Clouds Roll By And I Roll With Them

We’re getting closer to having routines built for all twenty-one styles in International Standard and Latin and American Smooth and Rhythm, but I’m getting the feeling that at the rate we’re going we’re not going to quite get there unless we decide to reuse a large chunk of the American-style routines we had for the last competition. Over the last two weekends Lady Q gave us what she had written down to use for PullMeUnder1our Jive routine, and Lord Fabulous finished up our American Waltz routine. That puts us a little over halfway done at the time of this writing. By my count, we have ten routines fully completed, eight that are not finished or we haven’t even started yet, and three that I think are done but I haven’t gotten the final word on that yet. The ones that I think are done are ones like the International Viennese Waltz, where there isn’t much on the syllabus to choose from (at any level, let alone at the Bronze level I’ll be doing), or the International Waltz where I was told the routine would be strictly syllabus. Of the eight that are not done or not started yet, there are only two styles that I would not be able to use a previously learned routine for, so those two are probably going to be what I push to get done first. The others will take some practice to ensure that I remember my previous routines, but I believe I could bring those back to life in short order if I tried. Time is running out though, so I need to start finalizing at least two a week from here to get them all done if I want to meet my goal.

No, of course I don’t think I am reaching too high with this goal. I mean, setting high goals works out well, right? Look at Icarus. Sure, he melted his wings and plunged back to the ground, but if he hadn’t done that, he would have never become a video game character so many years later. That means he achieved a measure of kleos, which is an ancient Greek term referring to (as a college professor of mine once explained) ‘renown or glory that people hear about’ usually in conjunction with their death, which was a high honor that Greek heroes would strive for. Think about that for a minute…

Philosophical thoughts aside – as I alluded to a while back, I have been working with Sir Steven once again out at the Endless Dance Hall. So far I’ve been meeting up with him one night a week for coaching, though the number of times I see him will probably end up increasing as time goes on. For instance, there is some competition class that they have on the weekends at the Endless Dance Hall that he told me he was interested in checking out, and told me it might be useful for me too, so I will probably end up there this weekend. During our time PullMeUnder2together over the past couple of weeks we have really been focusing on technique-related things – posture, framing, foot placement – things that he says are subtle changes to the casual observer, but will make vast improvements in the way my dancing will look to any judges in competition, and also serve to make my lead stronger as an added bonus. Much of the time has been spent specifically looking at Foxtrot. We’ve been trying to get it to really smooth out so that when people watch me dancing a Foxtrot they will be able to see that rolling motion that he says Foxtrot is known for. I didn’t think that my Foxtrot was terrible before, but after really sweating through the minor details of just a few figures, it feels like there have been huge improvements. There are still points that I need to get ingrained that he has been giving me a hard time on, like the placement of my head, which is something the Princess also mentioned to me. I guess I just like to look around when I’m dancing to see everything that is going on, and to make sure the person I dance with looks like they’re having a good time. Maybe I will just own it and make it part of my personal dance style. I don’t think any of the Dance Lords and Ladies I’ve met will let me get away with that, but I can try.

Let me tell you a bit about the Endless Dance Hall, since I keep mentioning it in passing but never really say much else about it. This place is huge compared to other ballrooms I’ve been to, so much so that it seems to even put a high school gymnasium to shame (though if you took out the bleachers from the gym, they might be pretty close in size). The space, as Sir Steven has told me, hasn’t been around long enough for the formalized chain of command to really take root, so it feels very wild and untamed when you enter, causing a person to glance over their shoulder occasionally in case a brilliant parrot or a mischievous primate might fritter by. There is more than enough space for all sorts of things to go on at once, so any number of Lords and Ladies will be around teaching private lessons or group classes whenever you might drop by. It’s not just the space that feels wild though – some of the Lords and Ladies of the Dance Kingdom I’ve watched with students there also seem a bit more feral when compared to the Lords and Ladies that the King and the Princess have had more time to work with. Sir Steven has been stepping in to help get things organized a bit better, but he said it’s going to take a bit more work to get things up to the level he would like: a level pleasing to the Royalty.

This is the first time I haven't used a castle I already had for a location. I thought this one had the right character I was going for...
This is the first time I haven’t used a castle I already had for a location. I thought this one had the right character I was going for…

It’s funny though – even with all the immense amounts of space in the room, I always seem to end up spending most of my time dancing in the corner by the front door. When I was there earlier this week, I brought along Sparkledancer so we could both work on some things under Sir Steven’s watchful eye. He had us start out traveling all around the room. We tried working on things in the far corner, by where the sound system is hooked up, but we didn’t stay there long. We ended up back in that same corner about halfway through the night there, and that’s where we stayed until we decided to call it quits. We PullMeUnder4didn’t work on any dance styles besides ballroom styles that should have traveled counter-clockwise around the room, but after we got back to that corner they never seemed to travel very far. Perhaps that corner has some sort of magnetic lock on me, pulling me back down to that area. Maybe I should check my dance shoes to make sure there’s not a magnet inside the heel or something.

I found out tonight that someone really did get a pack of those fake stick-on mustaches and will be bringing them to the Land of the Loft tomorrow. The plan to put mustaches on the inspirational posters is under way. There are already a bunch of volunteers (of course, I’m one of them), so if everyone gets one up there’s less of a chance someone will get caught. We’ll see how long it takes someone to notice!

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