At this point, it seems like my earlier remark about ending up with a routine in all 21 different dance styles for International Standard and Latin and American Smooth and Rhythm is coming true. In the coaching session with Lord Fabulous that I was at this past Saturday, we started building routines for International Foxtrot and Waltz. I had thought we would just do one or the other – International Standard or Latin, and add that to the ten styles we had worked with before. But after spending a large portion of our session going over the Foxtrot heel turns and impetuses (hee hee, impetus… you can all giggle too, it’s a funny word) and the Waltz whisks and chasses, I’m starting to think that both Standard and Latin are probably going to happen. On the bright side, I guess this will be a good excuse to put some effort into Quickstep. At this point, Quickstep is something I’ve always admired from afar, and never really learned more than the basics of. This would definitely force me to change that.
On the down side, this would also force me to put effort into really learning Samba, and more than just the line-dance version of Samba. I’m sure that doesn’t sound so bad to anyone else, but I have… well, I have white-boy hips, to put it bluntly. They just don’t roll naturally in a very Samba-esque manner. And if I try to shimmy, it makes people standing nearby wince in embarrassment for being seen near me. So, there would have to be a lot of work put into Samba to make it look passable. It probably still won’t be good, but I might be able to do passable. But hey, at least I would get to botafogo, right?
Our Saturday lesson also coincided with the newcomer-level class that Lady Q was teaching. We spent time working on three dance styles that day: International Foxtrot and Waltz (as previously mentioned), and American Viennese Waltz. As we worked through the pieces, and Lord Fabulous kept adding figures to the routine, we kept veering further and further into the side of the studio where the group class was being held. Sometimes I would have to stop or cut things short so that I wouldn’t run into someone who was encroaching on where I was going to be. I thought it was all completely unintentional at first, but Lord Fabulous had apparently planned things that way. At one point, he stopped and mused about how he loved teaching high-level lessons during the newcomer classes, and he especially loved it when he knew that the newcomers stopped paying attention to the class they were in to watch what the higher level students (in this case, Sparkledancer and I) were doing. He hoped it would inspire them to learn more, he said, and give them a taste for what practice could turn them into. So I guess now I am a show pony. Does this happen at other studios? I mean, I know other places have showcases where the students will show off for one another in scheduled, formal events. They aren’t held during the middle of someone else’s group class. At least, I’ve never heard of them being run that way before.
Monday night Sparkledancer joined me for a one-off lesson with Lady Q for some charity event the Dance Kingdom was holding. When I had signed up for it, I originally just wanted to go through all the stuff that was in the Bolero syllabus for this month’s class since it was apparent we wouldn’t get through everything in the class period due to the reduced number of Wednesdays this month and the other students in class struggling with the material. With just the two of us, we managed to go over each of the figures from the new syllabus and all the figures I only sort-of remembered from the previous syllabus in about fifteen minutes. Most of the figures weren’t too hard to get down, but the left-side pass, which was formerly on the syllabus and has now been moved to a higher level syllabus… for some reason that just doesn’t stick with me. I was thinking about it as I was falling asleep after that lesson, and I could not for the life of me picture the footwork that I needed to do. Then when we were at the Bolero group class on Wednesday night I tried it again with Sparkledancer and managed to figure it out after a few tries. Now when I’m thinking about it again I just can’t seem to picture the correct footwork. All the other figures I have no trouble doing that, but that one… it’s kind of frustrating. Why do all the other ones stick with me, but that one just goes in one ear and out the other? Perhaps next time I see Sparkledancer I will have to try it yet again to see if my body can remember the figure even if my brain cannot. And if I can remember it, I’m just going to have to break down and draw myself a picture of how it works so that I won’t forget it again.
Back to Monday night – after we finished everything in Bolero, we switched over to Paso Doble. Lady Q had originally told me when I signed up for the lesson that she wanted to work on a Cha-Cha routine that she had come up with. She mentioned coming up with it while driving around, and was really excited about going through it with me. That night she told me that since Lord Fabulous was already building our competition Cha-Cha routines for both American and International, we would be working on a Paso Doble routine with her instead, and this would become our future competition routine. In the remaining time, we managed to lay out all the figures from the start until the first break in the music, which allows us to cover a little more than one long and one short wall. Now all I need to do is get them memorized in order and I should be able to run through it without a hitch. I also laughed about the word “huit” probably more than I should have. Silly French people. What were they thinking, putting their figure names in Spanish dances?
Our Land of the Loft holiday dance party scheduled for tomorrow looks like it may be pretty small. When I was looking into the ugly sweater dress code for the party, I realized that I don’t own any sweaters at all. I think I got rid of them when I realized I didn’t live somewhere cold anymore. So I’m probably just going to wear a t-shirt. Considering that it’s going to get warm here in Charlotte again this weekend, and I don’t really get breaks at dance parties since I am one of the few male dancers, it’s probably better for me to not wear a sweater anyway. I don’t want to die of heat stroke in December, after all. That would be a sad and funny obituary, wouldn’t it?