Hustle and Scary Monsters

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So I’m in a very good mood today.  Could be that the workweek is half over and in three days we’ll be leaving on a jet plane and headed for sun and warmth.  I’m just not going to dig too deeply into my good feeling – I’ll just ride it out.

Shall we talk a little dancing?  Had two very good lessons the last two days.  On Monday, we went over the new Tango pieces that I got last week.  There are two parts that are relatively similar and Mindy was a little worried about me getting them confused.  So far so good though because after one bobble I was able to do the right part at the right time.  We didn’t work on any of the Swing since the goal was to just get some basic familiarity with the Tango before I left for a week and the beach melted my brain.

We did the same with the Hustle – just working on the newer stuff and running it multiple times to try and build up some muscle memory.  Not quite there yet but I got a little farther down the road.  This is the process.  You just build up the choreography piece by piece and more and more of it becomes locked into memory.  That’s why I said that first time when you put all the pieces together and run it through from beginning to end is a big accomplishment.

I’ve said this before but I’m real happy with both of these routines.  The transitions between Swing and Tango are going to be cool when I get them better mastered.  And that routine travels quite a bit.  The Hustle does as well and Mindy said something about it being jam packed with content and she’s certainly right about that.

Yesterday, Kid T brought back the Swing routine from Showstoppers.  Think she looked at a calendar and started to count the dates to Showcase and realized there wasn’t a lot of time left and two of the three routines haven’t progressed beyond the song and dance style.  And the Swing needs some additional content because the Showstoppers was just about 40 seconds and it needs to be longer for Showcase.

The good news is that most of the beginning remains the same.  She wanted to move the Death Drop since that is our big finish so she was looking for a step to put in its place.  What she settled on is a Grapevine which is just a circular step.  I’m just doing side, behind, side, behind, etc while she’s doing all the real work.  My main job is to be the pole – strong and supportive while also keeping the wide frame and standing up straight.  The transition comes after I turn her three times.  On the fourth turn, I do a hand change and set the frame and then take the first side step to get the process started.  Its really kind of a cool transition.  She goes from spinning to doing this circular thing so it is kind of constant motion but it moves.  I think it’ll look cool.

I think part of my good mood is that I kind of think Kid T and I our clicking a little bit better.  I guess it isn’t a shock that it takes time to build a good relationship when you are dealing with something as complex as pro/am student/teacher.  Or maybe it is more accurate for me to say that it takes time for me.  All these feelings locked up with no words and a total reluctance to share probably makes it hard.  What can I say?  Its just how I roll.

And, I really do sense a little more confidence from Kid T.  When I got dumped on her, she was still relatively new in her teacher life.  I don’t mean for this to sound weird but I can see her growing as a teacher as she gets more comfortable both in what she knows and how to handle me.  (And I ain’t always easy to deal with)  As she starts to make changes to the routines and starts to put her own stamp on things, I think that also helps because they are more “our” routines than something she inherited.

Tonight, I think we are back to the original plan – working on open Bolero and another closed dance.  Tomorrow, she wants to go over the Swing again.  She did mention that it might take some additional work (i.e. lessons) on my part to get three routines ready for Showcase in May.  That could be a challenge given that Monday is devoted to Studio B (and the Famous Franchise is closed on Monday).  Not sure we have time to fit another lesson in on the three days I’m there and if I did it on Friday, that would mean five nights a week of dancing.  Have to think about that.

Last little random note.  Kind of did something out of character for me.  There’s a new guy/trainer at the gym.  I don’t work with him but when you go there as often as I do, they like to talk to you.  Think they want to be friendly to keep you coming back.  Anyway, he asks me if I have a FitBit (which I do) and then he says he sets up challenges for his friends and he’d be happy to add me even though I don’t know any of the other people.  I know this is a virtual thing and it wouldn’t be like I was actually around other people but it is still a group activity and I’m not much of a joiner.  But I agreed.  And it spurred me yesterday to get up and do more walking.  Well, it was also 70 degrees here yesterday which also helped.  I couldn’t find a big enough block of time to get to the gym but I took two big walks around our campus and I hit my goal for the second day in a row.  If this is a circle of this guy’s friends, I’m guessing they are all much younger and more fit but I was holding my own as of last night.  Today was rainy and I had too many meetings so I’ll have to make it up on the dance floor tonight.

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