Haven’t updated my ballroom life in a bit so let’s do that. The last couple of lessons have been devoted to Hustle and West Coast Swing. I’ve done a lot of routines with West Coast Swing but not a lot of actual just dancing of West Coast Swing. And I did Hustle early on but dropped it after a bit. Which means neither one is totally alien to me and I can pretty much do the steps.
We had a coaching lesson last week with a guy who I think is one of the Famous Franchise’s experts in both dances. And, after watching our Hustle, he had some clear ideas on what we needed to work on and that was mostly stuff to make both dances flow a little better. He has little practice routines for each one with some simple steps but they allow you to focus on the techniques he wanted us to learn.
Both of these dances can be a lot of fun. And you get some great music to dance to with either one as well. But they also point out some kind of weird division within me. I’ve got the me that takes lessons and the me that dances and sometimes they are totally different people.
The me on lessons can get really self-conscious to the point where it is hard to just relax and dance. Trying to remember to practice arm styling, for example. I do it and them some part of me says “you look ridiculous with your arm like that”. Truth is you look worse with dead arms but lesson me often doesn’t make any sense.
But when I’m at a party or an event, I tend to care less about what people think and I’m better able to just dance. Like I can flick some kind of switch and just shut practice me off. So you get a dance like West Coast Swing, which allows for some style to come out and practice me just gets all hung up on not trying to look silly and doesn’t want to do anything. Just the step and nothing more. Not that I have a lot of style to add under any circumstance but I’m pretty sure dance me looks like he’s having a lot more fun.
So that’s kind of where we are. Trying to get certain techniques mastered in both dances and also working on trying to make them look more like the dances are supposed to look. And that does kind of require not really caring about what I might look like. Which seems to be a bigger hurdle at times than learning the actual steps.