The big adventure from this past week was that I got to perform – the culmination of all that time spent practicing, learning and refining our Pasodoble routine. I was really happy that Sparkledancer and I were the only ones performing that day that had a Pasodoble to show. At other dance shows I’ve been to, there usually are only a few people doing Pasodoble, so I knew there wouldn’t be many besides ours, but I confess that it did make me happy that no one else was doing one so that we had something really different to offer the audience than everyone else. This showcase was being held at the White Dance Hall. I’ve spent time at the White Dance Hall for dance parties, but I don’t remember the floor being quite so slippery during those events. Sparkledancer and I showed up early along with all the other performers to practice things a bit on the actual floor before the show started, and I felt like they must have waxed the floor right before we all got there. We got two chances to run through things with music, otherwise we were just stepping through parts off to the side so that we weren’t in the way of other people doing the same. I was in my normal clothing at this point – I didn’t want to change into my costume until just before the performance, so that there was something new for everyone to see when the time came. Some spectators showed up early and were watching us all practice, so the actual routines wouldn’t have been novel for them when our time came. When we got the schedule for the day, we found out that we were the second act in set two. The show was also a social dance, so they had planned on about an hour of everyone dancing to start with, then running through half the performances, then a 30-minute dance break, then the other half of the performances, and then opening up the floor again for whatever time was left over so that everyone could have fun. That’s quite different from other showcases I’ve gone to which were essentially just marathon sessions of watching people on stage, some up to a hundred acts. Lord Junior said the most performances he would ever do at one event was about twenty-five, because people get bored watching things otherwise. This particular event only had fifteen, if you include the one I was in.
I am super, super (super) happy to report that I managed to get Sparkledancer to slide at least six feet, just like I said I was going to. I don’t know if it was because the floor was extra slippery as I mentioned earlier, or I managed to set her down on the floor just right, or if all the adrenaline I had from performing in front of a real audience gave me superhuman strength, but when I released Sparkledancer to slide along the floor she just kept going for a long time. Sir Steven told me later that the White Dance Hall has real wood floors, so they would have to treat them from time to time, which might explain why the floor was so slick, but I think I’m going to believe that it happened because dance performances grant me above-normal powers. Sparkledancer told me immediately after the performance that she had started rotating near the end of her slide – she had never slid long enough to have that happen before, so the spinning confused her a little. Later on that evening after the party was over, she called me as I was headed home to tell me that she had gotten some floor burn on one of her ankles from the exposed skin sliding along the floor for so long. I hate that I caused her injury… but I am a little proud of that. During the performance, when I backed up away from her and watched her slide, I got so excited about how far she was going that I started raising my arms triumphantly instead of hitting a straight up and down line with my arms at my sides like I had practiced to do. I was proud of myself, what can I say? I don’t think anyone besides me (and Sparkledancer, since she was the one on the ground) was impressed with that small moment, but I’m going to pat myself on the back for setting a goal and then achieving it successfully.
There was a mixture of other routines going on that I got to watch that day. Among them we had an older women who looked really nervous doing a dream-state Waltz with her instructor, a younger girl who performed a couple of her competition routines with Lord Junior for everyone to see, and some people I had never met before who came all the way down from the northern highlands to do an Argentine Tango for us. There was an instructor who just moved to the area who was looking to start teaching Shag classes, and he went out with one of his students to show off for a bit. I don’t think they actually had a routine, since they just kept dancing until the music was shut off on them. He had crazy leg movements going on, and she was just kind of rotating around him, but I guess that’s how Shag competitions are actually supposed to be. From what was told later, Shag is even more of a manly dance than Pasodoble in some ways, so the guy is constantly moving (to impress his dance partner) and the girl isn’t really doing much, and even during competitions they have no set routines. After we got done with our performance, I thought that we were really cool since we were the only ones who had included a lift as part of our routine, but the very last act of the night was this instructor doing a Bachata performance with a much younger student of his, and he put me to shame by picking her up off the floor and flipping her all over his body and through his legs several times during the performance. That just sets the bar for the next time I decide to do a showcase – I told Sparkledancer that we’d have to do a slow dance like a Waltz or Rumba, and I would dance the whole thing while holding her up in the air over my head, so as not to be outdone. She didn’t seem too keen on the idea right away, but it might be a while before I decide to do a showcase again, so I can either wear her down until she wants to go along with the plan, or find someone else who would trust me enough to let me try that stunt.
Both Sir Steven and Lord Junior, who worked with us to get our routine looking awesome, seem to be really happy with the way our performance went, which makes me feel pretty good about things. Yesterday I was out at the Electric Dance Hall, and Sir Steven, Sparkledancer and I were discussing what we wanted to start working toward next. We talked about some competitions that were going on before the end of the year, and there’s a good chance we will pick one to enter soon. Sir Steven said that no matter what we decide, he wants us to make sure we don’t forget our showcase routine, because we might be able to use it for something (depending on what we choose to do, of course). Lord Junior was wandering around the studio while we were talking, and he said that we should definitely use it to compete with. He joked that we should sign up for a competition to compete in Pasodoble, and only Pasodoble. We would be the only people he’s ever heard of doing that if we did. I told him that I was onboard with that idea, since I really didn’t have an idea of any other situations where I could ever wear those bondage pants that I got for my costume. They were otherwise just going to get hung up in my dance costume closet where they would collect dust.
(OK, so I have a closet in my house that’s mostly used for storage, but the few items of clothing I also have hanging in there are my suits to keep them safe from my cat, and various other apparel that I wear and have worn only for dancing. In my mind, that qualifies it as a dance-costume-closet. I imagine female dancers would have something similar at their houses where they store their ballroom gowns in, since they take up a lot of closet space)
In other news…
Abracadaniel seems to want to be a regular for the Monday night Latin Technique class I go to. He was at the showcase over the weekend, and before we left I asked him if he was going to class on Monday. He told me that he wasn’t sure – there was an Argentine Tango class somewhere that he was sort-of interested in going to, but it was at the same time as Latin Technique, so he said he probably wouldn’t be there. I’ve learned that Abracadaniel really seems to like the various Club Latin styles (Salsa is his current favorite), so I thought that another alternative dance style like Argentine Tango would be right up his alley. But he still ended up being at class Monday night. Maybe he likes the challenge of doing higher-level things, or maybe he felt guilt about skipping since I had asked him if he would be there. Monday night we were working on Cha-Cha. It has been a while since I’ve even thought of Cha-Cha – usually when there are newer dancers in class with us like there have been the last several weeks now, Lord Junior likes to do Rumba, because a slower dance is somewhat easier for people to grasp. Since we had an even number of men and women in class that night, Lord Junior asked us if we wanted to work on some solo exercises that we could practice ourselves, or if we wanted to do figures with partners. The resounding answer given was “why not both?” so he spent the first half of class going through some solo figures and then the second half of class we modified that arrangement so that it would work with a partner. I was doing so good at things until I decided that it wasn’t good enough working with just my left arm, I had to throw my right arm into the mix. That threw me off a lot. Sigh… righty. Why do you have to be like that?
Well, it’s a holiday weekend, and also summer, and that means that lots of people are going to be gone. Sparkledancer is going out-of-town for two weeks, and the second week while she’s gone Sir Steven is also planning on being out-of-town. Lord Junior is going to be gone for a long weekend this weekend, what with the holiday and all. It doesn’t look like there is much dancing going on this weekend, so I don’t think I’ll be doing too much. It will be good for me to rest anyway. I’m done with my three-months of self-imposed double workout training, so I’ll be going back to only punishing myself once a day instead of getting up super early to do it twice. That means I should have lots more energy for dancing after a good weekend of rest. Hooray!