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For me, the absolute worst part about going on vacation is leaving the dogs behind. We are down to just Rocco the wonder dog now but it has always been hard to drop them off at the kennel. The people at the kennel are wonderful and they love dogs and they take good care of them. Still, it isn’t home and it is always a little stressful to leave your doggies with someone else.

And it is a lot tougher now as Rocco has gotten older. He doesn’t move as well as he used to and his hearing isn’t the best. He’s been the one dog who’s had the most separation anxiety and I’m sure being at the kennel is stressful. If only we had a way of letting them know this isn’t forever. We’ll bring his bed and lots of cookies and hope that helps. There is nothing better than picking them up when it is a combination of the excitement of seeing you and the “get me the heck out of here” jumping around.

See this is why I have a hard time getting excited before a vacation. Wish my mind worked in a different way but I just start thinking about things like this. Then there is the mental going down the list to make sure I haven’t forgotten to do something important. It all ends well when we finally get to our destination and start the vacation. I could just do without all the time leading up to it.

Just a little wrap on the ballroom activities for the week. The open house the studio was doing was part of a charity cause. And this charity is doing one of the many “dancing with the stars” themes to raise money. Turns out the organizer’s kids ballroom dance (saw them last night and they’re pretty good) and so that’s why she wanted to do it. So they were going to do small bits of their upcoming routines as a way of enticing us into buying tickets or donating money to support the charity. But, as with other open houses, they like to have students do little demos as a way of showing any newcomers that they can, in fact, teach people to dance.

So we were signed up to do a Fox Trot at the Silver 3 level. There is one couple at the studio in Gold but they weren’t there which just meant I was going to be the closing act of the student demos.

Before the demo, there is always a group class. They take anyone with no dancing experience and give them some quick basics. Everyone else got tossed into a huge group to learn a Night Club Two Step pattern. Yeah, I was totally not exciting about that. I’ve actually done Night Club Two and it eventually gets into some cooler stuff but the groups at the Famous Franchise seem to just do basics (rock step/side) which is really, really boring.

But my instructor was teaching and she likes to introduce a challenge or two even in a huge class with all kinds of different levels. Of course, we started with the basic but then there was a step that was similar to a Country Two Step lasso. Then, we just turned to face each other and did a side cross step. She finished with a set of turns that I’ve done in Salsa – lady turns, guy turns, lady turns.

In the middle of this, I got another example of the little things I’ve either just picked up or figured out that seem obvious to me but aren’t obvious to all. The whole “turn to face each other” made sense if we were going to be doing the side cross step but my instructor didn’t explicitly say that. So some people just tried to go right into that step after the lasso but they were facing away from each other and then the side cross step just made them stretch away even more.

I was dancing with an upper Bronze student. She and her husband has come in for a wedding dance but stayed around. She tells me that I’m one of a very short list of people she’ll just follow without trying to think about her part. I say these things because it is nice to get that kind of feedback. The lead/follow is something I try to work on and it is nice to get confirmation that it is working.

We only did about 30 seconds of the Fox Trot but it was enough to cross three walls (we start on the short wall so it was short/long/short). We hit this pose right after finishing the second short wall. I know it is an actual step but it starts with us hitting this pose. That got the applause which I always find funny because the shadow open naturals we did right before it were a lot more complex. I didn’t think about it until after we were done but we actually covered more of the floor then we typically do. Guess the shaping is starting to pay off as well.

So I’ve got to feed the dog and then get him to the kennel (so sad). Still haven’t packed yet but that isn’t going to take long. Then we have to get up at some ridiculous time that is still in the middle of the night to make our 7AM flight. I’ve been checking the weather and it shouldn’t cause any problems. With luck, in a little over 24 hours, we’ll be at the hotel and ready to relax.

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