A Glimpse of Normality

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Have now had two lessons without a mask. Even though I’m truly skeptical of the benefits of masks, it felt a little strange to not be wearing one. I think we’ve been conditioned for so long that can be hard to break out of it. The first night, I was the only one without a mask. Last night, two other couples joined me.

The other thing that is odd is seeing people faces after they’ve been hidden behind a mask for so long. There is a new girl who started after the mandate. Right now, she’s primarily working as a receptionist although I think she’s training to be an instructor. Anyway, last night was the first time I’ve actually seen her face. It is almost like meeting people for the first time.

And I’m not going to lie, it is far more comfortable to not have a piece of cloth over your nose and mouth when doing something like dancing.

So we’ve been working on a Hustle routine. For a few reasons, Hustle kind of dropped off my dance radar for a bit. Not that I hated the dance but you kind of have to limit how many dances you are trying to do. Well you don’t have to but I find that the more you try to do, the harder it is to keep up with any. Kind of like ending up as the jack of all dances but master of none. If your goal was strictly social dancing, that would be good. I’ve got it in my head that I need to be the master and commander so it means cutting out a few so I’m not dividing my focus.

But my years of at least doing some Hustle seems to be helping. Actually, it is more than helping. We’ve pretty much got the steps down. Now it just comes to picking up speed to match the song which is fast and adding some flair and performance to it. I keep getting asked questions about any concerns and I feel like I should come up with something but really there isn’t anything that I don’t know how to do. It is just more practice to feel comfortable doing it and hoping to be able to get up to speed.

The original plan was to perform this at an event. The long term plan is to get to Showcase but they have an event planned in April where it will just be people doing new routines. Well there is social dancing mixed in as always but it is more of a fun event where everyone just gets to show off and perform. No judging (at least I think that is the case – they are often short with details on these events)

With things relaxing just a bit here, they have now decided to take the event on the road meaning it would be the first time we’ve done something outside the confines of the studio since the pandemic started. It is one more sign post on the road to normality and you might think I would be excited about that. Well, you’d be wrong. And, for a variety of reasons, I’m more than likely going to pass.

I know. Who gives up the chance to perform? The first thing going against this event is that they are going to a place that is about an hour from where I live. They have reasons for the selection which make total sense but driving an hour to do one dance?? Actually two hours – one each way. Plus, the version we’d do for this event is going to be abbreviated for time. We’ll do the full version at Showcase.

Then I found out the cost has gone up a bit which makes sense because it is an external venue. Again, it is not an unreasonable cost and would be a drop in the bucket compared to what I’ve already sunk into lessons and the like. Still, I’ve got this weird thing about money and so you add paying to the drive to do one dance and the costs start to outweigh the benefits.

As an incentive, they are tossing in dinner which is part of the driver for the cost. Not wanting to make a judgement but I’ve honestly found that these types of dinners are rarely things to get excited about. Preparing meals for a large group tends to lose something in the translation. There will be social dancing which could be fun and goes into the plus category except for the thought of then having to drive an hour when I’m tired.

I got hit with the “don’t you want to go and wow the crowd” which plays to me ego and that’s a funny thing. Yes, I enjoy performing. At least I enjoy it when I get there. I hate thinking about it on the way there. It is almost like I can become a different person right before the dance starts. Like it isn’t really me doing the dance. Is that weird?

The other problem with that approach is that at times I get tired of wowing the crowd. There are other advanced dancers at the studio but many of them focus more on competition than these performances. So, yes, there tends to be a big level gap between me and the rest of the performances. That does make you stand out from the crowd but there are just times I don’t really want to do that. There are times when I just want to be another dancer and not the star of the show. To be fair, if I went, I’d just flick the switch in my head and have no problems playing to the crowd.

Mostly it comes down to the investment of time and money just to do a single dance. And, right now, it doesn’t seem like enough to make that investment. Especially given that we’ll get a chance to do it for real at Showcase in a couple of months.

So that’s where we are right now.

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