Bring a Tear of Joy to Their Eye

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Last night I got to be part of a special moment without even knowing I was part of it. How’s that for a tease?

Last night the studio did an open house. This is their 11th anniversary. Eleven years since the split in the Famous Franchise world in my town and eleven years since OwnerGuy got his own studio. I actually still remember that first night. My wife was not too far removed from dancing and we sent flowers as a congratulations. (OK she sent them, she’s good at the social stuff)

And we went to the grand opening. If I remember right it was just the two of us, OwnerGuy and Z and another instructor. So we danced the night away. It was the last time my wife has even been inside a dance studio by the way. Now, eleven years, multiple instructors and a change in location and things seem to be going strong.

It has been interesting to watch the ebb and flow over the years. There’s a core of about six to ten students that have been there for years and continue to take lessons and dance. They’ve had periods (like now) where there are lots of instructors and the place is hopping. And they’ve had dry stretches where it was mostly just the die-hards.

The open house is a way to allow people to come to the studio in a non scary way. And they put on a full display. A little mix and mingle. A group class to give people who’ve never danced an opportunity to learn some very basic steps and then actually get to use them. Student demonstrations so they can show off what kind of dancers they can create. During the parties, the instructors are all over the floor walking the beginners through the steps and reminding them of how to do it. Of course there is the new student special if you sign up for lessons. We joke about that because as students, we all joke about the cost associated with dancing at a Famous Franchise.

There is an 8 year old girl who started taking lessons recently. At first, she just took private lessons but, recently, she started attending group classes as well. Since she is technically in basic Bronze, I’ve never danced with her. I’ve watched others dance with her and there are certain challenges as an adult when you have to dance with an 8 year old.

Last night, they did two large group classes. Those who had never danced before were in one and everyone else was in the other. JoNY taught us a little hustle pattern. Start in a link position, throw the lady out (in a nice way), bring her back in to sweetheart, turn her out so your arms are crossed and then change places while turning the arms back. I did not dance with the 8 year old during the group class.

Well after the demo, they wanted to give everyone a chance to get out on the floor and actually dance so they played a hustle. I was actually walking off the floor because I don’t normally do a lot of hustle. The 8 year old intercepted me.

So we danced the little hustle pattern multiple times. I was having to do a lot of lowering to get close to her level because if I stayed at my level, I would have been lifting her off the floor. That might have been interesting but not really how the dance was supposed to go. Her mom was on the sidelines and, as we finished, I saw her say “thank you” to me. Really no thanks required. As I’ve said on many occasions, part of the fun of dancing is sharing it with others.

Well I didn’t think anything more of it. I didn’t get another chance to dance with her because her dance card was full. Later in the evening, another instructor came over to talk to me and said something about how the Mom was kind of tearing up watching us. I actually ended up talking briefly with Mom later in the evening and she confirmed that as well.

I’m going to have to ask how this girl got into ballroom. I think her Mom was just overly happy to see her having fun on the floor. And probably a little proud of watching her 8 year old dancing. She did a demonstration later with OwnerGuy so she got a lot of attention that night. I’m guessing it was a special night for both of them. And, in some small way, I got to play a part in it. The hidden joys of dancing.

Oh and JoNY and I did our Tango later in the evening. We had practiced it a couple of times on the lesson before the party started so it went pretty well.

My knee is not happy with all I did yesterday. I guess dancing a hustle in a lowered position wasn’t the best but, you do what you gotta do. Well that and I did a lot of leg work yesterday at the gym so my lower body is feeling it today.

We are supposedly getting a front passing through that is going to wipe away the little bit of fall/summer weather we’ve been having. I’m not the biggest fan of fall but I like the days where it is super cool in the morning but the sun comes out and you get warmish in the afternoon. I’ve decided that if the temperature is going to be in the 70’s, I’m still wearing shorts even if it is a little chilly in the morning. And that’s what we’ve had the last couple of days.

The thing about fall days is that we are in the six month period where there is more dark than light. So even when the temperature approaches 80, it never really heats things up that much. That means I don’t have to run the AC. I did break down and turn the heat on briefly the other day because we had a cooler than expected night and the house had dropped to 64 and I knew there wasn’t going to be enough to heat it up naturally.

All that is going to end tonight though. You can kind of feel it in the air. Like there’s a lot of energy there and something is about to break. The high on Saturday is only supposed to be in the upper 50’s and there is a chance of rain this weekend. That won’t be the nice warm rain of spring and summer but the cold rain of fall and winter. Not pleasant. But all things must end. We may have another warmish patch but it may be time to put the shorts away for several months.

And, with that note, I shall end this post.

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