Lightning Strikes In The Dark

A lot of people seemed to be missing this week. I would guess that the holiday today probably has something to do with that… but what do I know? All that turkey I ate must have gone to my head, stuffing it with crazy ideas. I apologize in advance if any of my words tonight end up sounding stupid. My normal high bar for proofreading before posting might not be crossed tonight.

I only did two notable dance-related things this week. The first was on Monday night when I went out to Latin Technique class. Class was smaller than it has been in recent weeks, with only four ladies showing up. One of the ladies was joining the class for the first time that night, and she was… interesting (more on that later). Four ladies is actually a pretty good ratio of women to men for Lord Junior and I to dance with, so everything we looked at in Rumba that night was done with a partner.

The choreography that we looked at that night seemed pretty familiar to me, almost like I had done it before. I could probably find out if I actually have if I wanted to go back through my notes here and see, but that sounds like it would take a lot of time, so I’m just going to leave that question a mystery. We started off by facing our partner in a one-hand hold, with the ladies pointing their left leg forward and the guys pointing the right leg back. From there we took a step forward and went into a syncopated forward check action – holding the check for half a beat longer before coming out and taking a step to the side. This put both partners parallel to each other facing inward, with the ladies off to the guy’s right side with their weight on the right leg, and guys with their weight on the left.

Next we did a set of Cuban Rocks, using them to transfer our weight to the other leg. Right at the end, the guys would do a slight rotation of the lady’s wrist to lead her to turn away from us, then we would do another forward check. Before replacing our weight the guy would use the lady’s arm to lead her to spin around quickly and face us, then bring her to step toward us while putting up her left arm. The guy would just replace his weight onto his right leg then point the left off to the side instead of taking a step, which would let the lady get into an awkwardly-close position to our bodies, that was even more awkward to be in with one lady in particular than it was with the others.

Since the guys had their left leg free, that let us lunge out to the left side while rotating our bodies so that we could use our left arm to lead the lady into a Hip Twist. As the guy stands up, he does a small chasse to the right while leading the lady to step across our body and out into Fan Position. We then led the lady into an Alemana that ended with the lady outside of us on our right. From here we released the lady’s hand and went into one Sliding Door to finish for the evening.

So the new girl… and I mention this only because it was pretty funny in hindsight… new girl was tiny. I mean, if this woman was five feet tall I would have been surprised. She was super tiny. Except in one… area… of her body. And she was wearing this sleeveless flannel shirt that had a lot of the top buttons undone so make it very clear that her ‘assets’ were quite oversized for her body. This was super awkward the first time I tried to dance with her and I had to bend my head down to look her in the face, and there was a prominent display going on when I looked from that angle. Then we did that move where the ladies come forward and stand super-close to the guy while raising their arm and it was like ‘WHAM!’ – there they were, right up close and personal.

I thought I was going to break my neck with how fast I turned my head to look away the first time that happened, and also that my cheeks might melt from how much I was blushing. At first I thought that it was just something that was unintentional – maybe she wore the same thing to class that she wore earlier in the day, and didn’t think anything of it… and just didn’t think about fastening a few more of her buttons while trying to figure out what was going on in class. You know, completely innocent, right? But later in the evening, I watched as Lord Junior assisted her with one of the figures she was having trouble with, and the lady made it very clear that this was all intentional.

As they finished that up and Lord Junior went back to addressing the rest of the ladies in class, I watched as new girl readjusted her shirt. It had moved off to one side, covering her goodies up for the first time all night. So what does she do? She moves it back to center and opens it back up to put everything on display once again. Yeah, so she was totally putting everything out there all on purpose. There was no two ways about it. That made it feel even more awkward when I danced with her…

Anyway, it seems funny to think about that now. Maybe I’m the only one who will think it’s funny. But you know what? These are my notes, so I can write down anything that I find even mildly amusing. Hooray for me!

The only other dance-related adventure I went on this week (other than practice) was to Standard Technique class on Wednesday night. Since it was the day before a holiday I thought that I might be the only person to show up for class, but actually a fair number of people actually came out for both Standard Technique and the West Coast Swing class that goes on at the Electric Dance Hall on Wednesday nights. Apparently some of us are just crazy, and would much rather spend the so-called ‘biggest bar night of the year’ learning and practicing dance…

Also surprising, guess who decided to join us in class that night? Miss ShortDress! I haven’t seen her in a really long time. It actually took me a while to remember what her name was when I saw her – I will freely admit that, I am terrible with names. She won’t ever see this, so it’s safe for me to write down that I didn’t know who she was at first. I guess that she was home from college for the holiday, and rather than spend the evening hanging out with her family she decided to come and hang out with us in class. Good for her! Dance family is way better than real family, don’t you think? 😉

Since Miss ShortDress has been studying and competing in Silver (Lord Junior asked her before class started), we did a bunch of stuff in Foxtrot that is part of the Silver-level syllabus. The choreography itself wasn’t all that many figures, but you could use it to cover a whole lot of the floor if you know how to move (like I do).

Starting out facing diagonal wall, we did a prep step into a basic Feather, than an Overturned Reverse Turn. This Reverse Turn flipped around 180° to put us backing diagonal wall before we went into a Reverse Wave. Next up we did a Back Feather, which is actually part of the Gold-level syllabus for Foxtrot, but isn’t too difficult to do if you’ve done normal Feathers enough times. After the Back Feather we went into another Reverse Wave, then flipped around by doing an Open Impetus with Feather Ending. To finish everything up, Lord Junior had us do a Top Spin at the end. The Top Spin is actually a misleading name, because it’s more like a check so you can abruptly change directions, with no spinning at all. I wonder where the name came from?

At the end of class, while I was changing back into my street shoes, I overheard Sparkledancer talking to Miss ShortDress. Apparently Miss ShortDress has been to a couple of the competitions we’ve done recently with her college ballroom team, and she’s seen us dancing. She never came over to talk to us at those events, because she didn’t think that we would remember her (which would have probably been correct for me at least, based on how well I remembered her before class started). I guess she’s been promoted this year to be the leader of her college ballroom team, so she felt it necessary to tell Sparkledancer that she and I need to “stop terrorizing her kids.” That’s a strange thing to say, right?

Well that’s all I’ve got this week. This weekend should have more exciting things going on than last weekend. There’s a dance party on Saturday night that I’m sure I’ll end up at, and I have a lesson with Lord Dormamu scheduled for Saturday morning. Plus lots of practice… there’s a big event coming up a few months out that I need to be in top form for, so practice is important to get in.

I hope your holiday was fun and that you get a chance this weekend to dance off all those extra calories. Until next time!

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