Strike the Pose

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There are several students who have decided to dip their toes into competition. Or at least competition as defined by the Famous Franchise. I know you get marks for each heat but those don’t really feel like a competition. There are other events that are but the bulk of the day is set aside for heats.

Anyway, I’m watching this one guy and he’s getting drilled on fine points like how to point his toes. It is all about the image and checking all the right boxes. If your goal is primarily social dancing, they don’t get into these finer points. But if you are going to be dancing in front of judges, they start bringing out all the things you need to think about.

In some ways, it seems like it leads to a sameness in these comps. More so in the closed categories where the figures you can use are dictated so everyone is just basically doing the same things. Maybe in a different order but it is still about striking the proper poses. After all, a judge is only going to have eyes on you for a few seconds and you need to capture their attention in those seconds. Got to make them want to keep watching.

I think some of the more competitive dancers in our studio have patterns they’ve been doing for a long time. It becomes less about learning new stuff and more about perfecting what they are doing. Not that you can reach perfection but the goal is to keep drilling into the finer points to create that “look”.

The more I do this, the less attractive that option is to me. I need something new to provide stimulation. We’ve had the same basic smooth patterns for about two years and it is very hard to work up a level of enthusiasm during lessons. Not that I hate the patterns (well maybe parts of them) but familiarity breeds a little boredom.

I kind of brought that up the last time we did rounds and so OwnerGuy made an appearance on our last lesson. Watched our Tango and then gave us a few pointers for making it look a little flashier. Things to improve the show quality and to add some drama so it isn’t just doing the figure. We practiced that a little last night and I like the approach. In the end, it is still trying to get me to practice certain things (to check more boxes) but there is now something I can model off of and that makes some of the words a little more concrete.

We spent the bulk of the lessons working on the Two-Step routine. I know it is not going to be in a final form when we do it at Showcase in a couple of weeks. My worry has been that it would be a hot mess and kind of a disaster. But we did it enough times to speed and worked on the rough spots that it no longer seems like the train wreck I thought it could be.

During one of our lessons, there were three new couples on the floor. Normally, when they get couples who are nearly done with the introductory package, they like to show them what a dance can turn into. This is typically done by bringing another instructor on the floor but that wasn’t possible with three couples and limited instructors. So I suddenly hear someone calling to us and asking if we could demonstrate a little Country Two Step since I guess that was a dance these couples were sort of interested in. So we just went back to our basic patterns and did a little cold impromptu demo. I won’t lie – there are times when being put under a little pressure is actually good for me.

And I signed up for even more lessons last night. Had dropped below the minimum needed to be in the special club so we added enough to get me through to the next Showcase. The good thing is that you don’t have to pay for all of them when you sign up. The studio certainly wouldn’t turn it down if you wanted to. I break it up and pay over time which works a little better. Still not cheap but at least it isn’t a big hit all at once.

Well that’ my ballroom update for the week.

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