Feels so Right and so Wrong

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The studio event was at 4PM which is not what I’m used to. I know the last one I did in November started at roughly the same time but I was only doing the one routine at the end of the night. This wasn’t a Showcase – call it a Showcase light, but there was still some prep needed. As a guy, this is basically the hair. I haven’t had a cut since October. It’s not super long but it just gets a little thick and wavy and out of control. Had to pull out the hair product for the first time in awhile since normally I don’t care but can’t have hair flying around. I’m not a fan of the swept back helmet look so I just do what I can to keep it down and mostly straight.

Didn’t wear my dance gear because the theme required blues and whites (winter colors). Would have skipped the tie but it is typically part of a smooth outfit so I went with a blue shirt and white tie. The only pair of dress like pants I have anymore is black. Not that any of this really matters but it helps set the mood.

Got there a little before 4 and then it hit me. The crowd I’m used to seeing at Showcases wasn’t there. There was one couple that’s been at the studio for a long time but all of the other long time regulars who typically do events like this weren’t there. Good for the studio as they got a lot of their newer students to experience this type of event and that may make it easier to get them to go to a Showcase in the future.

For me, it was a little awkward. A dance studio can be a very social place but it is things like group classes and parties that really help drive the connections. When you are on a lesson, you aren’t interacting with the other students, so that comes in the more relaxed things like groups and parties. And I haven’t been attending those. I know most of the students by name and face from other events and seeing them around the studio but, it isn’t the same type of relationship I’ve got with the longer term ones. Anyway, it did make me feel a little isolated throughout the event.

At one point, before things started, Z comes up to me and makes some comment about me being the anchor (have no idea what that meant). And the newest instructor/trainee starts in on how much she’s looking forward to watching me dance. As I said, the normal advanced crew wasn’t there so I was the highest level dancer there. One other couple was in Silver but everyone else was Bronze.

I’ve written before about being an inspiration. That’s not my word by the way. That felt OK but some of last night felt a little different and wrong. I probably can’t explain it but I just wanted to be another dancer there to do some heats and work on some things and get back into doing something I love. Didn’t want to be a show piece. Now, I’ve had other Showcases where things were really clicking and I get my share of attention and that has been fine. In those moments, I can feed off the energy from the crowd. Why I had the opposite reaction last night, I don’t know and I can’t say. Maybe because of all the struggles I’ve had in my own head getting ready for this. Like I didn’t really want all the eyes on me because I wasn’t at the top of my game.

Well I’ve filled up all this space without talking about how it went. There were only 32 heats and I wasn’t up until the mid points so I got to watch and plan. They had pushed tables out on to the floor meaning the space was smaller than we had been dancing so it was going to take some adjustment on the fly. Got a chance to practice the Fox Trot and Tango before we did them so it was easier to make the adjustments.

We did Waltz, Tango and Fox Trot in a row. The first two went fine. I forgot the last move in the Fox Trot. It happens. I was reviewing them all in my head before we went out there but just blanked at the moment. Told PJ what was going on and went into some basic stuff to move around and then started over and hit it the second time through. We did the Viennese Waltz later in the night and there was only one other couple on the floor. We’ve got a part where we do a roll out/explosion and then I roll her in and pick her up and continue moving. Just as we got there, the other couple came by right in front of us. Had to sit in the expanded position counting time until they got out of the way and we could move on.

The good news is we got through all four. A couple of moments but as long as you keep moving, nobody really notices. There was a judge there and we’ve got a coaching lesson with her on Tuesday so I’ll have more to say after I get the feedback.

I won’t say I nailed it because it didn’t feel that way. But I also have to admit to not being in the best mind place and the whole “you are your own worst critic” thing becomes appropriate. It was a positive step and a step in the right direction. And that’s where we’ll end this.

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