Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Guests Come into Part of my Dancing World

It's pretty rare that I get to be there when a new person starts on their ballroom adventure. I've officially helped 50 men and women start on their own lessons literally around the globe! (E-mail me and I can help you find a studio in your area too!) Last Thursday was a REAL treat for me because I was able to be there for a co-worker and her mum as they met the staff of FADS South Barrington and participate in a Fred Astaire Guest Party.

I've actually never had the opportunity to participate in one of these things myself, I usually just sign my guests up for their first lesson off the bat, but my co-worker was excited, and I just knew the guest party would be something she and her mum would enjoy. I arrived a bit early, and was greeted by not only the staff, but Bonnie and Michael from Bonnie's Belle Gowns. I took a quick look at their offerings and noticed immediately some BRAND NEW additions to their collection. Had I lingered by the racks any longer I would have absconded with the entire collection to try them all on. I also noticed a fair amount of the dresses already reserved for the upcoming competition. (October 11th and 12th.) Which I was happy to see. (Quite honestly, I'm afraid if I ever DO get into one of these dresses and spin around, all will be lost and I'll end up making up reasons to rent and wear them… they are just STUNNING!!!)

The guest party started and, for me, it was a lesson in over the top campy humor…which I have witnessed before, but never actually been a part of. After introductions the guests are all asked to dance a bit for the very first time with the staff. The students usually sit and enjoy the reactions of their friends and family out on the floor. I was fortunate enough that Michael asked me to dance, so we carved out our own little corner of the floor and Hustled and Rumbaed our way through the dance part of the party. It is so much fun to dance with someone who loves to dance as much as I do! I thanked Michael for the dances and we both joined in the group circle to go over the most basic of steps.

Once in the circle, the supervisor/host went over the basics. He mentioned that the gentlemen start with their left foot, ladies with their right. I was waiting for him to say the line about ladies and the right foot… he didn't say it. So I broke protocol. (These parties are very scripted, and to deviate his very unusual) I raised my hand…

"Ummm… [Excuse me] but why do the ladies always start on their right foot?" I ask in my best curious little girl voice.

The host was momentarily stunned that I would break his flow… he shouldn't be…it's what I do best… the gals on staff knew immediately where I was going with this and shouted in unison "BECAUSE THE LADY IS ALWAYS RIGHT!!!" followed by some great laughter.

I peeked over to the host, he was smiling… and said quietly into the mic "That wasn't part of the script."

I took a peek at my guests and they were clearly having a good time… GREAT!!

MSU and I were asked to demonstrate a Hustle… I was expecting a basic "March, March, Rock-Step" push pull… instead I was lead into full on Hustle! So as we're jamming in the middle of the circle MSU says "Do you want to do our thing at the end?"

"What thing?" I ask…completely puzzled.

"Our, thing…do you want to do it?"

"I have no idea what you're talking about…but hey…it's my job to follow!"

(Why do I always end up having conversations mid dance? It wasn't that long ago that I couldn't even speak a word while trying to follow!)

The brief Hustle ends, and MSU throws himself into my arms for our comical dip.

"Oh…THAT thing!!!" I exclaim amidst a ton of laughter!

Dancing with him is just too much fun…

The rest of the party continued without a hitch, although the host did keep looking to me to see if I was going to disrupt things again.

At the end I was talking with MSU… about how I bring him guests, but his students don't… I reminded him that I hadn't brought my instructors guests either… he found that exceptionally amusing.

My guests did sign up for their first official lesson with MSU this Thursday!!

Guest Parties can be fun and are a great free way to introduce friends and family to the Fred Astaire dancing world.

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