Lifting Shadows Off A Dream Once Broken

Saturday night’s dance field trip was good, especially for the ladies from our studio. Really good. We went out to a large social dance event being held at a ballroom in town, much like we did right before the last competition I was in. We all met up at a place to have dinner that was within walking distance of the dance studio, and got there early enough to attend the class that they were giving before the event started. The class was basic Cha-Cha, reviewing a number of things I had learned previously and showing a few modifications I did not know of a few other steps. The guest instructors they brought in also did a performance for all of us, demonstrating their Cha-Cha technique before leaving for the night. Once they wrapped up, we danced.

As silly as it may sound to say that, seeing as how it was a social dance party and all, that’s what we all got up and did and that was what really seemed to help shake the dark cloud that had been looming around LiftingShadows1lately. Most of us there were former students of Sir Steven, and since his sudden departure, the ladies especially had been going through feelings that resembled, as one lady described to me, a ‘death in the family.’ That night as we danced no one was preparing for a competition, it was a new group of people that did not know us, on a new floor that only a small number of us had ever been on before. It really seemed to help center us all – to help remind us why it is that we all spend so much time doing this. We got out on the floor and laughed, danced, and basically sweat out all the negative energy that had taken hold. I felt really good about it, and it brought back the smiles to the faces of some of my friends that I hadn’t seen the week before leading up to this event. Sparkledancer and I even convinced Jack and Diane to go out with us to the floor during the two Viennese Waltz songs that were played that night – one for International and one for American style. The last time we did an event like this before competition, the two of them had pressured Sparkledancer and me to get out and practice our American Viennese Waltz routine. The two of them had been working on getting that dance style down the last few months, so we made sure to return the favor. That turned out to be a great way to get out and work up a sweat, as I’m sure you can imagine.

As we were collecting everyone who we came with and making our way out the door, a couple of people approached Jack, Diane and I to ask if we had ever thought about competing before. Apparently they had recently started a group for DanceSport competitors, and they had seen that we primarily knew American-style dancing. From what one of the people told us, that was something that not many people in their group could do (most of the people in their competition group all did International styles). I waved Sparkledancer over to talk with all of us, and we told them about our competition experience with each other, and they invited us to meet with them every Sunday. They had started getting together to work on competition preparation and held a potluck dinner afterward, and as a group they would sign up for various competitions together. The offer really seemed to excite Diane. She had been taking the loss of Sir Steven the hardest, and having someone else whom we had never met before come and complement everything she had learned and ask her to consider competing with them just solidified all the good feelings that we had been cultivating all night for her.

With the funk that the loss had brought to the Land of the Loft now mostly lifted, the big problem that I seem to face now is aimlessness. My former dance coach had some grand scheme in mind, a direction he was pushing me to go in, especially with my competitive dancing with Sparkledancer. Now, when he is no longer around to push down that unknown path, I really don’t know where I was heading. Sparkledancer and I discussed this in length over the weekend, since she feels the same way. One potential idea that we may do is to sign up to do the upcoming showcase together. If we have a performance to work toward, it would get us back into the groove of learning with a purpose, and force us to schedule time to practice together like we have done for every other performance we have had. I’m fairly certain we are in agreement on a song to use for a showcase, and a style of dance we want to do, so the hard parts are completed.

I also have some reservations about the number of people already signed up for showcase, and the numbers of routines each of those people are already doing. With so much already scheduled to go on that night, it may turn out to be a very long evening for everyone, especially the people who come just as spectators. The one factor that may open that issue up for me is that both Bony and Chanel have said that they are potentially going to drop some of the routines that they are doing because of Sir Steven’s departure. If they do, then I know there would be several open spots we could use. I will see what their plan is on Friday night.

Knowing that there is no goal to work toward, Tuesday night I met with Lord Fabulous and Sparkledancer for our first real coaching lesson he’s ever given us with an open mind. Both of us have worked with him LiftingShadows2or taken group classes with him a few times in the past, but this was the first time he has worked with the two of us together in our competitive pursuits. Based on a conversation that Lord Fabulous and Diane had after Sir Steven’s departure, he is looking at scrapping all the routines that we had and starting to build new ones from scratch, rather than upgrading the ones we had before with more advanced pieces, as was our original goal. He told me some remark about how it was like having one famous clothes designer design new items for another clothes line after the death of that clothes line’s namesake. I don’t know a whole lot about clothing, but I think I got the gist of what he was implying by that metaphor.

Having our lesson with him first kind of blew my whole idea of alternating between the three available Lords and Lady out of the water. I know he has watched the two of us work on things for a long time – sometimes literally sitting in a chair watching our past lessons. We are two of only a handful of people who have been members of the Land of the Loft longer than he has been, and he doesn’t really have any high level students of his own. When we had finished our lesson that focused mostly on Foxtrot, he started going on about how he really likes to alternate the lessons he gives to first focus on ballroom styles, and then go to Latin styles, and he told us if we were free Saturday after the classes we both usually show up for that he would put us down to work with him again. There wasn’t an offer to let us work with one of the other instructors, or a question as to whether we wanted to do a lesson on Saturday, it was something he added to his calendar and told us he couldn’t wait to do.

So, it seems like we have been claimed by a new instructor already. Decisions are easy when you don’t have to make them, right?

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