It’s official – I am signed up to do the upcoming competition in September. My dance partner and I spoke about it at length, and decided it would be a lot of fun. So we collected the large amount of jewels required to sign up, turned them over to Sir Steven to pay for our spot, and now we are on the list to do 35 heats and the 5-dance American Rhythm championship round.
35 heats do not seem like a lot, I’m sure. I hear about people who go to these sorts of things and do hundreds of heats. The thing is… I’ve never been to a competition like this before. I’ve never even seen a competition like this before. The competition we did in April was localized to just the studios in the Dance Kingdom, so most everyone we were competing against I had met before. This competition will invite dancers from other kingdoms to come to the area, and probably make me look bad by comparison, since I’m sure most of them will be better than I am. So, we went with a small number of dances, one that allows us to run our routines three or four times, but will still give us ample opportunity to just sit back and watch others perform, letting us see what people who have been doing this much longer than we have are capable of doing, what hopefully someday we are capable of doing.
To that end, this weekend during our time with Sir Steven we all but finished up out Waltz and Foxtrot routines. I captured video of the two routines, with my dance partner and Sir Steven demonstrating, so that we can both use these to refer to as we work to drill them into memory. He also mentioned that there wouldn’t be much in the way of changes to our Bolero routine, since that one is already at the level he will be signing us up to perform. So… three down, seven (or eight, if we get ambitious) to go. There’s three months to get this all done, right? Plenty of time!
This weekend I got talked into going out to a dance that was being held at a bar on Saturday night. It was something Bony had asked some people at the studio to go along with her to, and I’m a sucker for people asking me nicely to do things. What none of us knew beforehand was that it was actually a mixer dance for singles in their 40s and 50s… which didn’t drive us to leave when we found out what was going on. Instead, we used the opportunity to show off, as anyone who was in the same position would do. There were seven of us from the Land of the Loft who went that night: Sparkledancer, Diane, Jack and I stood out quite a bit, since we were all about ten years too young to get into this event; Bony, The Crank and Enthusiasm were old enough to attend, so we stuck close to them most of the evening. Considering the age group the party was intended for, a large portion of the songs played that evening were Hustle songs. From my vast knowledge of people who are now in their 40s and 50s (which mostly comes from watching Saturday Night Fever once upon a time), that was the style of dance that was popular when they were our age. When I started learning to dance in the Dance Kingdom, and they were teaching us the Hustle as a precursor to learning any kind of Swing dancing, I thought it was a fun-but-weird style to learn, one that was centered on a style of music that I wouldn’t really come across in my normal outings in life. Now I am thankful I did learn it, because all that knowledge served me well this weekend.
During the night, we had lots of people approach us to ask us things. The most exciting was one lady who came to ask us where we learned to dance like that. She recognized what we were doing, and had rushed over to talk about it. When we told her that we were squires of the Dance Kingdom, I swear she was going to start jumping for joy. It turns out that she was a former student of Lord Bradley! She gave up her dancing many moons ago when one of her kids went off to college, and she missed it terribly. Being the gentleman that others claim I am, I told her all about the upcoming Friends and Family Luau that our studio was planning on hosting in few weekends, and told her that she should go. I told her that if she claimed to be friends with all of us who were there that night, they would let her in for sure. I also led her through some Cha-Cha, because she was super excited to be with someone who knew how to do it, and she had wanted to dance so bad all evening. Who knows? Seeing the excitement in her eyes at the thought of going to one of our dances, it made me hopeful that I had found a new protégé for Lord Fabulous. After losing his last protégé, I know he has been working hard to find someone with the same flare to train, and since this woman already has the basics down, he should be able to work with her easily.
At another point in the night, I had one lady come up to me and tell me that she had been watching me dance with Bony, Diane and Sparkledancer out on the dance floor, and she wanted to know where it was that I taught dance at. I was taken aback by that, and after a good laugh I told her that I was merely a student of dance, and proceeded to tell her about the wonders of the Dance Kingdom, and how she could learn all that we knew if she wanted to join us. I even told her about the Luau party, and said that it would be a good way to come see where we learned to see if she liked it. She told me that she was very interested, and was going to go back to her table and tell all her girlfriends about it, and they would all try and come to the party. Later on, as I was relaying this story to Sparkledancer, she told me that the lady was probably using the line about me being an instructor as a pick-up line, and that she might have been more interested in me than in my dancing (it was a singles party, after all). Apparently I am oblivious to things sometimes. There is a part of me that hopes that they do come to the party and end up joining the Dance Kingdom, but now there’s this other part of me that thinks if she was just hitting on me, then I would have a hard time not laughing if I saw her again.
No one ever said that the job of a Dance Ambassador would be easy…