More Tango in the Night

Posted by

We are experiencing some really hot weather which happens a few times each summer. I guess it was serious enough to issue an “Excessive Heat Warning” until Sunday. I appreciate the Weather Service as much as the next person but I really wonder what it says about us when we need to be told that it is hot outside. How in the world did we survive as a species for so long without someone warning us to be careful because it is really hot outside.

That’s not really the point of this post but I just had to say that. Last night we spent the entire lesson on Tango. I think JoNY wanted to do some Fox Trot as well but there were parts that still didn’t “feel” right to me so we kept going over them. I was probably overthinking a bit but it was nice to get some extra practice. Plus, we had the whole floor which is a rare thing at the studio so being able to go through the whole pattern without having to stop and adjust for a couple doing swing and straying into our flight path was nice.

The group of four that I mentioned briefly in a previous post (and that I’m too lazy to look up) were on the floor before my lesson. I’m bad with identifying who looks like whom but the ladies bore some resemblance so I’m going with them being sisters. They were struggling a bit with the box step and remembering to change weight when they brought their feet together. They kind of hung around the floor during our lesson and I noticed they were kind of watching JoNY and I as we tangoed around them. New Girl and the latest Newest Girl were also watching a bit. No pressure.

But we were working on the frame and keeping that where it needed to be. It didn’t help that I had PT that day so my shoulder was already a little tired to begin with but I gave it a shot. The thing that still gives me some problems was the pivot because it is about a 50/50 shot whether it is going to go well. OwnerGuy came out to remind me that I need to really cut her off and close up my left side to her to set it up for success. That seemed to be a common theme in the rough parts – there was some little bit of technique that I had forgotten and so it was good to have the time to devote to one dance. Hopefully, some of those things will stick a little better.

That’s kind of the thing about dancing. Often the line between a step that flows smoothly and one that doesn’t is just some small little move with your body. It is like knowing the secret behind some magical illusion.

We did a swing step in group that I had done before but JoNY gave us a slightly different way of getting into it which I liked. It flowed a lot better than when they just taught you the figure on its own. This is another little thing about dancing. They teach you all the steps but it is the transition between steps that kills you. Kind of like shifting gears. If you do it right, you can effortlessly get around. Do it wrong and you grind gears and maybe even do the start/stop thing. OK, that’s two analogies in the last two paragraphs. I think I’ve hit my limit now.

We were again a little short on guys for both group and party. I noticed a couple of the beginners left after group. I think they may have scanned the crowd and noticed the lack of potential leaders and decided to split. Which is kind of sad. It does show how much the studio misses having a male instructor like DH because he’d dance with everyone through the night. Too bad that around here male instructors are like unicorns – mythical beasts that you hear about but never see.

I did dance a couple of dances with one of the newcomers. We did a Rumba and then a Tango came on and I was scanning the crowd for someone to ask and she just basically grabbed me because she really likes Tango. In both dances, we stuck to very basic steps but she still enjoyed both dances. Lesson – you don’t need to do fancy stuff for your partner to have a good time.

I do wish that sometimes they would spend more time on lead/follow but I think a lot of people just want to learn steps and figure once they know their part, then they are done. So you have a couple where both people are just doing their steps and if the lady guesses correctly what the man is trying to do, it all works out. If not, then they argue. I get enough compliments on my leading to suspect that the followers can sense a difference. Now, to be fair, there are a few ladies there who are so used to doing their own thing that it becomes a wrestling match at times but that’s also because I don’t think the studio does enough on lead/follow. Then again, if you just want couples to feel comfortable getting on the floor and doing steps, then that’s where you focus. But I think it would be more enjoyable for all if there was more focus on the lead/follow. That’s honestly a part of what made groups with DH interesting. Because he’d get you through the step and then start giving a little detail on lead/follow.

OK, I’ll get off this soapbox now. I mean it is hard enough to remember a pattern. I did end up leaving a little bit before the end of the party. Z was gone and OwnerGuy had to dance so there wasn’t anyone to man the music. We relied on OwnerGuy breaking out of his dance to change the song. Well we ended up doing a Fox Trot for what seemed like longer than usual so I was kind of a mess and decided I should call it a night and then blast the AC in my car on my trip home.

But it was a fun night and, at the end of the day, dancing is about fun. You can forget that in the middle of a frustrating lesson where nothing is going well because it is also a lot of work.


  1. We are idiots that can sue McD’s for millions because their cup of coffee we placed between our thighs in the drive through burnt our legs because coffee is hot but the labeling didn’t warn us of that

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.