They Must Grade On A Curve

Is it really the end of the month already? I went to the last group class for Waltz this week, so it must be the end of the month. It’s been good, I will say. There are a lot of bits that I picked up. The problem will now be fitting them into normal dances on the fly. That will require two things: a dance partner who also knows the particular steps, and me being able to pull them off at random without over-thinking things. The second piece is going to be the hardest to do. The end of the last Waltz class yesterday, the five of us in class just paired off to do some leading and following work with the new pieces we learned that month. I thought I had done pretty good at picking things up, but that last bit felt really awkward. I guess I am going to have to practice quite a bit until they become second nature.

And really, they should be easy to do. There’s just something about the Waltz that I have been struggling with lately (read: as I’ve moved beyond easy Waltz steps). The rhythm dances are easy for me to pick up. Heck, new East Coast Swing steps are something I have mastered in a few days of screwing around with them. But Waltz steps? We spent a whole month on them, and I thought it felt pretty good until that end of class. Is there such thing as having a smooth style block? Because I might have one of those. Hopefully it doesn’t carry over into June. Next month we switch the slow Waltz group class for Viennese Waltz, and I happen to like Viennese Waltz. It’s more my tempo, one might say.

Over the holiday weekend, a group of competitors from the Dance Kingdom descended to Florida to take part in an event being held down there. Sir Steven was one of those competitors, dancing with another of his students. He told us that the Dance Kingdom did extremely well. There were apparently two titles given out: one for best in-state team, and another for the best out-of-state team. The Dance Kingdom took the best out-of-state team title. Hooray for us!

Also, as a point of pride, one of the other out of state teams was led by Miracle Whip. He and Curve1one of his students were competing in the same category that day as Tall Steven and his student, and Tall Steven totally crushed Miracle Whip. From what I was told, after the results were given, Tall Steven approached Miracle Whip to congratulate him (on losing, I guess), and told him “Don’t hate the player, hate the game.” Laughs all around, scene fades to black, credits roll.

Hearing the story of the competition, it got me to thinking about what it might take to be part of the team that does the out-of-state competitions. I mean, I don’t know if that’s something I can ever really achieve, but I’m just curious what someone like me would need to do to get to that level. Doing the competition in September would probably help. That would give my dance partner and I another notch in our competition belt, and additionally show us what else we need to work on to get better. Maybe, if we do well against a myriad of dancers from other Dance Realms, the royal family will deem us worthy of a trial run as part of the Dance Kingdoms traveling troupe. Or, maybe they will decide we need to be put through more trials to test our mettle and toughen us up for more difficult competitions. I don’t really know.

Speaking of knowing what needs to get better, we finally (many weeks late) were given a copy of our numeric results from the last competition to look over. They were a lot better than I expected them to be, to put things mildly. Of course, I’m always my biggest critic, but even accounting for that, the scores were surprisingly good. The scores were on a scale of 1 to 100, and our lowest heat (out of 30 heats) was an 83, and our highest was a 94. Everything else fell between that. I don’t have anything to compare those scores to, to say that after practicing and learning for a year the average dance team does better or worse, but it was a good feeling to see that Miracle Whip didn’t score us really poorly. These are all Bronze II and Bronze III scores, of course. The way Sir Steven is pushing us right now, if we end up doing September I think we will compete at the Bronze III level for everything. That’s kind of exciting.

I would have done better if it was multiple choice...
I would have done better if it was multiple choice…

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