Let’s See How Far We’ve Come

Things have started to return to normal here in the Dance Kingdom. With the latest competition out of the way, and the next event, the performance showcase, being a few months out, we can all breathe a sigh of relief and relax a bit. This brief lull gives us some time to reflect on how things are going, where we all want to go in our dance journey, and take a look at the scores from our competition heats to see what it is that those of us who did compete need to work on to improve.

It seems like there are already a large number of people from the Land of the Loft that have signed up to do the upcoming showcase. Many of them have said that they are starting to prepare two, even three routines for performance. I think that I will be sitting that one out though. Up until now, I have done every performance offered to me, but I think for this one I want to attend as a spectator so that I can cheer on the people I know who are performing, much like they did when I was dancing in the last couple of competitions. I’m also kind of hoping that the push to perform will help the people who have already signed up advance their skills so that they can start joining us in the more advanced group classes. Don’t get me wrong, I love the little core group of about six people we have in those classes – these are all the people that I have been dancing with the longest on this journey I’m on, so we know each other the best. But I know a lot of the others watch the things that we do in these classes and ask about joining in with us, because we always seem to be having fun. I’d love for them to join in our merriment. It would make things… merrier.

Speaking of group classes, this month I am super excited to be taking a class in Pasodoble. Because of the competition at the end of last month, they never really put out the schedule for this month’s classes (or I never really went out of my way to look for it), HowFar1so it was kind of a surprise to see that it was being offered. This will be my first time dipping my toes into this dance style, and so far the class has been ridiculous. I understand the history of the dance, and the drama that should be involved when doing it, but every time we switch partners and start dancing I think back to a movie that someone convinced me to watch (that I’m sure you all know), and it makes me laugh to think that now I can be the one doing the ‘sort of dance you dance so late at night.’ And since all of us in class have seen that movie, when one of us starts laughing or making ridiculous comments, everyone else cannot help but laughing. On top of that, they have the intermediate level group class going on the other side of the room, and all of our stomping and laughing has everyone watching us rather intently, which only heightens the hilarity of the experience. Maybe the next time I sign up to compete I will try and convince my dance partner that we need to add a Pasodoble routine to the mix. It would be (at this point) the only International-style dance we do, but it would be totally worth it.

This past Saturday night a number of us got together to go out for a dance field trip to another random 40s and 50s singles dance party that Bony had found and invited us all to. More people attended this dance field trip than the last time we had done a similar HowFar2trip – Bony, Sparkledancer, Jack and Diane, Chanel, The Crank, Enthusiasm, the Heartbreak Kid and Amazon all decided to come along. The back room where we sat and had dinner before the party started had the furniture moved around, so it was almost like a private dance area that we took over for the night, with a big open space in the middle. Much like last time we spent the evening doing mostly Hustle and Cha-Cha, some East Coast Swing when the tempo permitted and even occasionally some Rumba as the DJ would slow the music down so that the singles could get a little closer. There was one particularly fascinating man who would come into our little room in the back every so often, bringing a different girl with him seemingly every time he came back, and he would dance the Carolina Shag quite brilliantly as we all stopped to watch and clap. Being the first dance field trip we’ve had since competition, it felt good to get back to being a bit silly and having people watch what we were doing. I even got to play dance ambassador to a couple of different ladies that night, trying to convince them that if they wanted to learn to dance with us, there was a great place I knew of for them to go. We’ll see if anything comes of that. So far I am at a great big 0 for the number of people my dance ambassadorship has succeeded with.

Because I’m sure everyone is curious, I’ll tell you about the scores I got back. This competition was scored on a 10-point scale, with a score of 5 meaning that you were on par with the level that you were signed up to compete at during the heat. From what Sir Steven told everyone when handing out the scores, there were no 10s given out, and only three 9s given out of all the competitors in all the heats for the whole day. With that in mind, I did some calculations with what I got (because I guess I really am a dance nerd), and here are some of the highlights:

  • The scores for the heats I danced with Sparkledancer were better overall than the scores I got for the heats I danced with Lady Q. I’m chalking this up to practice, since I spent a lot more time practicing with her.
  • Based on the average of the heat scores, the best dance style for me no matter whom I danced with was East Coast Swing. Not terribly surprising.
  • Based again on the average of the heat scores, the worst dance style for me is the slow Waltz. This one was a surprise of sorts – I was worried that I would have placed really low in all the Viennese Waltz heats that I did, but that was not the case. I guess I have that dance under control more than I originally thought.
  • From everyone I talked to, I don’t think anyone got a score of less than 5. That was my lowest score in any heat. The majority of the heats I did (60%) I scored a 6, so that makes me feel like I did pretty well.
  • My highest heat scores were 7s, and I only got those with heats in Bolero, Cha-Cha, East Coast Swing, Viennese Waltz (I don’t know how that happened), and Rumba.
  • As Sparkledancer and I were comparing our scores, I did slightly better with Lady Q HowFar3than she did with Sir Steven. I attribute this again to practice – I scheduled time to practice the routines with Lady Q, while Sir Steven never managed to find time to run through things with Sparkledancer. Also (and probably more relevant), I was leading, so I made sure to stay on routine as much as possible. From what my dance partner told me, Sir Steven would get bored and change things on her, so she never knew what to expect.

I’d say that’s pretty good for only having sixteen months of dance experience, wouldn’t you?

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