I don’t know about you, but the holiday that we had here messed up a lot of my plans for this weekend. The worst thing to come from that was that my lessons with my coach had to be cancelled, so all the things that I had hoped to work on while I had a day off on Monday didn’t happen. What can you do?
There was still some dancing going on this weekend, even with all the holiday activities that consumed other people’s time and cancelled my original plans. I actually ended up going to a dance party on Saturday night because everything else had fallen through, and I didn’t want to be that sad dude who stayed home all by himself all weekend. The party ended up being a lot of fun, and I’m glad that I ended up going. They also had put out a plate of circular fudge-striped cookies at the party (you know the ones I’m talking about), and I maaaaaaaaaaaaaaay have had a couple more of those than I probably should have. I can’t remember the last time I was able to have that kind of cookie though, so I have no regrets.
The dance party started out with a lesson in basic Foxtrot taught by Lord Junior. There were several real newbies in class who had never done Foxtrot before, so what Lord Junior ended up teaching was really basic. Even near the end of class when he talked about how the more advanced students could upgrade their figures, the steps were still pretty simple. He started out showing off just the basic footwork for American Foxtrot. Once he was confident that everyone could do that, he upgraded the figure to Quarter Turns. To help everyone turn the corner he went through the Natural Rock Turn, and at the end for the more advanced students he showed them how to replace the Natural Rock Turn with Natural Pivots instead.
While that was entertaining, let me tell you about the most amusing thing that I saw that night: HotDog.
It has been a long time since HotDog has made an appearance on the dance floor. I can’t even remember the last time I have seen him in person. When I saw him in the parking lot as I first arrived at the studio, I almost didn’t recognize him. Holy cow, HotDog has gotten fat! I am not sure I can even call him HotDog anymore! He looks like he has moved up beyond bratwurst size, and is encroaching on unsliced bologna territory. At this rate, he is going to have a hard time finding a bun that will fit him soon!
Hilarious meat-based jokes aside, apparently since he decided to change jobs he has ended up spending all his free time playing video games instead of getting any physical activity. He talked about his dream of getting recognized for his video game skills, and making money off of that somehow so that he never has to work a real job again. It involved some convoluted scheme about streaming and subscribers and ‘tips’ of some kind… I’m not big on video games, so I only vaguely grasp what he was telling me. Even so, I get the impression that video games nowadays must no longer have a ‘pause’ button like they did when I was a kid, which would give HotDog a chance to go out for a run or go to a gym once and awhile and get some exercise. Yeesh.
HotDog didn’t come to the party alone. He brought the girl that he is dating along with him. This is the first time that she had ever been out dancing in any capacity, so she was really nervous about getting out on the floor. Somehow, rather than HotDog stepping up to help her out as the class first got started, it was left to me to help her while HotDog chose someone else to be his starting dance partner in class. That made me scratch my head a bit as well.
Later on in class, as Lord Junior started talking about the pivots, the girlfriend ended up near me in rotation once again. Since she had never danced before, she was wearing shoes that weren’t meant for dancing. I told her that the rubber soles she had would make the pivots hard for her, so she should just avoid them, and let the other guys in class she rotated through know to avoid them with her as well. I think she managed to enjoy herself somewhat in class, but I had a hard time knowing for sure.
The only other thing that I did this past week besides practice was going to Standard Technique class on Wednesday night. Sparkledancer had asked Lord Junior before class started if we could look at something that involved the Wing in Waltz, since that was a new figure that she still wasn’t feeling completely comfortable with and she wanted to look at it in a different context than her routine. He thought that was great, and admitted that he doesn’t use the Wing in many of his routines because he has never really liked the figure, so going over it in class would be good for him as well.
As class got underway, Lord Junior asked me about the part in the routine where we do the Wing, because he wanted to know how our coach had asked us to get into and out of it. That would allow him to adapt what he thought up to better help out Sparkledancer. I showed him that section of the choreography from our Waltz (Natural Spin Turn, Turning Lock to the Left, Wing, Double Reverse Spin), and he thought it was interesting, but since we only had an hour he was going to simplify things for class.
We ended up starting out with a combination that is actually directly from the syllabus – the Open Telemark and Wing. Here we started off heading toward diagonal center and finishing with us facing line of dance once the Wing was done. From there Lord Junior had us exit into a Double Reverse Spin just like what Sparkledancer and I do in our Waltz routine, coming out facing line of dance as well. Lord Junior spent quite a bit of time dancing with Sparkledancer that night to work with her on her position in ways that he thought would help her feel better about the figure.
But going through those two figures in one class was too easy, so once we had gone through them a number of times to get comfortable, Lord Junior had us go beyond – transforming the Double Reverse Spin into an Overspin from Double Reverse Spin. That final pivot set us up backing line of dance, and here we did a Throwaway Oversway. To come out, we were told to just take the simple route and come up into a Hover Telemark, beginning to travel down the line of dance once more.
So my coaching session from last weekend got rescheduled for this weekend. Hopefully it doesn’t get moved again, and I can continue to get my new routines in order. I’d really like to get all four of them on the books before all the competitions in June start happening, since I know that my coach will be traveling to either compete in or judge quite a number of those events. If I can get all the routines, that will at least give me plenty to work on while he is out of the area. We’ll see if I can push to make that happen. Wish me luck!