Flashback to Wednesday night: we had just finished up Foxtrot class, and my dance partner and I were practicing some of the techniques from class. Others were in the back, chit-chatting, waiting for their private lessons to start. Sir Steven was going to be giving a lesson to Amazon, and Yessie was waiting for Lord Fabulous to finish up with the people he was working with to begin a lesson with her. My dance partner and I finished up and had gone over, sat down, and began changing our shoes, talking about our preferences for American Smooth Foxtrot as opposed to International Standard. As Sir Steven came over to grab Amazon to get started, Lord Fabulous turned from his lesson to yell out something unintelligible about telling about the competition. He paused for a moment, then said “Oh yeah” and came over to where my dance partner and I were sitting.
Sir Steven laid out this plan they had decided upon. Apparently they are going to have the two of us compete in some of the lower level heats during the competition, but we are going to do it separately. Sir Steven is going to compete with Sparkledancer, and I will be paired with Lady Q. When we asked him why, he said that we would be doing it to work on for and technique, and they wouldn’t be charging either of us anything to do it since this was their decision. Since Amazon was standing there with him ready to get started, he said that we would talk about it more the next time the three of us meet on Saturday for our lesson together, leaving us standing there in shock and confusion.
During my drive home, I started feel like I was suddenly under a lot of pressure. What is the reason for having the two of us compete separately? Is it really to have us work on the simpler version of the form and technique for things? Is it because they need more people to compete in the lower level heats than signed up? Believe it or not, I will admit to being scared of dancing with Lady Q. She knows a lot more than I do about what should or shouldn’t be happening. It’s one thing to be in a group class where no one really knows all the steps very well, and to dance with random people. It’s another thing to dance with someone who knows if you screw up and (since I’m the lead) make her look bad. I’m terrified enough when I dance with my dance partner, afraid that I’m going to make her mess up by messing up the lead, thereby making her look bad. That would make me feel horrible. I don’t really have to dance with Sir Steven during the lessons I take with him, as you can imagine, so I don’t really have much practice dancing with one of the noble class of the Dance Kingdom. Plus, how am I going to keep multiple routines for the same dance straight, especially since it is not as easy to schedule time to practice with Lady Q? Or, worse, what if they want me to freestyle it? That would be fine for things in the Rhythm category, but anything in the Smooth category… my skill level in floorcraft is not yet very high. It’s gotten better since the last time I spoke about it, but it’s still one of those things I would consider a weak point. I made the same point to Sparkledancer when we spoke about this turn of events, and told her that she shouldn’t worry so much about it. She gets to compete with Sir Steven, and he will know the routine inside and out (since he put it together), so he will be able to lead her through everything. If I forget things, I’m going to look silly.
The one thing I didn’t think of until just now is that it is possible that they could do this for West Coast Swing heats. Since I know, from all of the lands in the Dance Kingdom, that we are among the few who have taken a liking to West Coast Swing, and are among the even smaller set who compete with that style, splitting the two of us up to compete during some of those heats means there will be twice as many people on the floor as if they left us to compete with each other. Maybe that has something to do with it. I’d really rather not repeat the experience we had of being the only people on the floor for heats in that style last time…
I suppose this is not an unprecedented move. During the Spring Fling, one of the other non-Pro-Am couples actually did a few heats individually, each paired with a Lord of Lady. I thought it was strange at the time, but if this is standard operating procedure for non-Pro-Am couples, then I will remember to expect it if my dance partner and I ever decide to do another competition after the one in September.
No matter what happens, I suppose my focus should be on the routines I am learning with my dance partner. After all, anything I do with Lady Q, unless I totally destroy the lead during the routine she should know the female part that goes along with it. Last weekend when my dance partner and I worked with Sir Steven, we went back and reviewed our Bolero routine. I happen to like Bolero. It’s another one of those styles, like West Coast Swing, that not many people really put much effort into learning at the Land of the Loft. My dance partner and I enjoy it. Whenever we practice together, generally there is one of two songs on: Ricky Martin’s Casi Un Bolero (which should be obvious, since it’s in the title) or As The World Falls Down by David Bowie (yes, the one from the Labyrinth). Those songs are drilled into my mind as being shining examples of what the Bolero should sound like. It’s kind of like how the Mambo will forever be associated in my head with anything by Lou Bega. Luckily for us, there won’t be much in the way of changes to our Bolero routine that we used during the Spring Fling – we will be expanding on it, but the majority of it we already have down and in order. So that is one less routine I have to worry about studying so hard. We seem to be flying through the stuff in the rhythm category. Once everything is down and memorized, then I can work on actually making them look presentable. Hooray! It’s so exciting!
This weekend, there is a possibility that there may be two dance field trips that I have agreed to go on. We’ll see what happens! Stay tuned, and I’ll share some stories if I survive them.