a.k.a. Watching myself dance still hasn’t gotten any easier.
It’s been 3 months since my last post, and it’s not like I haven’t tried to write. Several times I have opened a post document and started typing something or other. Some funny, some pretentious, all unfinished.
And like all dry spells, it only takes one drop of rain to break it. So here’s my drop:
Partner: Michael Quisao, November 1st
Continuing my ongoing project, Dance Retrospective, it’s been over a year since I’ve included a video of social dancing, much less to a song this fast. (Just to be clear, I loathe Jumpin’ at the Woodside. Give or take the smallest handful of people, nobody I know can dance well at 290+ bpms. And this wasn’t my first time attempting to dance to it in a competition final’s setting.)
That being said, however, I am completely pleased with my performance in this. I had not even planned on competing in the competition due to a lack of any regular dance partner. (3 out of 5 of the couples in the competition were dance partners and had time to prepare and practice.) When Michael Quisao asked if I would like to enter with him, I was like “Why the hell not?”
Michael was someone I rarely got to see but loved dancing with when I got the chance. (Fun fact: he’s one of the first leads I remember ever meeting when I started traveling.) And while we did not get the chance to practice per se, our dances were enjoyable and fun and so, as I said, why [the hell] not?
In order to enter the competition all you had to do was get a partner and be in the middle of the dance floor with the other competitors with by the beginning of the first song. My goal at this point was to not be tapped out at the first song. And we weren’t! And then we got through the second song. And then the third song. And then we were in the finals.
At this point, my success rate was 3x better than the bar that I internally set for us.
But let’s talk about the video.
I take back what I said in the beginning. It has gotten easier to watch myself on video. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve done it so many times or because I’m actually getting better or I’ve gotten easier on myself or a combination thereof.
I still do a little hunch, shortening my neck, but I’ve stopped pulling faces (except for when mugging is appropriate). I do need to work on my fast dancing. (The goal being to look calm and in control even when your feet are moving faster than you can think. And only conditioning and practice can get you there.)
Also, I clearly trust my lead a lot. Jack & Jill’s are scary for both the lead and the follow, but while the lead can have some sort of plan before it’s their turn, the follow can only take a deep breath and commit fully to following. Overall, I’m happy with my performance. Thankful that Michael offered to partner with me. Thrilled that we made it to finals. And giggly with the left over excitement of the night even months after the event.
Feature image credit to Jerry Almonte from Wandering & Pondering.