On with the Show this is it

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Last night was showtime! When I took my lesson right before, the floor was a bit crowded. I think a lot of people decided that some last minute cramming was in order. What I’ve found is that there is some diminishing rate of return to practicing right before a performance. The more you do, the more you can start to nit pick and focus on the things that aren’t perfect and kind of just put yourself in a bad mental place. It seems like the best is to get to a point where you’ve had a couple of clean runs and then just let it go.

Other than wedding couples and those who intend on being competitive dancers, most people walking into a studio probably don’t plan on performing in front of others. But, given the opportunity, it seems like almost everyone jumps at it. Maybe there is just something about ballroom that makes you want to show it off.

I mean I know the studio gives you points for doing a routine but, after the first couple of weeks, you already know who the top students are going to be. The ones who routinely take a bunch of lessons are always going to end up at the top so you aren’t going to zoom to the top of the list by doing a routine. So it can’t be the points. But we had so many people sign up that they had to run two heats of solos and they skipped the group class to give more time.

I think having DH in the studio really helped increased participation. Maybe he’s more persuasive than OwnerGuy but he had two of the newest students out there along with several others. Next week is his last week at the studio and they are going to miss him.

But it is fun to see what people come up with. Yes, the dancing varies quite a bit because you’ve got lots of different levels and some who did a lot of rehearsing vs some who may have just taken a lesson or two. The nice thing about a routine is it gives you a chance to try a dance that might not be in your main program (certainly true of me) so you get to see some different things.

We did the Argentine Tango first which was the more polished routine since we started it back in November. But it was good to finally get it on the floor. The start worked almost perfectly. When I turned, she was a bit away but close enough that we could get into frame to kick the thing off. Tried not to get ahead of the music. I’m my own worst critic so I’ll just say people liked it. I’ve found that the best thing to do though when discussing a solo with others is to just say “thank you”. For too long, the temptation was to point out all the things that went wrong when someone would tell me they liked a routine. Now, I just keep that stuff to myself.

We were the closing act in the second heat doing the West Coast Swing. Up until the very end side by side stuff, it went pretty much without a hitch. I got messed up on the whole arm/leg thing (forgot the crucial weight change) and ended up turning on my right leg instead of my left. But you just keep going and you get to a point where you can fix any issues and we closed strong. As I said before, there’s no reason to go around pointing out what you did wrong (except I’m doing it here …). OK, I mean to people who’ve watched you and are giving you compliments. But I was happy with both and we have lots of time over the summer to work out the remaining kinks and have them ready for Showcase in the fall.

After we were all done, DH did a Samba with his professional partner. When you leave on good terms, they’ll let you say goodbye and acknowledge that you are leaving. That’s better than the people who just disappear into the night never to be seen again. And it is always fun to watch an instructor kick it into overdrive. Yes, they dance well with students but they have a whole different gear when dancing professionally. They did a Samba which I think is one of his favorite dances and that was a good way to close the night. Again, it is sad to see him leave but life takes us all in different directions at times.

Now the show’s over and we’ll start back on the nine dances and keep working through those to get ready for Showcase. Might have to see if I can convince JoNY to do one more routine. You do three in a night and they give you a little plaque. I’ve got several already but I can always add to my collection.

Small update on other things. Did talk with the career coach on Wednesday. Just to make sure I’m still on the right track. I told her that I’m enjoying the free time but I don’t yet feel like totally shutting the door on doing something in the future. We talked a lot about what I liked on the previous job and what I didn’t and she told me to capture all that stuff. I am fortunate to be in a position where I can be extremely picky and I may never find something that checks all the boxes I need to have checked. Right now, it feels like it would take a lot to get me to leave behind the freedom and confine myself to a workplace for 40 hours a week but things can change so it makes sense to keep some options open.

Sort of funny because out of the blue, I got a text message from someone who used to work for me. She’s still working at the company but she sent a text about how she was thinking about the old group and missing it. Also said I was a great boss. I don’t know what makes a great boss – think it varies from person to person but I clearly had some skills in that area. It wasn’t all sunshine and puppies but, when it worked, it worked well. It was nice to be around a well functioning team that could get a significant amount of work done but also have fun. I can’t take credit for creating that but I guess I should take some credit for at least allowing that spirit to come out and not squashing it.

And this is part of what I need to think about. The good parts about building and leading a team were really good. But that was also because we lacked a lot of the drama and bad dynamics that can exist and I don’t really want to deal with that. Plus, I didn’t have to spend a lot of time on the boring stuff like budgets and planning. Anyway, what the coach told me to do was to try and classify the tasks I liked vs the ones I didn’t and so you could judge a new opportunity by what it offers and how well it fits. So that’s where we are with that.

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