How Far We’ve Come

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I search for the various quotes I like to attach to these posts. Sometimes they are relevant and sometimes they just strike me in a certain way. This one is sort of both because I’m very familiar with those levels.

I caught the end of the beginner group class at the studio last night. I know that I was there at one point many years ago but sometimes it is hard to remember those days. I guess one way to really appreciate how far you’ve come is to watch people who are just starting their journey.

Ended up dancing with one of the beginners and a Swing came on. She wanted to do what they learned in group but then said to me “but you weren’t there”. Yeah, but I watched enough to know what they were doing so I was able to lead her through it. There are advantages to being a bit more advanced.

Was watching another guy try to lead somebody through something and it didn’t go well. That’s another part of the process and kind of goes along with the steps shown above. Don’t blame him. You spend a lot of time and money learning a cool step and then you want to try it out in a social situation.

The problem is that the Famous Franchise process builds in layers. So you learn the step but the concept of how to lead it may come later. Becomes a problem for solo guys because they are dancing with an instructor who knows what they are going to do. Its a whole other thing to lead someone else through it. You see that a lot at parties.

Maybe that is just some dance wisdom learned through time and experience but nothing improves your social dancing like understanding how to lead something. And I don’t mean just throwing someone through a step. Yes, you accomplish the goal but I doubt it is fun for the follower. The lead/follow is the conversation without words that happens on a dance floor and it is what makes a dance flow. Sometimes I just see too many people focused on steps and levels and not the things that really make you a better dancer.

The floor was super packed last night and I ended up doing a Fox Trot with PJ. Now, I suppose I could have used the opportunity to practice dancing the Silver steps through a crowd. Maybe she was expecting that. I just decided it wasn’t worth it so I kept it to simple things and used the dance to try to work on frame and posture. In my defense, there were several couples being trailed by an instructor helping them through the dance so that adds another layer of unpredictability when trying to predict where people are going to be.

Sometimes it is my mood as well. There are times when I want to try out the fancy stuff. And then there are times when I just want to be low key and stick to more basic stuff. Last night just felt more like a low key night.

This quote is kind of deep. Probably intended to be a metaphor for other things but it kind of applies to ballroom as well. At least the part about becoming the dance fits. There may be no dancer separate from the dance but people notice the dancer anyway. So I don’t know what it really means.

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