Life and Dance

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Let’s just jump right in. I’m watching the coach on his lesson right before mine and it is Tex and Z and the Bolero. A lot of what they are doing is stuff I do which makes sense with the closed routines because you have to stay within category. But they moved to some open stuff and I got that little feeling of missing something. I enjoyed the open stuff because they’d toss things in from upper levels and you got a chance to flex your dance muscles. I mean you sort of do when you do a new closed routine at a level but eventually it becomes familiar.

And of course the coach is talking about the Bolero and lowering and demonstrating with these wonderful sweeping moves that I can only dream about doing. Had that moment of “what am I doing here”.

But, at the end of the lesson, I was glad I got signed up for this. The guy was personable and relatable. Kind of a close talker if you know what I mean but I can deal with that in small doses. Anyway, we started with Waltz and we were warming up by doing the pattern and he just starts watching because the lesson had actually started. There’s always that bit of panic when I realize someone is watching me on a lesson but at least I didn’t get the “show me what you’ve got”.

He said some really nice things about my movement and timing and dancing in general which I guess I kind of needed to hear. It helps that Waltz is one of my stronger dances but it is still nice to have someone who judges competitions tell you positive things. We wanted to focus on the end where we were struggling connecting the pieces and he just kind of fixed it with no real effort. I was trying to move with her and we ended up going to the center of the floor so he just told me to take a side step, let her come into me and then turn my body to move out so it was more of a back twinkle.

And it turns out that the step OwnerGuy added works best to go into what he called the “long corner”. Well we were kind of doing it in the middle of the floor because it just got appended to our routine without a lot of thought. So he changed a few things and added an in and out spiral before the wing which got us further down the floor so the break goes into the corner and then we come back and she spins and we do a hinge and then I do a twinkle to get us moving down the short side. Again, it was a series of small tweaks but it just improved the feel by a big margin.

Then we moved to the Argentine Tango and the first thing he did was make us change the frame so she was more offset and had me get my right arm lower on her back but in a little looser hold. That made a world of difference in how the dance felt. And, he had me rotate the first back step slightly and then take my second step side and slightly forward to go more outside partner and that also made a big difference. He changed the ending to something that looks much better and he gave us some timing tips. Basically, we fit the timing around the music so we accent the right places. There was a lot to cram in but it all was just a lot of little tweaks and nothing that required me to do things I couldn’t do. The guy radiated a nice positive energy to which I kind of picked up on.

It does look like the budget will support dancing in the future even if I don’t find another job. I might have to scale it back just a bit but it won’t be a major hit which is a good thing. In fact, it kind of looks like I don’t have to work. I’m not saying retirement because that just makes me think of old people and I don’t feel that old. I do know I’m very burned out on the corporate world and the fact that I don’t have to rush back to it is a very nice feeling indeed. I can take some time and maybe find something that really speaks to me.

I was back into work for just a bit today. I find that going for a couple of hours just to be there in case there are emergencies and also to see people is a good thing. There was someone from my team there as well so I was stopped to talk with her and someone from another group came up. She didn’t want anything but she just said she always kind of enjoyed it when I was out talking with my team and she just wanted to experience it again. See I was very much the manager who managed by walking around (that’s a real thing – look it up). I just enjoy interacting with my team so it was just something I did. Sometimes it was work and sometimes it wasn’t.

The sad thing was that this person almost seemed like she was in tears just thinking about all the changes. And it struck me that the company did a terrible job with the survivors. I think they had an all hands meeting of the people who were left to talk about the “tough day”. But those things are normally presented in kind of impersonal ways. It was just a business decision. The company is going in a different direction and we had to make these changes. Unsaid but kind of implied is the suck it up and do your job or you’ll be next on the list.

And see that just sucks because survivor guilt is a real thing. Having 30 people just disappear causes real grief. I know we are dead but it is still a loss and it can still be acutely felt. People are constantly asking me how I’m doing but they should be asking each other how they are doing. They offered us counseling but they should have offered it to everyone. The corporate world is sometimes very short on empathy and usually at the times when it is needed most. At least my former corner of the corporate world.

As more time passes, it does feel like a large weight has been lifted from me. There is still a lot of negative energy in the building from the people who’ve been left behind as they try to figure out how to rebuild but probably have a lot of concerns about their future. I flash to War Games (remember all my cultural references are hopelessly dated) where the guy who created the program that is going to launch the missiles tells the lead character that he picked a spot near a primary target and that they’d be spared the horror of survival. OK, that’s a little grim but it does feel like we’ve been spared and that maybe the best thing was to be on the out list with a chance to get out from under what feels like a sinking ship.

Well, that’s all I’ve got for now.

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