The Demon That Won’t Die

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Sometimes, I should just keep my mouth shut. Last dance post, I was talking about being a good place. Last night, I got a taste of the bad old days. Just a reminder that my confidence is sometimes paper thin and easily torn to pieces.

In 8 days, I agreed to check out of Bolero and Mambo at Medal Ball. I’m only sort of goal oriented so it wasn’t a driving need but why leave those two dances behind.

The problem is the Mambo and specifically the timing. For some reason, my timing in that dance has gone backwards in the time I’ve been working with JoNY. Have no idea why. I do think it is harder for me to pick up on the music in the new studio.

Timing is not always my friend. There are times when I can “feel” the beat and I really don’t have to count and I can just go and not worry so much about timing. To often, lately, it seems like there are times when I’m desperately trying to find the beat and it just isn’t coming to me. And there is nothing worse for me than failing a few times because then it gets into my head and I start doubting myself even when I’m on the beat because I’ve convinced myself that I’m not. With some of the Mambo songs, I can get the beat if I’m standing and listening to the music but I lose it when we start moving. A lot of times it is because there’s so much going in the song and I just lose track of what I’m supposed to be listening for.

Well, JoNY specifically wanted to work on timing. I understand why. She counts me in a lot and I’ve gotten used to the training wheels especially in Mambo. Well the first Mambo was one of those where I could stand there and count but then I froze up before starting and suddenly I couldn’t find the beat. We changed songs and I started and immediately lost it. That’s really all it took.

Visions of trying to do Mambo at check out and just totally failing on the timing or standing there frozen trying to find the beat just flashed in front of me. Then, there were the “run away” thoughts as I told myself it wasn’t too late to cancel the Medal Ball or just not show up and eat the cost. Stupid but seemed like a better option than showing up and looking like a fool.

And it threw the rest of the lesson off. We moved on to Cha-Cha but I kept thinking about the Mambo and the doubt kind of creeped in. So I would have to stop and consult my notes about the new steps because I wasn’t sure if I was doing them right. So not a great lesson.

At party, I was talking with another student and we were on to Medal Ball and I was discussing the Mambo. He looks at me and says “you know you’re going to pass”. Which is the reality of Medal Ball. They aren’t setting you up for failure at the Famous Franchise. If they ask you to check out, it is because they already know you can do it. Of course, I don’t really want to feel like I got a pity pass. There is that part of me that wants to feel like I’ve earned it.

It was funny because as we are having that conversation, OwnerGuy announces that the next dance is a Salsa/Mambo. He calls out to JoNY and we go off to do the Mambo. I got behind on the side by side part the first time but the song was long enough for us to loop it and it went better the second time. Got back to the table after the dance and he looks at me and says “looked pretty good to me”. We’ll leave it at that.

Our group class was Tango and OwnerGuy was teaching. They ran one very large group and we had more ladies than men which is unusual for us. So the rotation and group was very chaotic. We were doing a Corte into an Argentine Link which was fine. But, towards the end, OwnerGuy got cocky and added a step out of promenade where the ladies fan three times. That’s where things went a bit off the rails. Many of the women don’t do a lot of Tango and some weren’t familiar with a fan so they were putting weight on the foot that was fanning and that just messed everything up. Was dancing with one lady and I honestly have no idea what she was doing but she was trying to step around me while we were in promenade. That wasn’t going to work at all.

So that was my Thursday. Had fun at the party but was worn out at the end.

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