Sunday, May 18, 2008
Friday Night Social at Fred Astaire South Barrington!
The girls and I took last weekend off from going out, and this weekend wasn't looking too promising for me. Then, late in the week Captain sent out the call to action asking if we'd be interested in going to a party at our "sister" studio Fred Astaire South Barrington. Friday was a better night for me and I do love the folks that work out of that studio, so I was in!
The staff at this studio are real gems! The studio is up and coming, with only two instructors the gent instructor (I'll call MSU, because he "Makes Steps Up") is the same one I danced that blast of a Cha Cha with at the Salsa party a month or two ago. The gal instructor is a total blast, she just seems like someone you'd want to hang out with (I'll call her HBF...she's her Hairdresser's Best Friend because EVERY time I see her her hair is different!). The manager has one of the most vibrant personalities I've come across, and she's danced with RT professionally too... I'll refer to her as RTS because she recently changed from Rhythm to Smooth. So I knew at least from a staff perspective that this was going to be good.
I had been informed from several sources that the theme was "Latin Pot Luck" so I made sure to have something in hand and Captain brought some goodies as well. We don't generally eat at dance parties but if the theme requests it, it's nice to comply. Upon arrival we were greeted by an intimate group of students already dancing. We said our hellos and changed shoes, we were then immediately pulled to the dance floor! Apparently word had gotten out that we were arriving, (I had called earlier in the day to confirm information and it's really unusual for students to visit other studios). It was so much fun! FADSSB as a whole had a very comfortable feel about it, much more relaxed than even the studio we take lessons at. I hope as they grow and advance the studio can keep that vibe going.
Did we dance a ton? No, but the dances we got in were quality and each one was fun.
MSU pulled me to the floor for a Cha Cha, it wasn't as good as the Salsa party, but still fun, and I forgot how badly my shoes stick to that floor! HBF and I danced a Hustle where I learned she really likes to spin her follows! Later, we were all called to the dance floor for something... I couldn't hear what it was and I had to dispose of what I was hanging on to, I arrived to join the group just as HBF was leading everyone through the basic Bachata! Too funny! To think MSU was trying to pull me to the floor thinking I'd be learning something new...when we had already established that RT is my instructor... Like RT would let me get away without learning that!...but Captain and I worked our way through it and had a bit of fun!
I had just had a sip of the homemade Sangria (on an empty stomach) when I was pulled to the floor for another Hustle...and quickly learned to NOT drink on an empty stomach and then take part in a fast dance... I almost lost it by the end! Thankfully my stomach settled as soon as the dancing stopped! At some point MSU pulled me on the floor for a Rumba... and then it hit me... why I like dancing with him... I like dancing with MSU because he actually dances with his follows! He's one of the few instructors I've danced with that actually looks me in the eye! He also really reacts when I allow myself to get into the dance, you should see what happens to his eyes when I end up doing my Rumba eyes! It's totally worth it to let my acting side come out if my lead is going to react like that! He was making stuff up, and really working at getting into my personal space... fortunately for me I don't get scared of him and it ended up being a pretty good Rumba, not the best, but it's nice to be able to dance...you know really dance...with someone besides RT... I don't even know MSU very well... but he's a comfortable dance partner.
The show for the evening was adorable! There was a couple there getting married next week and they showed off their wedding dance. It was great! You could see the man's face just running through all the steps he had to know. It wasn't until later that I learned that they had just finished learning that routine hours before the party! THAT was amazing! Then MSU and HBF (who compete together) were put on the spot for a Cha Cha. True to his nickname, he made stuff up, and I'm pretty sure my mission in life now is to get my hips to move as nicely as HBF... The dance was very cute!
I was also introduced to one of the studio's newer students, lovely woman! During the one Salsa song, I showed her a little salsa basic, and as each of us where off the floor we chatted. She had a lot of questions about dancing, and my article (they have it on display there). Towards the end of the evening they called the last dance, and it was kind of just the two of us on the sidelines...so I asked her if she wanted to Hustle. She followed pretty quickly, it wasn't too long before I had her into a single turn. Then MSU decided to pick us both up and dance with both of us! That was an interesting experiment!
After the party and some small talk, Captain and I left for our other evening obligations... While it probably won't be a habit, simply because we like to broaden our dance horizons. I am sure FADSSB hasn't seen the last of us!