Until Someone Moves Or Cares, Stay Captive

I had the unexpected addition to my dance calendar this past weekend of working with a visiting coach on Sunday afternoon. Lord Dormamu called me up late in the day on Friday and asked me if I would be available. The coach was a high-level female that he is friends with, and he wanted to have her spend some time working with Sparkledancer if possible, but he wanted me to be there as well so that I could play the Lead during the coaching session. Since I had nothing else planned for Sunday afternoon at that point, I told him I could be there.

This was one of those coaching sessions where the coach actually knew a lot about International Standard, so she had useful information to pass along to Sparkledancer, and even some for me as well. Other coaching sessions that I have done where I was just meeting with the coach for purely political reasons don’t usually give me many useful things to think about. I prefer the kind of coaching session I had last weekend, as you might imagine. It makes me feel like the money I spend on working with the coach gives me a better ROI.

First off, I want to relay something that I thought was funny. The coach was talking with Sparkledancer about something related to her left hand. I admit that I wasn’t paying much attention at first, since the way she holds her left hand doesn’t impact me too much, but after they talked for a bit the coach wanted to demonstrate to Sparkledancer, so they came over to where I was standing so she could use me as a prop. She asked me to stand there as if I was in frame and hold up my right arm for her to demonstrate with.

She started off showing Sparkledancer some change in the way she hooked her thumb around the front of my arm. Everything seemed fine until she started talking about how to hook the rest of her fingers over the arm… only to find that she couldn’t actually hook her fingers over mine. She stopped talking and fussed with her hand for a bit, and then looked at me with a funny look on her face. Looking back at Sparkledancer, she apologized and said that she’s never had to think about this before, because she had honestly never danced with someone who had an arm as wide as mine before.

Of course, I couldn’t hold back my laughter any longer after hearing that. I mean, obviously it did my ego good to hear her say that my arms were too big for her to demonstrate with, but it was just so funny to see how surprised she was by that fact. I was wearing a short-sleeved shirt that afternoon, so it wasn’t like I was doing anything to hide my arm from her before she tried to wrap her fingers around it! That moment amused me quite a bit, so I thought I would share it here.

There was one point of information that the coach told me that afternoon that I thought was really profound, something that I had actually never thought about before. We were looking at the Waltz, and I had just led Sparkledancer through a Natural Turn when the coach randomly called out to me and asked me to stop and come back over. She had stopped me to ask why I was swaying so much during the Natural Turn.

I was a little taken back by the question. I told her that I’ve been told lots of times by various instructors that I should be arching my body as if I am pulling my left hip to the left while I close my feet on a Natural Turn, so that’s just what I do at this point. She said that was OK, but when we just did the Natural Turn a second ago, we had been looking at something else in the dance so we really hadn’t moved so much while going into the figure that would have caused me to sway like that.

That statement kind of confused me, and I guess she could see it on my face, so she told me a story. She said that once upon a time, deep in the history of ballroom dances like the Waltz, people used to dance without swaying. The topline was held level with the floor the whole time. She joked that this was also back in the days when the ballroom frame was much more loose, with the elbows held closer to the body, not wide and strong like it is supposed to look nowadays. A long, long time ago. This must have been like the ‘70s, or something. 😉

Anyway, when dancers started to move more as they danced, they found that they ran into an issue – driving yourself to move as much as possible in something like a Natural Turn while holding your topline level with the floor didn’t help you slow your momentum, so you would lose your balance in the figure and (potentially) fly off the floor. That was the whole reason that Sway was born. By arching your body away from the direction you are traveling, it shifts your weight toward the opposite direction which helps you arrest your movement and stop safely. That is the actual point of Sway she told me – to help stop your movements. Nothing more, nothing less.

So, going back to why she stopped me, she told me that I should only be swaying as much as my body naturally wanted to do, which is based on how much I drive myself along the floor. If I am just working on something and not moving a whole lot, than the sway shouldn’t be forced to look big, otherwise it seems really out-of-place. Whereas if I am flying down the floor in a Quickstep and I have a lot of momentum built up, going into a Natural Turn would naturally make my body want to sway a lot in order to bring my feet together and stop safely.

Her advice was to always let the sway happen naturally. Forcing it to happen or to be bigger than needed just made it look weird. Judges at competitions don’t like it when things look weird. I thought that was super interesting, and I had never thought about it like that before.

The other point that she gave me that I really liked was about my frame. At the beginning of the session she had us dance through our Waltz routine to music so that she could get an idea of what she was working with. Later on in the session she told me that she noticed places in the routine during my first run-through where my elbows were drooping a bit and not coming back up like she would have expected.

She told me that if I try so hard to hold my frame rigid, all I’m going to do is exhaust myself in the process. As my body moves around the floor, or even just breathes deeply she told me, judges would expect to see some subtle movements in my frame. That’s just how the human body works. Holding my arms completely rigid the entire time through multi-dance rounds would be impossible, and she thought it looked like I was trying to do that when I was dancing.

Her recommendation to me was to train myself to let my elbows rise and fall more naturally as I moved. In the Waltz for instance, I would work on lifting my elbows on every beat two in the music, and allow them to relax a bit at all other points. This will not only take the stress off my shoulders of trying to hold my arms in place the entire time, but it will also look more natural.

This coach really liked it when movements looked natural. Can you tell?

One other note that she told me along these same lines that was interesting was about taking steps. She said that as you are moving forward or backward, like when you are walking or dancing or running, your body naturally wants the width of your steps to be as wide as your shoulders. She called this a ‘universal principal’ of dance, a rule that many other rules in dance are expounded from.

Why was this relevant? Sticking with the Waltz as the example, I was told that when I am driving on the first step of each figure in the Waltz, I should always be moving forward or backward, and I should let my legs naturally take steps as wide as my shoulders. If I try to make the steps narrower, I run the risk of being unbalanced while I’m moving. If I open my leg up to step wider than my shoulder on either side, I will make myself turn in that direction whether I want to or not.

This tidbit of information came up because we were looking at one of the Reverse Turns in the routine. The coach thought it looked like Sparkledancer was having trouble getting around me, and she thought it was because I was stepping weirdly on the first step of the figure. Her advice to fix the problem was to step more naturally (surprise, surprise) and allow my leg to go straight back and only out as wide as my shoulder. That did make a difference, as Sparkledancer said afterward that the figure was much easier for her than it was than the way we had normally been doing it.

Working with this coach was good, and I enjoyed her unique perspective of how to dance properly using the natural movements of the body. Sparkledancer enjoyed the lesson quite a bit as well, and I know she mentioned to me that there were lots of points that the coach gave her that she is eager to put into practice. In the future if we get an opportunity to work with this coach again, I will definitely sign up for a time slot.

Monday night I was out at Latin Technique class. Class was pretty big that night, with some old familiar faces joining us for the evening. Ms. Possible has been coming to class on-and-off for the past couple of weeks, but this Monday both she and her amateur competitive partner Grampy Snaps decided to come out and join in the fun. With the diversity of competitors and non-competitors in class that night, there was some disagreement on what Latin dance style we should look at that evening, but the people who wanted to work on Samba won out in the end.

The pattern that Lord Junior gave us to look at that night didn’t consist of a lot of figures, but it could cover quite a bit of distance easily. We started off by doing three Promenade and Counter Promenade Runs, then we added on three Natural Pivots. Coming out of the last Pivot we did one more Promenade and Counter Promenade Run and then immediately stepped through a Volta and held the last two beats of the measure to slow down a little bit. To finish up we did a couple of twisting steps to work on rotational action in our cores, but the name that Lord Junior called the figure is really eluding me at the moment. Maybe it will come back to me later.

Things in class seemed to go alright for the most part while we were doing the figures slowly, but once Lord Junior had us do the progression with music and started to increase the tempo, I ran into an unexpected issue that I have never experienced before. The problem came during the Natural Pivots. The figure itself was fine, and I could get through them with no issues even at the fastest tempo we ran that day. My issue was actually with my partners. There were a couple of the ladies that freaked out while doing the pivoting action with me, and they just stopped dancing before we could go into the next figure.

I understand why it happened, but I’ve never actually had this issue really come up before. I will freely admit that I have a lot of mass (I admit it all the time, actually), so if I get my body moving it can be a lot to handle. Since I spend so much time moving myself, I know that I also have the control needed to stop my movement when I need to. I do it all the time, so I know what it takes and how to make it happen.

But when I start moving and my partner doesn’t know that I am in control of my own body mass, it can be a bit of a surprise. Especially if the lady is tiny and doesn’t weigh very much, like the ladies that I had the issue with that during this class. They weren’t driving themselves when they needed to, so rather than being a part of the movement that was happening, they were just holding on for dear life and the rotation of my body took them around where I was going. That freaked them out, so they stopped dancing as soon as the pivots were over, leaving me to move on into the next step all by myself.

I don’t really know if there is a good way to help with this. I tried to tell them that everything was under control, so they didn’t need to worry. Partners that I have danced with a lot (like Sparkledancer), or partners that were more… substantial (I’m sure there’s a more politically correct way to say this, but I can’t think of one at the moment) could get through the pivoting actions with me just fine. So… I don’t know. Pivots like this come up so infrequently during classes I take that I probably won’t put much thought into the issue this week. There are too many other things to think about right now.

In Standard Technique class on Wednesday night, we didn’t get to cover a whole lot of material. At my request, because I wanted to continue working on the items the coach talked with me about over the weekend, we looked at International Waltz. The figures that Lord Junior wanted to have us work on that night were very different from the ones we ended up doing. He had lofty goals for the progression he said he would cover, but all we ended up doing was a Natural Turn into a Running Natural Spin Turn, coming out into a Back Lock, and finishing with an Outside Spin into a second Natural Turn.

The reason that we didn’t get any further was because Seedling decided to join us in class again that night. This was his second foray into Lord Junior’s Standard Technique class, and he was in way over his head. So much so that Lord Junior had to pause class quite a few times to give Seedling extra assistance. Even simple things like how to do a Lock Step – which I know that Seedling had done with us during last week’s Latin Technique class – he struggled with during this class.

One of the people who joins us in Standard Technique class most weeks is an older lady. She loves to dance the ballroom-style dances, but her sense of balance isn’t that good and she gets dizzy easily if we do too many figures that spin in our patterns. Because Seedling was so unsure of his part during class this week, Lord Junior told this lady that she would only be dancing with either him or I, and she should skip over Seedling until he was more sure of his steps. He didn’t manage to get to that point before the end of class, so this lady never actually danced with him during the evening.

Unfortunately, that meant that the person who was asked to dance with Seedling through most of the class was Sparkledancer. Lord Junior paired the two of them up quite a bit because he knew Sparkledancer could help Seedling get through his part – essentially back-leading him as necessary to help him learn. Sparkledancer told me after class as we were walking out toward the parking lot that she felt like she didn’t get much out of class that night. She understood why she had been paired up with Seedling so much, but because he was so unsure of what he was doing she couldn’t use the rounds where she danced with him as time to work on her own part. That made me sad for her.

Hopefully over time Seedling will start to improve if he keeps coming to this class with us. I know that the franchise studio he normally takes classes at has not prepared him for this type of technical dancing, so for a while he will be working on acclimating to this kind of training. I wonder how long it will take for him to get through that phase? We certainly could use more Leads in both Latin Technique and Standard Technique, so the faster he can get comfortable the happier all the Followers in those classes will be!

This weekend is going to be a bit more than I originally bargained for. I was planning on going to a small competition on Saturday to dance. Last weekend I got a call from the competition organizers begging me to volunteer and help out during the competition as well. Now I am also going to be there most of the day doing who knows what. Maybe it will be fun? So far, after a few brief conversations with the people in charge, it appears like the competition is not very well organized (information-wise), and no one person can answer all the questions I have. When I needed to know things about what I’m doing this weekend, I have to talk with three different people to get all the information. That has been a bit of a hassle.

Can I help this event go off without a hitch? Tune in next week and I’m sure I’ll tell you all about it!

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But Sometimes I Catch A Glimpse

It seems like it has been a long time since I’ve written about normal things. Let’s take this week to check in on the classes I go to during the week, shall we?

Monday night I headed off to Latin Technique class like I normally do. I had one of those ‘small world’ moments that night because there were a couple of young girls who joined us in class that night. Both of them were home this week while on some kind of break from college. One of those cool cats I actually recognized, because she happened to be the female half of the competitive couple that came in one place behind me at the last competition that I was in! Of all the people to randomly show up for Latin Technique class, I must say that I would have never even placed this girl on the list of possibilities.

On top of that, Seedling also showed up for class that night. Also, one of the female instructors that teaches on-and-off at the Electric Dance Hall happened to be there that night and after the lesson she was teaching was over she decided to jump into the class with us and dance the Lead part. All kinds of random people wanted to work on Latin Technique with us last Monday. Crazy!

Lord Junior had us start out by warming up doing Rumba Three-Step Turns from side-to-side. After a few minutes of turning slowly, Lord Junior decided we were all nice and warm and told us that what he had wanted to have us spend time on that night involved doing Lock Steps in Cha-Cha. He spent the next ten minutes or so going over the basic techniques needed for doing a Lock Step well, and had us all practice by going down the dance floor using repeated Locks Forward and Backward.

Once we had gone through Lock Steps sufficiently, Lord Junior had us look at the beginning of the Open Cha-Cha routine that he likes to give his competitive students. The combination of figures uses a number of Lock Steps, so it tied right in with what we had just finished practicing. The pattern is one I think I have seen before, but I can’t remember when that was. We start out facing our partner in open dance frame, holding on to her with our left hand, right leg pointed forward.

After a back check to start moving we go into a Forward Lock. At the end of that Lock we do a forward check and move our left arm slightly to the right to help rotate the lady to face away from us quickly before going into another Forward Lock, this time continuing the locking motion for an extra four beats. At the end of that we would do one last forward check and then move our left arm to the left to signal the lady to turn back to face us. The lady would do a normal Forward Lock here while the Leads did a smaller Back Lock, rotating the last step so that we were stepping to our left side, which allowed us to get our right arm back around our partner to close dance frame.

Now that we were together again, the guys would shift our weight to our right leg briefly and then go into a Telespin action to trade places with our partner. Once we were on her left side, we would move our right arm to take her left hand and release her other hand, then lower ourselves into our right leg so that we could lunge out to the left side. The ladies would bring their feet together on the right and bring up their right arm to strike a line here, which is where we finished up for the night.

Standard Technique class on Wednesday night was a bit smaller than Latin Technique was. Most of the attendees that night were those of us diehards who come to Standard Technique all the time, but a few of the random people who came on Monday night decided to come back for this class as well. The two college competitor girls showed up, and then Seedling also decided to come back as well.

Before we started, Lord Junior had asked one of the college girls what she wanted to work on that night. She requested that we do Quickstep. I thought that was a good choice, since Quickstep is one of those styles I always feel like I need to work on. Unfortunately, Seedling had never done Quickstep before, so not only was this his first foray into Standard Technique, it was also his introduction into Quickstep. You might say that he was in a little over his head that night.

The pattern itself wasn’t too fancy. The girl who had requested that we work on Quickstep only competes in Bronze and Silver, so Lord Junior limited what he did to figures from those two proficiency levels for her sake, with a little fun variation at the end to give us some extra practice on one of the concepts that he thought was important. The pattern that we ended up with was a Natural Turn into a Backward Lock, then a Tipple Chasse to the Right, a Fishtail and finally another Natural Turn to close.

The checking action in the Fishtail was the spot that Lord Junior pointed out as the most problematic for all the students he’s ever taught the figure to. He mentioned that one time he changed his Quickstep routine specifically to work on that checking action, and then he had decided to give us that variation to try so we could get some extra practice. The new variation involved doing the checking action in the Fishtail like normal with the right leg and then doing the two steps after that, but instead of going into the Forward Lock you would do another checking action on the left leg. We did three checks in a row – right leg, left leg, and then right leg one last time before finishing the Fishtail like normal and going into the Natural Turn. Doing this variation in time with the music was pretty entertaining.

At the end of class I spent a few minutes talking to the two young girls before they left, because I wanted to ask them if they had any upcoming competitions planned where I might see them (or compete against them potentially). Both of them told me that they were planning on doing the small competition that is going on two weekends from now, one that Sparkledancer and I were also going to enter into. The world got even smaller! It sounds like I might be dancing against both of them during that event as well. I guess we’ll have to see how we all fare when the dust settles at that competition.

I’m going to keep this short tonight. There’s a lot of stuff going on at work for me, so that’s kind of where my head has been this week. Let’s hope that next week won’t be quite so busy. There’s a lot of practice that I need to fit in, and not a lot of time to get it all done. Work seems to get in the way of dance practice, doesn’t it? Silly work!

Six Of One, Half A Dozen Of The Other

Hey! Look at that! Today’s the day!

Six year’s ago today I started this site. Wow! A lot has changed in that time, hasn’t it? And yet, a lot of things haven’t. I’m still dancing. I’m still posting here at least once a week.  Let’s take a moment to celebrate making it this far.
I’m not much of a party person. I didn’t actually have a real party. Though, I bet you could have guessed that. Me and my good friend just celebrated together quietly.
(Note: I bought that cupcake specifically for this picture. It took me a while to find one that worked for this…)

So, here’s to six years! Do you think that there will be six more to come? Stick with me and we’ll find out together!

Wasted Days And Sleepless Nights

So… this weekend brought up a strange issue, one that I never thought I would be discussing with someone in the world of dance that I live in. Now I’m going to write about it. Lucky you, right?

There’s this guy I know in the dance community. Let’s call him Seedling, because it is Seedling. Remember that guy? The guy who said that he didn’t want to leave his current franchise studio even though it was much more expensive to stay there rather than going to another nearby studio and taking drop-in classes, because he loved being around the people who were at his studio?

Well, this particular thread came up again. This time, someone actually asked Seedling directly why he didn’t just get the contact information for these people at his current studio so that he could stay in touch with them. Then they could all talk, and maybe even still go out to dance parties outside of the franchise together if they wanted. After all, there was precedence for that kind of get-together happening, since Seedling has gone to dance parties outside of his franchise studio already and met up with other people from his franchise studio while there.

Caught in that tangled vine, Seedling sighed and said that there was one person that he wasn’t able to do that with. This person was someone who he hadn’t been able to get outside contact information from yet – she wouldn’t give him her phone number, or accept his friend requests on social media so that he could message with her there.

When Seedling said “she” it set red flashing lights ablaze in my mind. Can you guess who he was actually worried that he would never be able to see again if he left his franchise studio? Sparkledancer, also being a part of this conversation, managed to catch it as well. She decided to just bluntly ask Seedling if he was talking about his dance instructor, and did that mean he had a crush on her.

That really freaked Seedling out (I don’t think he expected anyone else to be able to see through his clever cover story). He became all flustered and defensive, saying that this wasn’t just a crush! It was so much more!! There was no way any of us could understand!!! None of us had never seen the way she treats him!!!! And he just KNOWS that if there wasn’t a ‘no fraternization’ policy at his studio, the two of them could be so much more!!!!!

Yup. Seedling thinks that he is head-over-heels in love with his dance instructor.

This is only the second time I have met someone who had developed feelings for their instructor. At least, someone who has admitted to the fact – I may know more people who have done this, but they’ve never said anything about it to me. The first time wasn’t this bad though. True story – a long time ago in my dance life, there was a really young girl that I knew – she was only in her late teens at the time – who admitted to me that she had a crush on her instructor. She would joke about how someday when she was older the two of them would be getting married and Tango down the aisle together.

I knew that the instructor that she was talking about didn’t like girls (it was SUPER obvious). Plus I had also met his boyfriend – who was another dance instructor. The two of them were pretty good at not talking about their relationship openly, but it wasn’t too hard to see. So I made a joke to the young girl and asked how she was going to convince instructor-guy to leave his boyfriend and marry her instead. I thought that she knew! Apparently she didn’t, and was shocked to hear that he liked boys.

Side note: Once I accidentally exposed the truth though, she came back to me a few days later and told me that now that she knew, she could see it so clearly, and she wondered how she had missed all the signs before.

Anyway… that was the only other time I have ever personally known someone who admitted to having a thing for their dance instructor. But that case seemed to me like nothing more than a passing fancy or puppy love, which the girl was able to easily get over. Seedling is… well, he seems to be in full-on ‘pining’ mode. Almost to the point where some of the comments he has made since this revelation sound obsessive and creepy.

Trying to reason with him hasn’t helped either – explaining to the guy that she is going to treat all of her paying customers like they are her favorite person in the world during the lessons doesn’t even phase him in his belief that there is some kind of ‘special connection’ between the two of them. The fact that he knows almost nothing of her life outside of their dance lessons doesn’t deter him, nor does the fact that he is somewhere around eight-to-twelve years older than her (I think Seedling said he was almost 30, and this girl is not yet old enough to go on a date and get drinks with him, making her between 18 and 20).

Plus… based on the stories that he has told, it seems pretty clear, even to someone who is terrible at reading women like me, that she is just not interested in him like that. There is a story he has mentioned a couple of times about how, during one of his lessons with his instructor, he accidentally grabbed something “inappropriate” while they were working on a new figure. He never elaborated further than that on what exactly it was that he grabbed, but he said that she stopped everything when it happened and spent a good bit of time telling him off for the incident.

Now I probably don’t have to tell you that ballroom dancing is a contact sport. It’s really hard to dance with someone in one of the Ballroom, Swing or Latin styles without some measure of physical contact with your partner. Inevitably, during the course of your dance journey someone is probably going to accidentally grab or brush against something that they shouldn’t. It happens, and if it’s accidental you kind of laugh it off or apologize, depending on how bad the accident was. No big deal.

Myself, I have even been intentionally groped by women I barely knew on the dance floor. Some just wanted to feel how solid my arms or shoulders were while we were dancing, I guess. One older lady (for reasons I still don’t know) felt like it was funny to grab my butt as I was walking away after the dance was over. Old ladies… apparently I have to be wary of them!

For Seedling’s instructor to tell him off about something that was supposedly an accident says to me that this girl doesn’t have the same ‘special connection’ in her heart for Seedling that he does for her. If she is teaching new dancers how to dance, she probably gets brushed up against all the time during the awkward newcomer phase with her students, so she has to know by now that accidents happen, and as a dance teacher you just have to stay professional during awkward moments.

On top of that, in my experience if a girl really like-likes you, and you accidentally brush against her inappropriately, yelling at you or telling you off is not the reaction that she is going to have. Usually you would get a joke, or a coy smile, or a flirtatious laugh. At least, that’s how things went with girls in my youth, before I got to be older and much more suave like I am now (HA!). I mean, I could be wrong about that, and all ladies are different, so Seedling’s instructor could react like this with any student who accidentally grabs something he shouldn’t… but I don’t think that I am. I’m pretty sure that this is a good indication that Seedling’s instructor does not reciprocate his affections.

But the weirdest issue that this is creating for Seedling is an overwhelming feeling of inferiority between him and other male students of his instructor. Take the showcase that he was in last month as an example. I saw a video of his performance, and it was perfectly good. Seedling has admitted that he is really bad at performing and hates getting up in front of crowds, and you can see that by how his body is tense through the whole dance and he has a serious expression on his face while trying to remember what he is supposed to be doing. If performing in front of people is that hard for a person, you would think that they would be twice as proud when they finish because they really accomplished something major, right?

Not Seedling. All he can talk about is another of his instructors students who performed later in the evening. He showed me the video that he took of that performance. The two of them did a ‘Contemporary’ dance, so it didn’t look like any dancing that I have ever been trained to do. Plus, I could only get a vague idea of what was going on because the two instructor and student spent so much time split apart, and Seedling kept his recording tracked on his instructor the whole time as you can imagine.

Only being able to see half of what was happening for large chunks of the video, I couldn’t get a good picture of what the male student was actually doing. The parts where I could see the male student, he wasn’t doing a lot of actual dancing, or even moving a whole lot. The guy shifted around a bit, there were some arm gestures, but a lot of it was him just standing there doing “lifts.” I say lifts, but it was actually the instructor doing most of the work. The guy was helping get her off the ground, but once she was up she was doing most of the work while he just stood there and let her fling her legs around, or she would wind herself around his legs, or other such moves. Nothing too extravagant, really.

Seedling thinks that this guy’s performance stole his thunder just because they got more applause, and his instructor looked like she was enjoying herself during the dance and he didn’t think she looked thrilled in the video of his performance. I tried to tell him that the most noticeable difference between him and this other guy was that the other student was smiling and looked like he was enjoying himself the whole time, which does a lot more to make your dance partner and the audience enjoy the show. Otherwise, all the moves that the guy did (which I could see in the video) were all extremely simple, so there was no reason for Seedling to think that this guy stole anything from him.

Then he started to go on about how next time he wants to do a showcase that would make her happy. He wants her to let him do lifts with her (she apparently already gave him a hard “No” on that when choreographing this showcase), and to do more challenging steps that she would think were fun. That turned into a plan of doing a showcase where she didn’t actually know what figures he was going to use, but that would be fine because she is apparently a good follower and she would be able to follow what he was doing. Sparkledancer asked him if she was the one choreographing the showcase, which he said yes to. Then the question was: how would the figures be a surprise to her if she was the one giving him the choreography?

He didn’t have an answer for that, because he hadn’t thought of that.

To be honest… I don’t know what to think about Seedling being in love with his dance instructor. It’s a foreign concept to me to mix thoughts of romance in with a customer/service provider relationship. I understand that dance can draw people out of their shells and let them live a life that they never would have imagined before they started dancing. On top of that, there are dance styles that obviously lend themselves to romance, and many performances of those styles can portray the idea of the two people dancing being in love. But that’s all supposed to be an act, a performance – not reality.

To fall in love with your dance teacher rather than fall in love with the dancing itself? Is that a common occurrence that I just never really hear stories about?

Maybe I’ve just been in a lucky position that I never really had to worry about this bug biting me like it bit Seedling. After all, when I started dancing I spent much of my time in group classes, and then I was fortunate enough to find another amateur that was willing to split the cost of lessons with me. That simple circumstance allowed me to take lessons from male instructors, which prevented me from ever having to worry about falling for my instructor since I’m not attracted to men. I’ve never spent much time in the world of Pro/Am. Does this happen often in that environment, where students fall in love with their teachers?

I am honestly asking. I am curious to know if Seedling’s case is unique, or if this sort of thing is commonplace.