Don’t Stop Me Now

At this point, I think that I have successfully gotten most of the additional routines that Lady Q and I will be doing memorized. They may not be perfect, and I may have to continue practicing the Cha-Cha and East Coast Swing routines to be sure that they are good, but I feel mostly good about them. This coming Saturday, I have a time slot scheduled again with Lady Q, and we will see just how much I actually DontStop1have memorized when I’m dancing with someone else. There was some talk about adding another routine, one for the Hustle, if memorizing the other more important routines turned out to be pretty easy. I’m on the fence about that though. On one hand, adding another routine is just… a lot. My brain already is revolting against me trying to keep all the other dances straight. On the other hand though, if Hustle is added, that means that between the routines I am doing with my dance partner, and the routines I will be doing with Lady Q, I will have a routine covering all eleven of the dance styles in both the American Smooth and American Rhythm category. That is a pretty notable accomplishment in my head. Is it worth it though? Sir Steven has told my dance partner and me that Hustle is kind of an afterthought once you move beyond the intermediate level. Lord Fabulous refers to it (and Merengue) as a “party dance.” Don’t get me wrong, knowing the Hustle has come in handy, and is certainly a crowd pleaser when I am out amongst non-dance people, so I rather enjoy it. But the same could be said about West Coast Swing, which I rather enjoy and have spent a fair amount of time on lately, yet I haven’t dropped that routine.

This weekend turned out to be a pretty good weekend for dance confidence. Our lesson with Sir Steven on Saturday focused on just the ballroom-style dances, and it felt really solid. We’re at the point where he is starting to nitpick on little things, instead of correcting majorly incorrect things. Even the Viennese Waltz was not as bad as I thought it was going to be, but it was still the weakest of the four. I’d have to say, in order of what I feel most confident with in the American Smooth category, is:
-Tango
-Waltz
-Foxtrot
-Viennese Waltz
Our lesson Saturday was a dress rehearsal as well, so there was some additional minor adjustments as we figured out what worked best with what we were wearing. I had never tried dancing with Sparkledancer while she was wearing her ballroom gown before, and the bottom edge of it was a lot stiffer than I had anticipated, so the first couple of dances it kind of felt strange when my leg would abruptly run into the billowing hem. That was a simple mind-over-matter adjustment though. Next Saturday Sir Steven promised that we would be able to start with Viennese Waltz, so hopefully that will help raise the confidence level with that routine. We shall see…

I also did go out on a dance field trip, just like I had hoped to. The only person who went along with me was Sparkledancer, so it was a small DontStop2field trip. We went to a club in the southern section of Charlotte to hang out and dance for a few hours. Because of the number of people on the floor, we couldn’t practice our routines, but we just played around. It is a lot of fun to do that, and then scan the room and the bar area and see people watching us. Sometimes I could catch eyes with people and they would look away quickly, pretending to be cool. Still, there’s something about being the “best dancer” out on the floor that people are watching that makes you feel really good. In a situation where other people are on the same learning track as I am, I am so far from the best dancer that sometimes I feel like I don’t know what I’m doing, but when out amongst non-dance people, I feel like a star. It’s great.

In other strange news, there was a random text message tonight that they announced that Young Dave was going to start training to be a Lord at the Dance Kingdom. I couldn’t get any more information, so I am wondering if it was just someone trying to troll. There have been a lot of strange shake ups going on at the Land of the Loft, with Lord Fabulous rearranging the order of the dance fitness classes, and the order of the people teaching the group classes. Wednesday night we started Quickstep for September. The first class was taught by Sir Steven, but at the end he gathered us around and let us all know that starting next week Lady Q would be teaching the class, and he would replace her teaching the entry-level class earlier in the evening. There has also been a new “Captain” at the studio, a former cheerleader who was interning under Lord Fabulous for a few weeks and recently took and passed her instructor test. She is not certified to teach yet, but they gave her the title of Captain Something-Or-Other (that I didn’t really pay attention to) and she is now hanging around a lot on the weekends. When I write these changes out, they don’t really seem that bad. However, there is something about all of this that has left a lot of the people at the studio unsettled – much like how a cat acts after you rearrange all the furniture in its favorite room. We’ll have to see after this month if the changes stick around, or if they move everything back the way it was before once the competition is all over.

Speaking of competition, we are counting down the days now. It’s only two weeks from this Sunday. Are you as excited as I am? The routines are done, there is lots of practicing and extra lessons going on with all the competitors, all the outfits are being cleaned and pressed – we are DontStop3almost ready to go. I imagine that the Princess and the King are out at the Grand Ballroom, overseeing the setup for the event so that everything will be perfect for our big day. Right now, there is only excitement building – the nerves haven’t quite hit yet. Can you feel it? We’re going to have ourselves a real good time.

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