Snow Bound #2

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I am something of a weather geek – I have to admit. So I’m on the National Weather Service website a lot. Tonight it is especially fun because there is a large swatch of pink for the winter storm warnings extending from Maine to South Dakota. Now that’s a storm!

So we appear to be setting up for another Saturday of staying in to watch it snow. That meant going out after work to get some of the usual Saturday errands done early. Since I’m an early bird and my wife works from home and sets her own hours, we got all that done and were back before most people get out of work.

Yesterday, the weather cooperated and there were no obstacles to getting to the studio for my lesson. We started with Swing and knitted the new steps (Banana Split and Flip Flop) into the pattern. There were a few moments when my brain said “do the new stuff” but my muscle memory said “no, that’s not what goes here”. Leading to a short circuit and me stopping because I couldn’t settle the argument. But after a few times it started to come together.

I am trying to get better at isolating the moments that don’t feel good and seeing if I can find the words to express them. In this case, the banana split ends with a free spin for her and I pick her up and go right into a back step for the flip flop. The problem was is that we weren’t getting connected so she was just doing the flip flop because she knew it came next. So I commented on that and it was on both of us – her to find my hand faster and me to start my rotation a little earlier after her spin so we can get the connection set before we do the rock step.

Then, we moved to Viennese Waltz to again work on the two new steps. I mentioned last time that in the continuous natural turns, my second part is a forward step that is supposed to be outside partner and it was feeling awkward. So much so that the first time we did it, I didn’t go outside partner just to see if it would fell better. Spoiler – it didn’t and JoNY called me on it. But then I had a flashback to OwnerGuy talking about a similar step Kid T and I used to do. I’d explain it but it is a concept I kind of just have to feel – it is related to shaping or sway or swing or something like that. Basically, just moving your body in a way that creates more momentum and that naturally gets us in a better position to do the outside partner stuff.

So we were back to flying around the floor with the Viennese Waltz feeling like it is supposed to. That made those canter swivels even more odd because we go down most of one long side and then come around the entire short side going 100 mph and then we stop and do these little canter swivels and hesitations which don’t move as much and look like we are in slow motion. Maybe the contrast is important. Anyway, we danced it to music and the music helped those canter steps make a little more sense.

We had made the progress she wanted in those dances and still had ten minutes left so we went back to Mambo which is one we haven’t touched in a bit and one OwnerGuy hadn’t modified. Took a bit to shake the rust off but it all came back. Then I realized we had picked what are probably the three fastest of the nine dances. Guess it was cardio night at the studio.

When it came time for group class, they drew the curtain because there were a couple of private lessons. They moved the ballroom basics group behind the curtain as well and then the rest of us were in a giant bronze group. There were 23 people in this group and we were one lady short so our new guy instructor had to be a follow as well as teaching the group.

I wish I had dimensions but you have to imagine 12 couples in two lines filling up the limited space we had and all trying to do a Waltz pattern that was supposed to travel. He did select a group of steps that moved one way down the floor and then came back a bit but it was still quite the challenge. At one point, we were doing side by side changes which gives both partners a chance to do big arm movements but that would have lead to lots of people slapping each other so we had to tone it down.

One of the ladies who is just getting into Bronze with her husband kept making comments to me every time she came through the rotation. At one point, she said “this must be boring for you”. I tried to tell her that even if you know the step, there is always something that you can be working on in group class but I don’t think it registered with her.

Stayed for party and danced a lot which was fun. The only downside to the party was that the two cha-chas that they played weren’t really cha-cha’s. I mean they had a beat that you could do a cha-cha to but they didn’t feel at all like cha-cha’s. They do that with the music from time to time. They pick songs they like that sort of fit several styles and then just tell us “you can hustle, you can cha-cha, etc”. Might be a way to just get more people on the floor but it isn’t as much fun trying to feel a cha-cha in a song that just isn’t a good cha-cha.

To switch subjects and come back to the snow, I’m kind of looking forward to a quiet Saturday of just staying in and watching it snow. It is relaxing to know we don’t have to go anywhere. Plus, I’m kind of burned out from dealing with people all week at work so a little recharge time could be a good thing. Not real happy about the fact that we are going to be plunged into a deep freezer after the snow stops but it is January and these things are to be expected.

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