Ballroom Problems

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One more lesson and then Medal Ball on Saturday. At this point, all four dances (Waltz, Tango, Fox Trot and Viennese Waltz) are in relatively good places. We’ve looped each one a few times and I’ve had to dodge other dancers and things have stayed mostly on time. So I’m as ready as I’m going to be. Which now just gives me a chance to do a little ranting.

I’m not motivated by checking out and moving up a level which is one reason I don’t like Medal Ball. I know I can perform all the steps in the Silver III level but there is always a part of me that knows steps are the minimum. There is so much more that goes into being a dancer. Intuitively, I know there will always be something to work on and something to improve, those things make it hard for me to convince myself that I’m truly dancing at a particular level.

I also hate the set up of the event. This time it is in studio but they need to stretch it over a couple of hours so they work in a lot of general dancing between the various levels. Typically, the advanced levels are near the end so I have this balancing act to do. I don’t want to sit out all the social dances because then you just get tight and can’t do as well. But I don’t want to do too many and then be too tired to do things like keeping the frame up. Dance problems!

And I have no idea if anyone is going to be on the floor with me. I have mixed feelings either way. It wouldn’t be fair to have a lower level couple on the floor. If you aren’t as sure of yourself and nervous about checking out, the last thing you need is someone like me zooming around the floor and likely coming close to you (we tend to use the entire floor for these patterns so there is no safe zone).

But there is another part of me that really doesn’t feel like being on display. I know this is a bit of a contradiction because I love performing but part of that is being able to go to a different place in my mind. In a routine, I’ve got a dance and a character and I can lose myself in that so it isn’t really me that is dancing. It is someone else who loves the stage. Medal Ball just doesn’t do that for me. It feels more like taking a test which never bothered me in school because I was the geek who always knew the material. Here, even though I know the steps, there is still that part of me that doesn’t want to be watched and judged.

Yeah, right!

Can I talk about how much I freaking HATE dancing with a mask? I have enough troubles trying to remember to breathe through the heats and having a piece of cloth stuck over my nose and mouth just makes it worse by a factor of about 100. Plus there is the sweat factor and don’t even get me started on just how disgusting it is to have to wear something that is wet and stays wet. It has been a serious struggle to do the four dances in a row because they don’t give you much of a break and if I have to do that during Medal Ball, I might just pass out in the middle of the Viennese Waltz.

Also, as much as I love spring, can I say that the temperature swings make it impossible to keep the studio at a comfortable temperature for dancing. And by comfortable, I mean cold. You would think that an outside temperature of 60 something wouldn’t be that bad but you can’t open the windows in the studio and so the building just gets stuffy and uncomfortable. At least it did yesterday. The forecast for Saturday is highs in the mid 50’s so maybe the studio will be bearable.

I love this quote for some reason.

I’m going to continue to talk about sweat. Sorry but it is just part of the package deal with ballroom. I don’t have a problem if I’m outside planting flowers and I can wear grubby cloths and just jump right into the shower afterward. But there is something off putting about wearing nicer stuff and then doing something designed to make you sweat. At least I got my hair cut the other day – nothing worse than longer hair sticking to your face. I don’t like how it makes me feel. Hard to get into the spirit of an elegant waltz when you look and feel like you’ve just been in the gym.

Coming back to my love/hate of being watched. Like I said, if I can put myself into a different frame of mind, then it doesn’t bother me. But there are just times when I really just want to be another dancer and not someone everyone wants to watch (sound egotistical but is kind of true). I hear someone say “you make it look so easy” and part of me is like “do you know how hard I’ve worked to make it look that easy”. I don’t know why. I mean I’m just a dancer like everyone else working on getting better.

Anyway, I’ve ranted enough. I’m locked into this now. I’ll go and do my dances and get my certificate or whatever they hand out and get my picture taken and then next week we’ll just be right back at it like nothing really happened. There are certainly worse things that could happen.

There is other dance news. Had a coaching lesson last night – the same guy who is going to judge the Medal Ball and someone I’ve worked with many times. But we used him to develop some choreography for the Hustle routine I wanted to do. There is an event sometime in April where people get to demonstrate new routines and it will lead into Showcase and give me an opportunity to do three routines there.

I picked an ABBA song and I did that because my Mom was a big fan of ABBA (may have already told you this). She never got a chance to see me dance in person. She always wanted to but with Dad’s issues and the fact that they didn’t live in town, we could never make it work. She would always see what I posted and I did get a CD of all my stuff at one Showcase and she watched that one time when she was here. Anyway, it just seemed like the thing to do. We’ve got some fun moves but it will be a grind to make it happen.

And one last non dance related thing. I went out yesterday evening to fill the bird bath and the three legged deer popped up from where he had been resting. Hadn’t seen him earlier in the day but he stopped by for a corn dinner which I provided. Today is cold and it is going to rain all day. I’m telling you this deer knows the weather.

Famous but unknown!

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