The studio began doing parties at the beginning of the month. They had one previous attempt back in the fall but had to stop when a couple people tested positive for COVID. We did have several in studio events with some general dancing so I’ve done some of that but tonight will be the first party I’ve gone to in a long time. It is close to a year since it was mid March when everything shut down.
I’m actually only going because a long time student is leaving the area so this is our chance to say good bye. Many years ago, at the last Big Dance Event I attended, we started calling ourselves the support staff. It was a joke referring to us just being there to support the more competitive dancers. She’s also done many routines at various Showcases and she always puts on a good show. She got OwnerGuy to wear a dog costume once which is something you never forget. It will be sad to see her go.
Having been doing this ballroom thing for many years, change is a constant part of studio life. Instructors and students come and go. Before the pandemic shut everything down, we had a pretty solid core of long term students but several of them have either decided to not come back or are waiting for the situation to settle down a bit more before returning.
It is the group classes and studio parties where it is easier to form bonds with other students. That’s when you get the time to chat a bit and get to know them and the dance friendships form. But it also means that you tend to form groups based on the people who are typically in your group classes. That is the advanced students know the other advanced students best. That’s not a universal thing because the more socially inclined will talk to everyone. Those of us more who on more on the introverted scale can find it harder to break into other circles.
All of that just means that since things have started back up, it is sometimes hard for me to feel like part of the studio. And it is part of the reason I’ve skipped parties up until now. I know that studios encourage people to dance with each other but it always feels awkward to me to ask someone I don’t know that well. Yeah, the studio is supposed to be the safe place for that but there are so many people where I just know faces and not names and that makes it just all that more awkward. I guess we’ll see how tonight goes.
I’ve had two lessons this week as we prep for Medal Ball in about a month. I would like to tell you that my confidence has magically reappeared but that is just not the case. I’m feeling a little better about things but it is still too much of a struggle. I don’t have any doubts that I can check out because they wouldn’t be pushing it if I wasn’t ready. But I don’t want to just get passed along. It has to feel real to me.
Anyway, we went back and modified the Waltz and Fox Trot to add back the Silver III stuff so I can do those patterns at check out. I can already see where I’m going to have a problem. There’s a syncopated spot run in the Waltz and it needs to rotate a heck of lot more than I was able to do the few times I tried it last night. And if it is part of a pattern that is supposed to get you down the long side, it does no good if it just ends up taking you back against line of dance or into the center of the floor.
And we’ve started talking about shaping again which was something he was just starting to push more before things shut down. So I’m trying to work on that as well as remembering the steps and things like keeping PJ more offset which is all about my frame and keeping it where it needs to be. And the basic problem there is trying to find a position where I can comfortably do that. Another part of adjusting to a new partner and where there is a bit of a difference in height.
I guess I should just focus on the part where I said I felt a little better about the lessons this week. Got to just be happy with the small stuff and string together the small victories and hope for the best.
At least tonight I don’t have to worry as much about those things. It is just time to dance and say good bye to part of our dance crew.