Last Dance

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For our last lesson of the year, we did a new Waltz step.  It starts off simply enough with a twinkle into a wing which puts her in outside partner position.  Then, it gets a little weird.  From the wing, I give her an inside turn while we both take three steps forward. Then, we do a cross over break.  All of that goes in a line and it sort of follows the path that you set up with the wing.  After the crossover, we both do a spin and now we are going back the way we came.  It ends with a pick up and twinkle.

The basic footwork seemed simple.  The part where we do the spin has the potential to look cool because we are moving in one direction, then we do the break, back up and spin in the opposite direction.  That’s one of those move that if you are in tandem would draw a lot of attention.  But if you’re off, it will show.

One thing that tripped me up a bit was the wing because I’m now trying to focus on keeping her on my right side.  So, in the wing, I bring her around in front of me and we are supposed to end up in outside partner but the next move kind of sends me right at her.  And I wasn’t sure how to set it up in a way to keep her on my right side.  OwnerGuy was partially on our lesson to help out and he just said “shaping”.  Well, he demonstrated it so I could sort of see what I was supposed to do.

At least one time, I think I got it.  I was going to try to explain it but now I can’t quite figure out how it worked but there’s something about facing each other but me creating some type of shape which get her outside partner but leaves me free to move where I need to.  I know there was twisting involved.

OwnerGuy wanted to add this to the end of our current Waltz routine since after the check and pass, we do a twinkle to start the sequence over again.  So since we are already doing a twinkle, we could just drop the rest of the sequence in.  The problem is that they showed my the step with a basic twinkle but when we reach the end of our sequence, we are side by side with her on my left side.  The twinkle requires me to do a lot of rotation to get her from the open position on my left side back to being on my right in dance frame.  And, if that didn’t get set up right, then the wing would go off into strange places.

This is one of those trust things but this time, it is all on me.  To make the step work, I need to step forward to let her get back into position and then do the rotation to make the twinkle work.  But, as I’m stepping forward, she’s crossing in front of me, and that always makes me hesitate.  I’m kind of stuck in the middle because they’ve told me on many occasions to take bigger steps but then I think I’m supposed to judge where she is so I don’t run into her.  But both JoNY and OwnerGuy were telling me to just do my step because she’ll get there.  Problem is that I don’t quite believe it yet.  I know this is kind of a recurring theme because I’ve got this fear of running my partner over and there are just times you need to move and trust that they will be where they need to be.

We sort of made it work a couple of times near the end and got the alignments close to where they need to be.  The thing about this step is that it is a Silver III step but the footwork isn’t that hard.  It doesn’t introduce any new stuff – it’s a combination of earlier pieces.  The tricky parts are in the leading and some of the shaping that is required to pull it off.  Well, I take that back because you can pull it off without that but it just ends up feeling awkward.

I ended up skipping the group class again.  I was feeling fine but the dance lesson kind of kicked up the cough a bit and I wanted to stay for party so I figured I’d just sit out the group.  It was balanced so they didn’t need an extra guy.  Had to limit my dancing a bit at the party as well but I got in a few.  The party included an ugly sweater contest but I didn’t participate.  Mostly because I hate sweaters – too hot and too confining when you dance.  I’m much more of the big sweatshirt kind of guy.  Like things that are loose and comfy.  But I’m also not going to wear extra layers for dancing.  Besides, I really don’t know how this whole “ugly sweater” became a thing.  As they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I know people who bought sweaters years ago that would now be considered “ugly” just because they have lots of stuff on them.  And some aren’t really so much “ugly” as “silly”.  Anyway, I just enjoyed dancing to some Christmas tunes although OwnerGuy found some things that were borderline.

Since I won’t see a lot of these people until next year (yeah it’s that arbitrary date thing again) and it seems like the custom is to act like you may never see them again.  Or maybe it is just a Christmas wish thing.  I don’t know.  There was just lots of hugging and handshakes and the “Merry Christmas” and “Happy New Year” tossed around.  Side note – the weird think about saying Happy New Year to someone is that you won’t know until the end of the year whether it was really a happy year or not.  Maybe we should be more reflecting on the current year and whether the events of the year tipped the scales to good or bad.  If you had a bad year, then you’d certainly want the next year to be good.  I suppose it really doesn’t mean anything – just something to say to celebrate the fact that we get to toss old calendars and put up new ones and write a different year on all our checks.

I’ve probably said this before but sometimes it would be nice if we did this not just at Christmas.  Maybe if we always acted happy to see people then we’d really spread the holiday spirit around.

Anyway, it was nice.  I know I’ve said this before but the Famous Franchise does do a good job at creating a family atmosphere.  I think because you see people at lessons and groups and you can always relate to their struggles that it creates kind of a nice bond.

So that’s all the dancing I will do in 2018.  We’ll pick it up again in 2019.


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