Thursday, July 2, 2015

Ballroom Antics – 2015 Edition Part 2

Click for part one

Week 6

Anabelle had no school the next day, and stayed at Grandma’s giving us a Date Night.  The problem with that was skipping dinner before the later class meant the caffeine in the soda burned through the small bit of energy the pear I ate before leaving provided almost immediately.

The Beginners’ Class was ending with Bachata?!?!?!

Brand New Steps?  A brand new four count? Stepping without putting weight on my feet?

I was a giant mess.

In spite of Tony’s continued promises of new steps the week before, our class went straight back to Rumba. (Twitch Twitch)

He said he wanted to see what we remembered, and went through the same steps we remember (and occasionally forget) every single time he starts Rumba again.  I was quite tired and crabby, causing me to completely ignore his commands to change partners.

Later we changed to Cha Cha.  Bella said we were doing very good (because we are at Cha Cha, if I do say so myself) and showed us a cool step.

Tony came over and said, “Oh, you’re showing them this?”
And then did some completely different big confusing move.
“No that’s too hard, do the basic steps.”

We left somewhat befuddled, and went to Friday’s for our date night.  There I had ribs for the first time in about five years. I was either celebrating a successful stress test, or drowning my sorrows over an unsuccessful one. 

(Some times, date night is scheduled before the results come in.  It turned out to be a celebration, YAY!)

Week 6.5

Spring break, no class.

This was fortunate as I was still having Bachata flashbacks and nightmares.

Week 7

Tony started out with the classic question, “What do you want to do?”

Then ignored the answers to ask, “What did we do last week?”

Then ignored the answers to say we were going to recap everything.  As experienced students we knew that meant Rumba night again…twitch twitch.

The night mostly focused on the fan and hockey stick. They are moves which look very cool, that we execute expertly on nights we go over them.  We then forget them as soon as class ends.

Alternate Phake Phoebe, Sharon, filled in and was excellent at teaching steps to the women. 

No one was happy with “change partners” this week, so he stopped more quickly than usual.
Whenever he talks about Rumba being “the dance of love,” changing gets really awkward.

Tony and Sharon wandered off into Rumba land for a bit before we switched over the Cha Cha at the end.

We went through the same moves we had been doing for Rumba, but at a faster “Cha cha cha” pace.

We were following Tony’s crazy complex series of moves quite well, until I Cha Cha-ed the small of my back into a table knocking all the wind out of me, and ending the night wheezing like an asthmatic dryer vent.

Week 8

Rosa had a dentist appointment that catastrophically morphed into a trip across town to the oral surgeon for unscheduled sinus surgery.

I seriously considered going to dance class alone in order to keep up my skills…
For approximately thirty-seven nanoseconds.

Then I decided it would be safer to stay home in case he picked samba.
I’d hate to accidentally kill a stranger.

Week 9

Tony started out with a little “guess the music.”

My first guess was, “Something I can’t do.”

Bachata was back, and mine was well and truly broken.

Rosa did a whole pile with Tony, because I couldn’t even get the basic working with the time shift still bothering me.
It was exceedingly unfair to introduce a whole new set of counting rules that late in the game.

Let’s put it this way, my skills were so sorely lacking, I was thrilled to get back to Rumba.

Not that I did much better. Rosa, being an infinitely better dancer than I would constantly try to get to the “next step.”  My main goal was to figure out, and execute something resembling, the current step, leaving me usually a step and a half behind her.

I remembered enough that we were able to get out of the hockey stick/ fan combo with Rosa doing a spin instead of straight backwards steps.

Tony was impressed, because he forgot he taught us how to do that a couple weeks before.

Therefore, he and Bella demonstrated a ridiculous series of moves we had no hope of copying.

Rosa tried to ask Bella how to transition from the walk together that followed our last move into the swivel. (Yes, I was in need of standing still again.) The move looked like something we knew from Cha Cha, but our Dance to English to Bella translations weren’t working.

She showed us four or five impossible combos that were both different from what she had done previously, and ended up in something other than we were trying to.

Tony’s time management was always far below his dance teaching ability.  In the earlier classes this wasn’t a problem because they both started and ended late.  In the final class of the night, it became an issue as the janitors threw us out on a weekly basis.

Week 10

We had live music for the big finale. Sadly we couldn’t dance to it.

The High School Jazz band was wailing in the main cafeteria we usually used, placing us a thin wall away from them in the smaller cafeteria next door.

To add to my final night fun, the only possibly day I could start getting my knee lubricant injections was that morning.  Nothing like painful joints full of goo to help my already stellar hoofing ability.

We did a smidge of Foxtrot and Tango before our minimized class started up.  It was only Tony, Bella, Us, one other woman we knew, and a left over beginner’s couple.  We ended up with some more personal lesson time.

Tony did listen to the answer to, “What do you want to do?” this time.  Rosa poked me enough to get me to suggest continuing Foxtrot.

Bad knees or no, I was able to show Rosa how parts of it were supposed to work. When it was her turn for Tony to demonstrate “fast mode” (which my Dancing With the Stars education tells me is “Quickstep”) I even showed the other woman how to properly execute the turns.

Let’s hear it for the white boy genes!

My successes and my knees came to an abrupt, crashing halt when he changed us to Hustle.

The worst part of it was Tony cranking the Britney Spears song on his radio to drown out the awesome, rockin’ tunes coming from next door.

We did some basic steps and turns without me falling down, before he taught us some semi-complex twirling thing. Luckily, it was another of my favorite, “guy stands still,” kind of steps.

Tony and Bella finished with a bunch of wild demos, which he’d also perform with the women in the class while I went off to ice my knees.

As proof that all this bouncing around is leading to brain damage:


Anonymous said...

As usual, great blog. It's nice to know I'm not the only one with not just two left feet but...three. If Jesus told me I'd have to dance to enjoy everlasting life I'd say goodbye to my loved ones and wish them well. I sometimes wonder if it's mental and not physical. My biggest nightmare is being in a marching band. Not only can I not dance but playing a musical instrument is the equivalent of piloting a space shuttle for me. I can barely play the radio. Forget about the guitar, drums or sax and don't even think about the accordion with a million buttons on one side and a piano on the other side. And then you to to pump it to get the sound out. Yeeeesh!
Jeff, you deserve a medal for your efforts. I've given up.
Happy 4th,
Cousin Michael

Jeff McGinley said...

Thanx much, especially for joining in and commenting.

I don't think they give medals for "knows steps just barely well enough to avoid hurting strangers," but I can hope.