I had another Hustle class this past Friday with Sir Digler again. There were a number of different faces in class this week that were not there last week, so rather than just reviewing what we had done previously and moving forward with different things, we had to start over at the beginning to get everyone on the same page. The people who joined this week must have been really new, since we spent a lot of time just going over the basic steps, and were not able to cover the rest of the material from last week at nearly the same rate that we managed before. We had all but one person who was there last week with us, so you would think those of us who already knew where we were headed would have been able to help the others get up to speed quickly. That was not the case, and that made me a bit sad. I had hoped we would get through review quickly and possibly work on going over more new Hustle moves that I didn’t already know this week, but we never got a chance. We just barely (and I’m talking about we stayed past the normal end-of-class time to do it) managed to get to review one of the two new figures that I learned last week, the closed-position Grapevine. That was nice to do again; it certainly helped cement that figure for me. There are only a handful of ladies who were in the class who seemed to catch on to how the move worked, so if I were to use this figure outside of class I may have to limit my usage to times when I am dancing Hustle with one of them. Or, maybe I can play teacher and show Sparkledancer how to do the step. She likes new Hustle figures, so she might be open to letting me show it to her. At the end of class Sir Digler said that this would be his last time teaching Hustle class this month. Tomorrow we’ll have to see what happens when someone else steps in. Maybe we’ll start all over again!
My big choice that I had this past weekend ended up being made for me, but it all turned out great. I spent most of the afternoon last Saturday debating the pros and cons of going to either the dance party at the City Dance Hall to partake of the West Coast Swing lesson beforehand, or getting dressed up to go to the White Clothing party. Then I got a call from work and had to go deal with something that really had to be done. By the time I finished that up, the West Coast Swing lesson was already over, so I headed back home to change into whatever white clothing I had sitting around and off I went to that party. Lord Junior greeted me as I walked in, saying it was a good thing I was there since there were lots of ladies. I was super excited to see Deja again too. It seems like about a month since I last saw her, and I had just decided she had been around enough to deserve a name when she disappeared off the face of the earth (don’t you hate it when that happens?). She told me that she had some family stuff come up, so she wasn’t able to be around much. I guess that’s a decent excuse… Abracadaniel was super excited that she had shown up for the party too. He tried to play it cool, but I could tell. He has a major crush on her, I think it’s pretty obvious. Mister had also decided to attend this party, and he was spending a lot of time dancing with Deja throughout the evening. In between songs, as I stopped to get a glass of water, I walked by Abracadaniel I told him that he was letting Mister cut in on his girl, so he needed to step up his game. He laughed at that, and told me he would do his best to make me proud. Those two would be adorable together, and if they dated I could make lots of jokes about how they danced their ways into each other’s hearts.
The party turned out to be the perfect way to end the night. I danced with a lot of people, and I even might have made a new friend who just moved back here from overseas (assuming she ever shows up again!). I had some interesting discussions about the differences between Salsa and Mambo, since they played a lot of Salsa songs that night and I really prefer to do Mambo. For the ladies I could not impress with my lackluster Salsa skills, I made sure to take them out on the floor later for a Waltz or a Foxtrot, to show them I could do much better with dances built for long-legged people who lack hip coordination. I got a chance to do one Viennese Waltz, but there wasn’t anyone else there who really knew how to dance that style who didn’t already have a partner. Points offered to do it with me, but when I asked her as the song started how much Viennese Waltz she had done, she said she had only ever been to one class that was given right before a social dance, so she wasn’t sure how good she would be. We made it through two laps before she said she was getting too dizzy and I led her off the floor. As the evening wore on, the older crowd left for the evening, leaving those of us who were youthful and crazy (and the Dance Robots, since they just never stop!) to close the place down. The last half-hour or so, there were only nine of us left dancing. Lord Junior started dedicating every song that was played to Mister, picking out songs that were from the ‘70s and ‘80s for fun. Just before midnight, Lord Junior wanted to head across the street with anyone who wanted to go along to the bar there and keep the party going, albeit giving their legs a break for a while. I was picking through the table that had white-colored snacks on it (to match the costumes) and was having a good time eating white chocolate–covered pretzels. For some reason they were really delicious that late at night, not that I can remember the last time I had chocolate-covered pretzels of any kind to compare the ones I had that night to. Since I don’t drink, I took my leave when they all headed off to the bar, and made my way off into the night, with a handful of those pretzels for the drive home.
Last Monday during Latin Technique it was just me and Veep, which was weird because Abracadaniel asked me specifically about whether or not I was coming to class when we were leaving the party Saturday night, which seemed to imply that he was going to be there. While we were sitting around talking and waiting for others to possibly show up, Veep was going through what we had done in class recently – the prior week we had done Samba, the week before that we had done Cha-Cha, and the week before that we did Rumba. I told her that only left two choices if she wanted to do something different. She was a bit worried about doing Jive, since she was still getting over a recent knee injury (in fact, she was wearing a soft brace on her knee that night), but Lord Junior interjected and said that we could work on something focusing on Chicken Walks, which wouldn’t’ require her to do a lot of crazy action with her knee, and he would avoid any figures that would have her doing Jive kicks. When no one else showed up for class, we went ahead with that plan. I must say that even though the two of us managed to work our way through a pretty long pattern of figures by the time class finished, I didn’t feel like I had moved a whole lot, but I still somehow ended up kind of sweaty and gross, so that tells me I did put in a lot of work. There were lots of points in the pattern where I was just marking time with my feet – not really stepping, not standing still, just… tapping my toes in time with the count or music we were using. There were a few more interesting figures mixed in with what I was doing – a couple of Sailor Shuffles (which are always fun), I got to do one kick, and during the last set of Chicken Walks that Veep was doing Lord Junior told me that we could take several more steps, and for looks I could be leaning back as far as I could without my partner would drop me while walking backwards. Veep was able to hold me up enough so that I could lean back pretty far, not as far as my flexibility allows, but far enough to look unnatural while walking, and certainly farther than I could go if no one was keeping me from falling, so that was nice.
Sparkledancer called me a couple of days ago to let me know she would be back in town tomorrow, and she is excited to get back to dancing. I guess where she’s been she wasn’t able to do much of that. We have a coaching session with Sir Steven on Saturday, and I’m not sure what we’ll be doing then. I guess we should all talk seriously about what our next dance goal is to have something to work toward now that our last performance is over and everyone’s back from summer vacations. There was some speculative talk not that long ago, but we never actually made any decisions to work toward at that time. We’ll see what happens!