.
We worked more on connection as well. In the step right before that, I lead a turn for her and that has to be set up on the previous step where I come around her but get in position to do something like a tuck turn. But it does make her move more if I can get in the right position to establish the connection. My turn at the very end is still a little funky to me and I don’t know enough to really spice it up just yet. Still, I do like Mambo. Its a fun little dance and the music is high energy. I generally get so caught up in the music that I tend not to think about my likely lack of Latin motion.
Then, we went to the open Bolero and that one had quite a bit of rust to shake off. The good thing though is that we had some time to focus so I could take parts that weren’t familiar and get her to go over the footwork or the positioning again. There is one step where we both do a turn and I get her in the handshake hold. Then we rock in opposite directions as she stretches away from me. We switch hands so I can lead an underarm turn followed by another turn for both of us and ending with a point of the left foot. OwnerGuy and a coach have tried working on this step and it still felt off. Kid T finally saw that I was taking one step the wrong way and that our alignment was off so she gave me some more detail on how to do the step. I basically take the first step back like usual but then go to the side to stay with her. And I don’t turn until I see the whites of her eyes. Well really until she’s finished her move so we can turn together.
One problem at a dance studio when the floor is filled with students is that everyone fights for the music. Ideally, it would be split but I find that OwnerGuy and Z tend to get the most time with the appropriate music. It isn’t terrible dancing to a count but it would certainly be better to dance a Bolero to a Bolero so you aren’t getting distracted by the wrong music. OK, in theory, there is some overlap in the tempos to various songs so it is certainly possible to do multiple dances to some songs. However, just because a song has the right tempo, it doesn’t mean it is going to “feel” like that dance.
Anyway, as we are getting set to do our Bolero, OwnerGuy is making a beeline for the music. Kid T asks if he’s putting on a Bolero. Sorry, small interlude here, but OwnerGuy’s favorite “joke” is to say ‘yes’ no matter what he’s putting on but then adding some line to let you know that he meant ‘no’. I’d give you an example but they aren’t very funny so I always forget them. Well, he was doing West Coast Swing so he puts on “No Diggity” telling us we could dance Bolero to it. I guess it was sort of possible but I’ve done so much West Coast Swing to that and it was hard to get into it as a Bolero. Yeah, I know, dancer problems and all.
So, I should probably tell you this just because it is kind of funny. There was a couple who had finished their lesson and were waiting for group class and were watching us. The song comes on and somebody makes a comment about that song and he says something about wanting to see me do something sexy. This is the type of teasing that comes from a good place so it doesn’t upset me. It did, however, cause me to turn multiple shades of red. Yeah, that’s me. As I said, this is not a side of me that I like to think about. But it was enough for me to try and get into Performance Mode for the dance and they ended up liking what they saw. To be fair, we do have a couple of dips in the Bolero and, right before we loop, she sort of rolls around me and I end up with my arm around her midsection as we both kind of stretch to hit some line. Could that be considered sexy? Who knows? Life is hard trying to create that illusion and fighting your inner Victorian.
But, just so you know, the Tango’s this week were danced in closed position with significant body contact. Yes, I can get over my discomfort as long as nobody makes a big deal about it.
I should probably point out that chose to skip group class both yesterday and Wednesday. Wednesday was an easy call. The class was evenly balanced without me and it was a Rumba class on Valentine’s Day taught by Z. As I was changing shoes, she was already starting in on how Rumba is the dance of love and that’s what she wanted to see. Her teasing never seemed to come from a good place so I figured better safe than sorry. She was also teaching group yesterday and the group was gender balanced without me so it seemed like a good idea to just sit out and take some more detailed notes about the Mambo and Bolero. But then I felt super self conscious just sitting there and decided to just bail. Kid T was already on me about skipping group so I imagine I’ll have another round of that next week.
Tonight, it is Friday and, after a long week of being around people, I’m happy to just be home with the spouse and dogs. More dancing next week and then I’m off for a week of sun and warmth.