The Light Starts to Return

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We are under a “Winter Weather Advisory” which is somewhere between not enough snow to worry about and go out and raid the shelves of bread and milk. I think we are supposed to get a little mix of snow and freezing rain (the best kind of mix) but the temperatures are due to rise overnight and so it shouldn’t be a major problem. Still it is nice to know that I’ve got no reason to leave the house tonight.

The calendar moves on and it is not quite a month from the shortest day of the year. We have been gaining daylight and it is starting to become noticeable. On the two nights that I have early evening lessons (or group class), it is now lighter as I make my drive to the studio. When you are a hater of winter, you live for these small signals that we are inching our way towards spring.

Another signal is that one of our year round resident birds have started to sing more in the morning. Bird calls never really go away but they are more prevalent as we move towards nesting season as they set up territories. Just one of the small clues nature provides that winter will end at some point. As I said before, when you live for spring and summer, you look for these clues.

Had what is typically referred to as a “senior moment” yesterday. I was on my way to the gym and I get about half way there and I look over and my gym bag is not in the car. Now, at the place I go, it is not all that unusual to see people working out in normal clothes but I wasn’t going to go there. I took it as some kind of cosmic sign that I should skip the gym. I made up for it this morning though so it all evens out.

Want to talk about group class on Wednesday night. (We are all over the board with topics today) This was lead/follow night in the new group class schedule but we haven’t really gotten in to a lot of lead/follow. The plan was to teach us a swing amalgamation and then we’d demo it at some future group. So the first two groups have just been trying to get the choreography down and then we are supposed to refine things and get into some lead/follow stuff.

I think I have some natural advantages at this. First, I’ve done most of the Bronze Swing steps at some point in my dance career. Even if I haven’t used them in a bit, I can still call them up from memory. Secondly, I’ve done so many routines that I’ve had to practice learning choreography many times. Also, there is just some natural rotation to East Coast Swing. I mean it is kind of circular and things just sort of flow in a certain direction. It makes some of the moves almost automatic. You do something and your body kind of just figures out what comes next.

Kind of like this

Anyway, the other couples were struggling a bit more. So we get to the end of the group class and one guy decides he needs a video. Makes sense because we all learn differently and videos can be a big help for some people. Me, I’m more about just visualizing what I’m supposed to do. But he tells my new instructor that he wants her to do it with me while he videos.

I agreed to do it because who wants to be a roadblock for someone else’s dance journey. But it feels weird knowing I’m out there on video as somebody’s learning aide. We did it once and one couple wasn’t ready with the video so they asked if we could do it again. We were a bit past the allotted group time and my instructor said she thought she had a lesson. Which she did – with me. I said I’d do it a second time so we did a repeat. I should have pushed to get extra credit for that group class to help me along the way to the t-shirt prize at the end. This had better be some shirt.

Yesterday’s group was bachata. If I had endless time and endless money, I’d probably do almost every dance they offer. I’ve met very few dances I don’t like and, back in the day, I did bachata with another instructor and it was fun. Now we did a PG version of the dance. There’s a student from another studio who is something of a bachata expert and he and his partner were doing the R rated version at the last Showcase. I’m way too Victorian to get into that. But it is a fun little dance.

The problem was we started with a man’s hammerlock which required my left arm to end up behind my back. This is the same shoulder I had issues with last spring and I could feel the little muscle that was the source of some of my problems trying to act up. But it held up to get me through the little pattern.

Not much to say about either lesson. We are in the review and drill portion of things when you do what you know and then try to drill into the problem spots. All while trying to up the technique game – Head Back! Sternum up! Elbows! Drive! etc.

So that’s what I’ve got for now.

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