So… remember the plan to become dance-ambassadors? Apparently it is now a task that is being officially handed out. My dance partner told me that last weekend, as one of the classes was finishing up, there was a new girl that had come in for orientation. Because Lord Fabulous was busy and needed a few minutes, he actually asked my dance partner and a couple of the other girls who have been here the longest (and are at the studio the most) to go talk to the new girl, make her feel welcome, and try to make her excited about dancing. I guess the plan that we had only talked about in mirthful moments amongst ourselves is something that our Hall’s Lord has also thought along the way.
That sort of request is part of a bigger change that seems to have taken hold of the young lord. Before the last competition, Lord Fabulous really only regarded my dance partner and I in passing – casual yet formal greetings, the occasional laugh at one of my stupid jokes – but not really taking an interest in us too much. We were apprenticed under Sir Steven, and Lord Fabulous had many duties to attend to, especially in running the fief and the tutelage of his prized pupil Flexy. Since the competition though, his interest in the two of us has grown exponentially. Remember last week, when he asked the two of us to show off for the newcomer class? Well, he did that again, and apparently wants this to become a regular thing. When last he did it, he made some comment to the whole class how the two of us are an embodiment of what the Dance Kingdom offers: a place to learn, to compete, to grow, and to fit into a lifestyle of dancing. He also has taken to watching us pretty intently while we dance. I don’t know if it’s because our private lesson with Sir Steven is now always falling during a time when Lord Fabulous has nothing else going on, but it always seems like he is watching, and sometimes he is even cheering us on.
I think part of that is because Sir Steven let slip that what he is working on with the two of us now is preparation for the next competition. There is an event coming up in September that is much more of a real competition than what we did last month. It will be held at a large ballroom in a fancy location, with dancers from many different kingdoms of dance coming together to compete. No one really asked us if that’s something we were interested in doing, Sir Steven is just grooming us to do it. I don’t know whether to be terrified or proud that he thinks I am worthy of doing something like this. Certainly, my dance partner would perform better if he were to be the male leading her, rather than me. But we dance well together, and we practice together enough that we know how to interpret what the other person is doing. And, to some extent, I think Sir Steven knows that we both push ourselves harder to learn things when there is pressure (like the threat of performing in front of people).
There are other options. Certainly, we aren’t the only non-instructor pair of dancers they could be training. Even in our little realm, there is this pair of married, regular American kids, whom I call Jack and Diane (yes, just like the song) that also dance. They are in many of the same group classes that my dance partner and I take, so they are at about the same level as we are. They excel at Smooth-style dances though, where I (and my dance partner) prefer the rhythm style. In talking to Jack, it turns out that he can’t really keep time, but Diane can – that’s why they like things like Foxtrot and Waltz, since she can help keep time while he leads. If someone were to combine the four of us, they would have an exceptional set of ballroom students who enjoys (and excels at) both styles of dancing.
Yet there is no talk about training them to be a competition couple. They did the last competition with us, competing in just as many heats as we did, but they were not put down to do the championship round. They certainly could learn the required rhythm components, even if they wouldn’t enjoy them as much. Last Friday, when we all went out for ice cream after the social dance, we were helping them with an East-Coast Swing move that Diane was having trouble with. It was something we were working on in the group class before the dance, and they just wanted some extra advice on it. Maybe I could get them to give me some advanced Foxtrot pointers. Maybe the four of us can help work on the spots that we each have trouble with, and then we will turn into two fantastic competition teams, without even having to merge our minds and bodies together! That way the Land of the Loft studio will be known as the place where non-instructor led students go to train for competition. Wouldn’t that be neat?
And then, all of us could go out into the world on diplomatic missions to teach others about the kingdom. Just like dance ambassadors should do.