Returning to the Dance Floor

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I was only away for a short time though.

My ballroom life has had its series of ups and downs and twist and turns and detours and endings and beginnings. Last night was one of those new beginnings. The title is inspired by how OwnerGuy introduced us at Showcase. In one way, everyone was returning to the floor since it had been over a year since we had one of these events. But I had my primary instructor leave during shut down, then I was working on a Quickstep for this event until Mini also left. And I did take some short breaks during that time so I guess it was appropriate.

Just to give myself some credit here, I got introduced to a new partner and then we both had to learn a brand new Tango routine that included steps that were above our current levels. If you just take that on the surface, the fact that we were able to mesh and deliver a pretty good performance in that short period of time is actually quite an accomplishment.

Guilty as Charged!!

I’ve already given away how it went but let me talk a little bit about this most unusual Showcase. I did get there just as the dancing started. They had 45 total heats broken into two halves with solos after each set of heats. The event started around five which was close to sunset and the studio faces west and there are no curtains in the front window so people were battling the sun for the first couple of heats. Something you’d expect at an outdoor event but typically not an issue for ballroom.

Normally, Showcase is divided into smooth and rhythm but that wasn’t the case here because of the limited number of heats. Because I hadn’t worked on any of my medalist stuff in seven months, I wasn’t doing any heats. So my night was limited to the one routine but it was fun to watch everyone including some of the newer students doing this for the first time. I suppose the studio was a little less intimidating than a big hotel ballroom so maybe this was a good introduction.

Did see some people I haven’t seen in a bit and that was nice. Sat next to a guy who’s also in Silver and was dancing multiple heats with Z along with doing two solos. He asked about what I was doing and when he found out it was something he hadn’t seen, he got a little excited. I’ve got fans.

During the breaks, I actually got in a little social dancing. I’ve been skipping the groups and parties so there are dances I haven’t done since things shut down back in March. It wasn’t all that pleasant with the mask but it was a reminder of what used to be. Kind of tried to find a balance since I was the last one up. Wanted to dance to keep things loose but not enough to get sweaty. Nothing worse than a sweaty mask.

All of the solos went really well. There were a couple of veterans like me. One lady who loves performing maybe even more than I do did three. She’s doesn’t have the best skills but she gives it her all and that shines through in her performance. There was a couple that is relatively new and they did a solo together and then each danced with an instructor. It is great to see how people react to solos. When you see someone really into it, it just shows through – even with the masks hiding their faces. But they did a really nice job and I made sure to compliment them on it.

Another new student did a Fox Trot. You could see the nerves a bit but as long as you keep pushing through, it is all good. She said later she was crying a bit during the routine. Dance does have the power to stir up a lot of emotions and that first solo kind of hits you with a lot of stuff. She said something funny at the end of the night about wanting to work up the courage to ask me to dance. Which now just means I have to attend a party and ask her.

So during the second set of routines, I was kind of pacing around the on deck area trying to stay loose and grabbing a seat every now and then. Eventually, it was our turn and with OwnerGuy’s intro, we took the floor. A lot of the students had already seen us do some practice runs on lessons but they were still looking forward to seeing the actual run.

Like most routines, it was a blur. I was focused on timing in the beginning and trying to remember when OwnerGuy said we had sped up during practice. I thought we were going to be behind but we hit the first promenade just right and then it was on. So much of it just moved that you don’t quite have time to think and suddenly I realized we were on the final move. It was a clean run and we did the celebratory hug at the end and then it was over.

The instructors followed with a couple of pro demonstrations and then we called it a night.

When I started back up this last time, the goal was to do something for this Showcase. Where we go from there was not discussed. I even considered that this would be a good way to pull the curtain on my dance career. But, ballroom is a highly addictive drug. Watching everyone else just made me want to go back and do all the dances that have sat on a shelf since March. So that’s where we are. After all, it is only six months until the next Showcase and, who knows, we may be back to more normal like activities then.

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