Hit Me With A Hot Note

This week during the Saturday coaching lesson Sparkledancer and I have, we decided to switch things up a little. Rather than focus on stuff for the upcoming competition, we asked Lord Fabulous to go over some swing-style things with us to help get us ready for the upcoming 1920s Swing party. We spent some time discussing some of my thoughts about Jive vs. East Coast Swing vs. West Coast Swing, and Lord Fabulous gave me the impression that if I could do it in East Coast Swing then I should be able to do it in Jive as well. With that in mind, he put on an East Coast Swing song and told us to just dance and show him what we actually knew for East Coast Swing so he could see where we were. I think this was the first time that we had actually looked at swing with him since he took that initial video of our West Coast Swing routine weeks ago so that he could figure out what he could add to that. When we finished the freestyle dance, he told us that it looked like we knew a fairly large amount of swing figures, and that everything I had done would be able to work between Jive and East Coast Swing so long as I kept the correct technique for each style.

Then, so that we could be cooler than everyone else, he taught us a couple of fancier new swing moves that we could pull out during the party to try and impress. The first was something he called the Simple Turn, which must be named that because the guy’s part is so easy. Seriously, as long as I don’t miss when I “throw” the girl’s hand HotNote1from my left to my right hand, I don’t really have a lot to worry about. That is one of the nice things about being a guy – but before all you ladies go looking into gender reassignment surgery, remember that no one is actually watching the guys even when we do turn, so it’s OK for you to have the more difficult and exciting-to-watch figures. The second figure we worked on is something that he called the Promenade Run. This move, as I was told, is something that not only translates between Jive and East Coast Swing, but also Samba. We also worked on hip isolations, much like we did in the Jive group class that I have been taking this month. I don’t know why everyone seems to want me to practice hip isolations when so many people are around watching. I could go home and work on them where it’s quiet and no one is there to laugh at me because of how funny I look when trying to move my hips like that. Seriously, I know I mentioned it before, but I have white-boy hips. They will probably never look like anything else, no matter how much I practice moving them gracefully.

At the end we also went back to our Pasodoble routine once again. We seem to be ending every coaching session by going through that one at least once or twice. This week though, as we were finishing up, Lord Fabulous turned to me and randomly asked “How well can you jump?” Looking at him quizzically, I told him I could jump just fine, so he told me that he had something that he wanted Lady Q to add in at the very end of our routine if I could do it. He proceeded to demonstrate what he called the tour jete, which I believe is actually a ballet move, followed up by taking a knee with the arms spread wide. The move itself looks really impressive, but I was wearing jeans at the time so I didn’t have full range of motion while everyone was watching. Still, both Lord Fabulous and Lady Q seemed amazed that I could pull it off. With a little more practice (and a different pair of pants), it should look even better. If everything works out, Sparkledancer and I have talked about finishing up the other half of the routine with Lady Q on the last weekend of this month.

As the week progressed, it became obvious that it was no longer the holiday season. All the people that had been missing have finally returned, so the Land of the Loft HotNote2now feels much fuller as the group classes are run. It was especially obvious during the Thursday night classes I usually attend. During the Rumba class with Hot Tottie, we started out with three times as many women as there were men. Even part of the way through class when Lord Fabulous stepped in to assist, that made four of us to work with the nine ladies that had come that night. We didn’t go through much in the way of figures or technique, because just allowing all the women to rotate through the line all the way through once for each figure so they could practice turned out to be an ordeal. Some of the women devolved into anarchy, having conversations and missing the rotations down the line and screwing up the people waiting behind them. By the time class was over, I was glad to get a moment to stretch and catch my breath.

After the Rumba class, almost everyone stayed around for the new fitness class that Lady Q was teaching. This one was supposed to be the standardized syllabus that would replace the Pilates class that was being held on Saturday mornings, so everyone had their mats out and we were all packed tightly on one side of the studio. Hot Tottie had a lesson with Corte during the class and he wanted to work on some Foxtrot, so we tried to leave them as much room as possible. Even with cramming everyone together, they ended up doing the Foxtrot going up and down in a line along one of the short walls. I probably wouldn’t have stayed for the class if I didn’t get such a hard time for skipping it last week. The Lords and Ladies of the Dance Kingdom were very excited to get feedback on these new routines that they had worked on putting together for their fitness offerings. It was a little weird, since I ended up getting stuck in the middle surrounded by a bunch of women, and I felt like I was being watched the whole time. Jack was the only other male in class with me, so we really stood out. At some point, I know Lord Fabulous got up in front of the class and was taking pictures of everyone on their mats on the floor to send to the Princess.
HotNote3

Speaking of the Princess, there are only a couple of days until she’ll be here. She is going to be teaching the newcomer level class that goes on between the fitness class and my coaching lesson on Saturday, so I think I may just hang around and join the class rather than disappear and reappear during that time period like I usually do. I’ve never taken a class with her, so I figure it will introduce me to the way she looks at things before she sits in on my coaching lesson. That should help to calm my nerves a bit. I don’t know why having the Princess around makes me so nervous, it really shouldn’t. I guess it’s kind of like the reaction people at large companies have when the CEO shows up at one of their meetings – sure, they are just people like everyone else, but they have that unspoken authority that makes you sweat a bit when they are watching you.

Once that’s all over, then I get a short break to go home and take care of everything else I would normally do before heading back out to the Great Dance Hall by the HotNote4Lake for the party. That night is going to be exhausting. The way I see it, even if I stick with dancing with the ladies from the Land of the Loft only, I still won’t get much of a break that night. Maybe I’ll hope for cold weather that night, just this once, so that I can go outside every couple of songs and cool down quickly before the next dance. I should probably eat a million calories too, just to make sure I have enough energy to keep going all night. It’s going to be fun; I’m really looking forward to it!

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We Never Quit, We Never Rest On The Floor

At this point, it seems like my earlier remark about ending up with a routine in all 21 different dance styles for International Standard and Latin and American Smooth and Rhythm is coming true. In the coaching session with Lord Fabulous that I was at this past Saturday, we started building routines for International Foxtrot and Waltz. I had thought we would just do one or the other – International Standard or Latin, and add that to the ten styles we had worked with before. But after spending a large portion of our session going over the Foxtrot heel turns and impetuses (hee hee, impetus… you can all giggle too, it’s a funny word) and the Waltz whisks and chasses, I’m starting to think that both Standard and Latin are probably going to happen. On the bright side, I guess this will be a good excuse to put some effort into Quickstep. At this point, Quickstep is something I’ve always admired from afar, and never really learned more than the basics of. This would definitely force me to change that.

On the down side, this would also force me to put effort into really learning Samba, and more than just the line-dance version of Samba. I’m sure that doesn’t sound so bad to anyone else, but I have… well, I have white-boy hips, to put it bluntly. They just don’t roll naturally in a very Samba-esque manner. And if I try to shimmy, it makes people standing nearby wince in embarrassment for being seen near me. So, there would have to be a lot of work put into Samba to make it look passable. It probably still won’t be good, but I might be able to do passable. But hey, at least I would get to botafogo, right?

Our Saturday lesson also coincided with the newcomer-level class that Lady Q was teaching. We spent time working on three dance styles that day: International Foxtrot and Waltz (as previously mentioned), and OnTheFloor1American Viennese Waltz. As we worked through the pieces, and Lord Fabulous kept adding figures to the routine, we kept veering further and further into the side of the studio where the group class was being held. Sometimes I would have to stop or cut things short so that I wouldn’t run into someone who was encroaching on where I was going to be. I thought it was all completely unintentional at first, but Lord Fabulous had apparently planned things that way. At one point, he stopped and mused about how he loved teaching high-level lessons during the newcomer classes, and he especially loved it when he knew that the newcomers stopped paying attention to the class they were in to watch what the higher level students (in this case, Sparkledancer and I) were doing. He hoped it would inspire them to learn more, he said, and give them a taste for what practice could turn them into. So I guess now I am a show pony. Does this happen at other studios? I mean, I know other places have showcases where the students will show off for one another in scheduled, formal events. They aren’t held during the middle of someone else’s group class. At least, I’ve never heard of them being run that way before.

Monday night Sparkledancer joined me for a one-off lesson with Lady Q for some charity event the Dance Kingdom was holding. When I had signed up for it, I originally just wanted to go through all the stuff that was in the Bolero syllabus for this month’s class since it was apparent we wouldn’t get through everything in the class period due to the reduced number of Wednesdays this month and the other students in class struggling with the material. With just the two of us, we managed to go over each of the figures from the new syllabus and all the figures I only sort-of remembered from the previous syllabus in about fifteen minutes. Most of the figures weren’t too hard to get down, but the left-side pass, which was formerly on the syllabus and has now been moved to a higher level syllabus… for some reason that just doesn’t stick with me. I was thinking about it as I was falling asleep after that lesson, and I could not for the life of me picture the footwork that I needed to do. Then when we were at the Bolero group class on Wednesday night I tried it again with Sparkledancer and managed to figure it out after a few tries. Now when I’m thinking about it again I just can’t seem to picture the correct footwork. All the other figures I have no trouble doing that, but that one… it’s kind of frustrating. Why do all the other ones stick with me, but that one just goes in one ear and out the other? Perhaps next time I see Sparkledancer I will have to try it yet again to see if my body can remember the figure even if my brain cannot. And if I can remember it, I’m just going to have to break down and draw myself a picture of how it works so that I won’t forget it again.

Back to Monday night – after we finished everything in Bolero, we switched over to Paso Doble. Lady Q had originally told me when I signed up for the lesson that she wanted to work on a Cha-Cha routine that she had come up with. She mentioned coming up with it while driving around, and was really excited about going through it with me. That night she told me that since Lord Fabulous was already building our competition OnTheFloor2Cha-Cha routines for both American and International, we would be working on a Paso Doble routine with her instead, and this would become our future competition routine. In the remaining time, we managed to lay out all the figures from the start until the first break in the music, which allows us to cover a little more than one long and one short wall. Now all I need to do is get them memorized in order and I should be able to run through it without a hitch. I also laughed about the word “huit” probably more than I should have. Silly French people. What were they thinking, putting their figure names in Spanish dances?

Our Land of the Loft holiday dance party scheduled for tomorrow looks like it may be pretty small. When I was looking into the ugly sweater dress code for the party, I realized that I don’t own any sweaters at all. I think I got rid of them when I realized I didn’t live somewhere cold anymore. So I’m probably just going to wear a t-shirt. Considering that it’s going to get warm here in Charlotte again this weekend, and I don’t really get breaks at dance parties since I am one of the few male dancers, it’s probably better for me to not wear a sweater anyway. I don’t want to die of heat stroke in December, after all. That would be a sad and funny obituary, wouldn’t it?

Time Keeps On Slippin’ Into The Future

The last few weeks, during coaching sessions with Sir Steven, we have spent a lot of time working on arm motions. I have to say, this is going to be one of those hard things for me to work on. Watching Sir Steven move his arms around, he makes it look so… graceful. LikeAnEagle1Watching myself in the mirror, I don’t look anything like that. For years and years, I have trained my arms with movements that involve things like Kenpo or lifting heavy objects. Neither of those training methods involves a lot of finesse, as I’m sure you can imagine. Thinking about moving my arms delicately is a foreign concept to me, focusing much less on power (which is what I’m used to focusing on) and much more on the movement itself. Practicing that type of movement is also difficult. When I’m in a studio setting, there are mirrors all around that I can use to watch myself, but when I’m at home I would have to be standing in the bathroom to see what I was doing. That just seems strange and dangerous, since the bathroom is small enough that my wingspan pretty much covers it. So it really doesn’t happen on my own time. I’m sure that I would improve much more quickly if I actually spent time practicing the movement. Perhaps that means I need to break down and invest in a mirror and hang it in a room where I have enough space to flail my arms around safely. We’ll see. The holidays are coming; maybe I can add that to some kind of wish list.

Earlier this week I also sat down with Sir Steven and Sparkledancer and we discussed our future dance goals related to competition. Sir Steven said that the level we were currently studying at was a good time to start introducing some of the International dance styles into our mix, so we could actually start working on putting together a Pasodoble routine (yay!). The tradeoff for doing that would be that we would also start working on Samba, so that it wouldn’t be us doing everything in American style and then just one International Latin dance. I have only a little experience with Samba, most of that stemming from a line dance I learned way back when I started my journey through the Dance Kingdom. I do know that Botafogo is probably one of the coolest dance-related words I have ever learned, so this might work out. Sparkledancer likes Samba a lot, so I know she is all for it. Originally when he mentioned doing more than one International style dance, I had thought about adding Quickstep, but that idea was shot down because that would be adding one International Latin and one International Standard dance, which would not be ideal. At this rate though, someday I expect the two of us will decide to just compete with everything in all categories. I mean, learning ten different dance style routines is not that different from learning twenty one different styles, right? It should be totally easy…

This past weekend’s dance field trip to the Grand Dance Hall was a lot of fun. This ballroom was having a weekend dance event, which was two nights of dancing to a live orchestra and some group classes offered on Saturday for anyone signed up to also attend. Sparkledancer and I were the only ones that ended up going from our little group, and when we got there we found that the average age of all the other attendees was around thirty five years older than we were, so we stood out in the crowd. Actually, the entire event reminded me a lot of the dance field trip that we took way back in September when we went to the other social dancing night at a different ballroom – a lot of people on the floor for certain dance styles like Foxtrot, Rumba and Waltz, not very many people participating in more obscure styles like Viennese Waltz and Quickstep, and pretty much everyone was much older than us so they didn’t engage in too much conversation with us younger kids.

We did a lot of Waltz. The floor was packed with people, but I managed to do pretty well maneuvering around without running either myself or my dance partner into anyone. The Foxtrot was much more dangerous – for some reason, Foxtrot songs drew many more people to the floor, and there were people in the middle who wanted to dance either Hustle or East Coast Swing to the Foxtrot songs. This made things even more dangerous, since those couples wouldn’t always stay in the middle, and as they drifted toward the outside it would be harder to avoid hitting either them or all the other couples working their way around them. The Rumba dances that we did also tended to get dangerous. When learning Rumba, I was told to try and keep things contained – you have a little circle on the floor, and you don’t drift outside of it or you would lose points. While dancing with all of these people, it seemed like everyone was trying to invade the circle on the floor that I had staked out, even if I started out with a considerable gap between where I was standing and where anyone else was standing. The night dances certainly forced me to keep on top of my floorcraft game.

The lessons offered on Saturday were equally interesting. They offered two levels of classes: basic and intermediate/advanced. Since most places I’ve been to in the Dance Kingdom do not technically rank their classes as beginner, intermediate or advanced like I have heard that other dance studios do, we weren’t sure where our level of training would fall. The first class of the day was a Tango, and Sparkledancer and I decided to go to the beginner level class first to see what it was like. It turned out that beginner level was really just that – newcomer Tango. We stayed for about twenty minutes, then left to go to the other room where the higher level class was offered. This class turned out to be much more interesting. Partly that was because they were going over things that fell more into place with things we had been working on, but also because the class was being taught by a married couple who were making really inappropriate jokes a lot of the time. The male instructor had to be more than twice my age, so some of the jokes he made caused me to cringe a little, but all the older people in class thought it was hilarious. Let me tell you, I am still far too young to hang out with old people making dirty jokes. The three classes they went through that day were in Tango, Rumba and Swing, and each lasted for an hour-and-a-half. Because there were so many people taking the classes and they taught these longer figures in pieces, we did not go LikeAnEagle2over everything they were trying to get through. I ended up recording the instructors doing the figures slowly at the end of each class, and I promised Sparkledancer that I would review what we were doing on the video and write it up so that we could go over it together at some point when we have some free time to get everything memorized.

Other than that, it’s been a rather calm week here in the Dance Kingdom. Everyone I have talked to at the Land of the Loft has told me that they are all geared up for this coming weekend’s Halloween ball at the Great Dance Hall, so I am super excited for that. There will be dancing, and costumes, and spooky-themed snacks for everyone! If you’re in the area, it is an open dance party for anyone who is in costume, so stop by and we can all party together. I can’t believe it’s been a whole week, and now there’s only a couple of days left to go!

Had The Guts, Got The Glory

Dinner was much more relaxed than lunch, and I actually got to eat some real food. It was also really nice to sit for a while in non-dance shoes, giving my toes some room to stretch out for a while. Being a fancy hotel, dinner was multi-course and served by staff. When dessert was being served, they made an announcement for all the people participating in the evening dances to go get ready. Dessert turned out to be some kind of apple-thingy (I’m not very good with food names), a white-chocolate stick and some ice cream. Sensing a dilemma, I ate the ice cream beforehand so that I wouldn’t come back to a melted mess, and told the others at the table where I was sitting to protect the plate so that the staff wouldn’t come back and collect it before I had a chance to eat the rest.

I headed back to the dressing room to change back into my dance shoes. My dance partner met me out in the hallway. We talked for a while, stretched a bit, and did some half-hearted practice steps on the carpet. For some reason, this was the most nerve-wracking part of the day. This championship round would theoretically be shorter than the last one I did, but for some reason it made me more nervous than anything else I had done that day. They got us all to wander to the back of the ballroom and hide amongst the curtains behind the stage where the judge and emcee were sitting. Of all the dancers participating in this championship round, there was one other pair of amateurs with us; everyone else was Pro-Am. As the four of us stood there listening to the Pros making jokes back and forth, we looked at each other, and I made some nervous quip about wondering how I got talked into doing this. The other amateurs I had met before, having attended many of the same parties thrown at various locations in the Dance Kingdom. They have both been studying dancing for many years, and at one point they were even students of Sir Steven back when he taught at the Great Eye1Dance Hall. Of all the people in this round, Sparkledancer and I were the only true bronze-level students, so we were seriously outgunned. As the announcer started calling each set of names and the pair of competitors emerged one at a time from behind the curtains to the cheering of the crowd, I asked my dance partner if she wanted to split and each of us exit around opposite sides of the curtain, of if we should both exit out the same side (every couple who had gone before us had done it differently). She opted for both of us going out the same side. As our names were called, I took her hand and straightened my spine, and led her out into the bright lights shining down on the dance floor.

Things went well during this competition round. They had dimmed the lights in the outer section of the room and everyone that had been eating dinner had pulled their chairs up at the very edge of the dance floor. With people sitting so close, it was much easier to make faces at people as I passed, but I don’t think anyone saw what I was doing. Just like the heats that we had run earlier in the day, the Foxtrot felt really strong to me, followed by Tango then Waltz, with Viennese Waltz feeling the least stable. Part of that was due to one of the other dancers clipping my foot as I started doing reverse rotations down one of the long walls. I managed to keep on time, but I couldn’t get my footwork back in the correct configuration until I made it to the other corner and put in some cantor turns. There were a lot more couples doing that Viennese Waltz than in any of the heats that I had done earlier, so it was bound to be slightly more dangerous. Other than that foot incident, I didn’t run into anyone for that entire championship round, which I mark down as a win in my book.

It was nice that my dance partner and I received thunderous applause when we first entered the floor, even though I think everyone in the audience knew there was no real chance for us to place highly against all the other competitors in this round. Despite that, it was actually a fun championship round to do. As I’ve said, the smooth-style dances are not my forte, but to actually compete in a round like that and feel semi-competent at the same time shows that maybe in some small way I have been improving. After the last song ended and I spun Sparkledancer out, we stood as people clapped for a bit and then everyone headed off the floor. With that out of the way, I could catch my breath and relax the rest of the night. There were bigger and better things to look forward to from this point forward, none of which involved me doing any dancing.

As we settled in to finish the dessert that we had abandoned earlier, our first entertainment of the night took the stage. At the Great Dance Hall they had recently brought on a new Dance Lord, and he was performing some sort of contemporary dance number solo for everyone. Based on the way the ladies had been gossiping about this young man and his physique all day, we’ll call him Hot Tottie. His dance number was a sight to behold. He would leap about, getting an impressive amount of height with each and every jump. He would bend and swivel his body in ways that I don’t know if I could ever do enough yoga to accomplish myself. On top of that, he was just a really nice guy, which made watching him dance even more fun. I had gotten to talk to him a couple of times during the day, and there was even a time earlier  when my dance partner and I were standing together in the ballroom and he came over to tell us that we were a lot of fun to watch out on the floor. Seeing him perform solo made that compliment resound even more.

Even though there was all that leaping, the song he was dancing to was not "I Believe I Can Fly"
Even though there was all that leaping, the song he was dancing to was not “I Believe I Can Fly”

When Hot Tottie finished up and left all the ladies in the room swooning as he left the floor, it was time for the five-dance International Latin exhibition. The two main male Lords from the Great Dance Hall, Lord Bradley and Tall Steven, were performing for this round, but it was really Tall Steven’s professional dance partner (rumor has it that she’s also his wife) that took over the floor. This girl had been the deck captain for this competition and the Spring Fling, making sure that everyone was in order, keeping things in line, checking everyone off and sternly ushering people on and off the floor as necessary. I’ve met her several times, and this serious side of her is what I usually see when I interact to her. But, when she dons a sparkly outfit and gets out under the spotlight to dance, it’s like she transforms into a whole different person. Because of that, we’ll refer to her as Arcee. Arcee Eye3really took the floor by storm, so much so that the other couple on the floor, and many times even her dance partner, were lost as people were transfixed by her presence. Every shimmy she did in the Samba, every kick in the Jive, and every dramatic stomp during the Pasodoble were all designed to keep attention focused on just this girl. And there was good reason to watch her – she looked like she was having a blast while dancing. I really hope that someday people will want to watch me dance and have fun like that. Maybe I should start studying what she does and learn a thing or two from it.

After that it was time for the American Smooth four-dance exhibition. The Lords and Lady of our little corner of the city were all dancing in this, Sir Steven paired with Lady Q and Lord Fabulous dancing with a Lady who originates from another studio. I have to say that this, far and away was probably the most interesting thing I saw all night. I know that Sir Steven is an excellent dancer, since obviously I am still paying to learn things from him. I have seen him occasionally do exhibition pieces with various people during my time in the Dance Kingdom. I’ve also seen him doing many heats with his various students in the competitions I have been part of. This was the first time I had ever seen him do something where he was dancing things competitively with Eye4someone who can dance at his level, like Lady Q. He took ownership of that floor during this event, much like Arcee did during the last exhibition (and Tall Steven and Arcee were performing again in this exhibition as well). It was easy to see why he is the head instructor at the Land of the Loft. He outshone Lady Q, even though they were dancing together, and he never let anyone get too close to him without keeping them in line. There were even a couple of times when he even struck people who dared enter his dance bubble as he would move his arms, a strike that never fazed him but caused whomever was struck to look over at him with fear in their eyes. Of all the other competitors on the floor though, it was Lord Fabulous I felt the worst for. Having spent so much time around Lord Fabulous, I know that he is a very good dancer in his own right, but he kind of got lost in the crowd, and never really did anything to draw attention to what he was doing. Granted, that might have also been because he and his partner were so much shorter than everyone else on the floor, so it was easy to lose them…

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This is an actual photo taken during their performance, I swear.

As the Lords and Ladies of the Dance Kingdom filed off the floor when their round was complete, it was time for the Princess and Hellmanns to perform. They did two numbers together – one that was slow and dramatic, and one that was quick and fun. I remember thinking while watching them together that it is really impressive to see how they can move so in sync with each other, even though they hadn’t spent much time practicing together before this performance. In order to do what I had done during this event, I had to schedule so much time week after week to practice with Sparkledancer, to make sure that we not only knew our steps, but knew what it felt like to do those steps with the other person on the floor with me. It’s amazing to think that these two can dance like that with each other in these complicated routines without going through that level of practice. Is that what it means to truly be a professional? To know what you are doing so well that you can perform with someone else without much rehearsal time beforehand? How long does it take to achieve that level? That’s what I kept thinking while they danced.

With the exhibitions finished, it was time for the award ceremonies. Because the score sheets had not been fully tabulated yet, they spent the time that they had scheduled to hand out the scores to instead take pictures of the entire cast of competitor and their instructors. We each got called up, once studio at a time; everyone got to stand in front of the stage with the Princess and Hellmanns and their instructor for the photographer they had hired to take some pictures. I’m not sure if we’ll ever get to see those pictures, but I hope they turn out well for whatever they get used for in the future. My dance partner and I went up there with both Sir Steven and Lady Q, since they had both worked with us on routines for this competition. When those pictures were finished, they announced the championship round winners. As expected, in both the championship rounds I participated in, Sparkledancer and I came in last place. Looking back on the results though, if you had taken the list of entrants and put their names in Excel, and then sorted the list with Pro-Am couples first and Amateur couples second, and then did a secondary sort based on how long each student had been taking lessons, you would have gotten the exact same results as the order we lined up in for placement of those championship rounds. I don’t feel bad about it though, I was glad just to be a part of the event. It gives me something to work toward next time, if I decide to do any championship rounds like these.

Of all the awards handed out that night, the most surprising one that they gave out was for the Best Newcomer. Lord Fabulous had a student we call Gable whom he had somehow convinced to be part of this event. By the day of the competition, she had only been taking lessons with him for about two months. It was nice to see someone from the Land of the Loft get recognized like that. At the end of the night, as everyone was packing up to leave, I was talking with Sir Steven and Lord Fabulous about the awards handed out, and they were scheming about how to take home the Best Studio award next time; they were both sad that they hadn’t gotten it this time, even though the Land of the Loft had the most students participating in the competition (their plan to get the award involved some complicated scheme to take out Tall Steven so that he wouldn’t be able to stand in their way).

And that’s that! All in all, it was a great day, and it really made me look back on how far I’ve come, and how far I still need to go to get to where I would like to be. With rumors floating around about the next competition in May, we’ll see if I can bring my skills up yet another level before then!

Hooray for us!
Hooray for us!