Monday, February 18, 2008

Return of the Dancer

I've backed off of blogging about swing dancing, since I haven't found anything interesting or personal to say about it. Until now.

I've recently found myself feeling like my dancing is at a plateau. I'm not really adding new moves. Well, I'm not being fair to myself. I'm focusing on and improving my musicality, which isn't alway easy to see. But I realized that I'm spending a lot of time dancing down instead of dancing with my peers and dancing up.

So on Friday night, in the midst of the OC Swing crew around, I decided to dance up. Looking around, I saw Francis, Nikki, and Adrienne, all of whom I find really intimidating to dance with. Nikki left and when I saw Francis free, she was wiped out from her previous dance, so I didn't bother asking. Which left Adrienne, whom I'd seen Fred dance with twice that night. So I asked her. Oh boy. It was ... tough to describe. We had a really light dance connection, and she did tons of improvisation. I repeatedly thought I should be giving her extra time at the end of a swing-out when I didn't need to. I didn't give her enough time when she was improvising on a walk-through. I was intimidated. I apologized once in the middle of the dance. I felt like I was wasting her time. And then the song was over.

She introduced herself in that way people do as a way to ask for your name, so I introduced myself. I didn't bother to mention that she'd taught the first OC Swing class I took almost a year ago. No reason she'd remember. Oddly, I don't see a single person from that beginner class at Atomic or Strutters. Well, that's not true. Jason was in that class and is on the OC Swing team, but he wasn't really a beginner and moved to the intermediate class starting the second week. Oh, and I see Phil about once every six weeks or so.

Saturday, the 16th:
The Atomic team is doing some performances for when Stompy Jones plays next Sunday evening. Worked on Big John's Special during the Swing 1 team, then the Baby Bop routine during Swing 2 and most of Swing 3. Ended with Rip It Up, which I sat out, since I missed the beginning three weeks ago. Damn.

Stayed around to take the Swing 3 team to eat ramen, but they stood around and talked for 20 minutes, so I got frustrated and left Mark to do that.

Evening in Pasadena with the Falcon, Johgi, and Johgi's boyfriend. Dinner at Saladang Song (damn, Thai Nakorn ruined me for Thai), and dancing at PBDA. Johgi's BF went from no swing dance exposure to on his way to a solid east coast basic over the evening. Nice! Johgi said this is the first thing they've tried together (other than horseback riding) that he's liked. Hope they stick with it. I'll be back to make sure. :-)

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