Get The Party Going On The Dance Floor

Let me tell you, the finger food was a brilliant idea for last Friday night. I had been mentioning it to some people who were also coming to the potluck party, so they also brought simple foods that people could pick up and eat without a lot of effort. By the end of the night, those items (like cookies and cupcakes and deviled eggs) were what was mostly consumed, and the things that required effort to put on a plate and eat (like macaroni and cheese and meatballs) were still mostly untouched. Sometimes, my brilliance scares me. From now on, anytime someone mentions having a potluck at the dance studio, I am always going to bring some sort of finger food. I’m never going back.

Speaking of Friday, being the guinea pigs for the Rumba class turned out to be much more than just showing off. When the class started, Lord Fabulous had Sparkledancer and I pair up and go through the steps so that everyone could see what the final result would look like. After the initial show, he started to break the figure apart and show the two genders how to each do their respective pieces. After he worked with the men to go over the first part, he proceeded to turn them over to me so that I could show them how to do everything while he worked with the women. I was a little shocked at the sudden responsibility, but there were only three of us, so I just stepped through it slowly over and over while giving the counts so that the other two could get things down. After Lord Fabulous got done showing the women their first section, he did the same things with Sparkledancer. She mentioned to me later that she had a much more difficult time showing the ladies what to do, because much of the step doesn’t make sense unless you get to see it with a dance partner.
PumpUpTheJam1  As we got through more sections, one of the men I was working with was really struggling through things. I was having trouble showing the arm motions properly without someone to hang on to, so while Lord Fabulous was working with the women again I called Sparkledancer over to our side of the room and went through things again slowly from the beginning with her. As I did, I tried to mention all the things I could think of that I had made mistakes on the first couple of times I went through the figure, hoping that passing that information on would help these guys learn from my mistakes. Sparkledancer liked the idea of the two of us showing off the step and asked me to come help her with the ladies, but at that point Lord Fabulous decided we had all had enough solo practice time and we should now dance together to music. I tried my best to help out each of the ladies as they rotated around, but I only sort-of knew the women’s steps so I don’t know how successful I was at that. By the end of class, we hadn’t made it all the way through the figure that he had taught us, but we had gotten close. Tomorrow we should be able to get through everything, though a large number of the people who usually attend the class with us won’t be in town to attend.

The coaching lesson that Lord Fabulous gave to Sparkledancer and I on Saturday primarily focused on Tango and Viennese Waltz. We didn’t really do anything groundbreaking in either of those styles – there were some new variations of things in Tango, and a spin in Viennese Waltz that I know I have worked on in the past, but couldn’t quite remember before going over it again. Mostly I got hounded to keep rolling my right shoulder back while PumpUpTheJam2in frame. I don’t know what it is about my right shoulder, but it always seems to be the problem point, and I’m guessing that’s due to all the other work I do with that body part. Lifting weights with your shoulder, you mostly work on pushing upward, rolling forward or rolling out sideways. None of that really rolls it backward, so my shoulders aren’t really trained to stay like that for long periods of time. When I think about it, I can keep it there just fine. The problem comes when I shift focus and stop thinking about that shoulder, which causes it to settle back into a more rolled forward state. So, I’ll keep working on that, but I think it’s going to be a while before it becomes natural for me.

As we finished up the lesson, we started to talk about the upcoming Spring Fling, and how both of us were interested in signing up to do it so that we would have some direction for our coaching lessons going forward. The competition is quite a ways out, since it is in April, but Lord Fabulous was super excited to put us down. We didn’t know they were doing it, but apparently they were running a special for anyone who signed up before the eighth of December to give ten percent off the event. Hearing that sealed the deal for us, and so we both went ahead and signed up for it. As it stands we are planning on doing fifty heats, and we told him we’d like to do at least the ten dance styles we had done for our last competition (Waltz, Foxtrot, Tango, Viennese Waltz, Rumba, Cha-Cha, Mambo, Bolero, East Coast Swing and West Coast Swing). Beyond that, we gave him free reign to come up with a plan and start working things out. It will be interesting to see what he comes up with, since we’ve never worked on competition material with Lord Fabulous before this point.

This Friday sounds like it may turn out to be an impromptu Dance Kingdom get together at the Land of the Loft. Some weeks ago, Lord Fabulous started asking if anyone was interested in coming in on the day after Thanksgiving, because if no one would be around he wasn’t going to be either. When he found that there was enough interest in having a normal class schedule, he decided to hold regular classes like they would on any other Friday night. One of his friends from the Great Dance Hall by the Lake, Lord Scarry, told him that most everyone from their studio was going to be gone, so Lord Fabulous invited him to come and hang out with us that night and bring along any stragglers that wouldn’t be gone for the holidays and might be interested. Wednesday night we were told that the Great Dance Hall was also going to be closed on Friday night, so any of the people who usually attend the Friday night parties there who haven’t gone out of town for the weekend may be coming to dance with us as well. In my mind it’s kind of exciting – a lot like one of the normal Dance Kingdom parties they throw from time to time, but with less people so it’s easier for us all to mingle rather than stick with PumpUpTheJam3people from our normal circles. Plus, someone once told a bunch of us that Lord Scarry is kind of paranoid, and always thinks that people are talking about him if they happen to look in his direction and are out of earshot. Someone suggested to me that we have some fun with that while he’s around, since we never really get to spend time with him.

There is also a dance field trip available for Saturday night. With so many people that I usually go on these sorts of trips with out of town for the weekend, it sounds like so far it might just be me and a plethora of ladies from our studio going. From what I have been told, it will be a casual social dance at a ballroom studio in the city that is open to all for the evening. In my mind, I am picturing it to be a lot like the Friday night social dances that we have at the Land of the Loft, just with a different crowd. I hope it will be a good way to work off the calories I would have normally burned off by going to Thursday night classes, since those classes were cancelled so that everyone could stay home and eat food.

I hope my legs enjoyed their day off. There’s lots of dancing to be done this weekend, so they’ll need to be in top shape.

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