Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Testing 1..2..3...Is This Thing On??

Testing was tonight... I hate testing... I really do... I'm overall a social dancer and I don't really see the need in knowing EXACTLY how good or bad I am at anything. Not to mention the fact that every time I have tested has been the worst feeling on the dance floor...

I had been working primarily with Largo on new steps. Over the last week I made sure I had done all of them with each instructor because you never really know who you'll be dancing what with. In my mind I was working better on the Syllabus stuff with Largo, and so I wanted, in the perfect world that doesn't exist, to dance my majors as follows...
Cha-Cha= Largo
East Coast Swing = RT
Rumba = Largo
Salsa = RT

No.. I don't have a single smooth dance as my major... I like to dance them.. but do not have any desire to spend most of my time on any one of them. I'm quite happy with my majors thank you.

So testing goes like this... A large number of students all converge on the studio at once. We have a special guest "Judge" who is there to score us. New students going through their first test dance two of their majors, the rest of us dance all four. We're called out, we grab one of our instructors or are sometimes told which of our instructors to dance with... we're told the dance, and the music commences... everyone dances until our Judge has had time to critique us all. I'm going to tell you how this went... and then tell you what my scores were.

Cha-Cha... Largo wasn't paying attention to anything... so I ended up dragging him to the floor rather gruffly. (Sorry about that) We stand a bit apart, I get the once over from of his eyebrows goes up and he states rather disgustedly "You have cat hair..."

"I know.. I must have missed the ONE on my black top I'm sorry!" (I have two cats... Largo is highly allergic...) I quietly but sharply whisper back...

Until that moment I was totally chilled out... not nervous at all.. and then... one of the worst cases of nerves I've ever had pops out of nowhere! Let's see what do I remember about the Cha Cha... I failed at the first attempt of one of the leads he was putting me through... I messed up every SINGLE open break... at one point I completely forgot to Cha... and Largo ran me into three different people. At the same time my blood sugar soared out of whack because of my nerves and lack of dinner. I came off the floor from that Cha Cha mumbled an "I'm Sorry" to Largo and quickly found one of my fruit snacks that I always keep around. Once I had eaten something I was a little better...

Rumba= Largo is already on the floor with a student, so I go for RT once they've called my name... RT seems kind of surprised to see me heading for him...then it dawns on him and he says "I was wondering who Pat was..."
"Uh huh... Funny.. happens all the time... just dance." I dryly reply really hoping this Rumba is going to go better... I mumbled some of what I did during Cha to RT... just to let him know... it's not a good night on the floor.

So we dance Rumba... it was rough... I didn't spiral where I was supposed to in at least three different spots... I was told at one point to stop making faces.... but then at JUST THE RIGHT SECOND.... as I'm facing the Judge... I go from coyly ( it wasn't coy at all... I was looking at the floor) but I drew up my eyes and got him with Rumba eyes and a smile.... YES!!! Spun back around to RT... he whispers that I can calm down now I've been judged... I just wanted to giggle that I totally got the Judge with my Rumba eyes! Ok... so maybe tonight wasn't going to be so bad.

East Coast Swing... Largo's turn!!! Actually the swing wasn't anything spectacular.... it was just kind of a swing... but I was happy that I was following at least. We covered the steps I needed... a couple of times over... Largo finally started smiling... I whispered "Thank you" to him after that one... Meh.. not good... not bad... one more and I'm finished!

So I'm waiting for the group to be called up for Mambo... then RT goes and tells them I do Salsa... and we get to dance... at least that's the way it's supposed to go.

Well instead... I get called... Just my name.... for a Solo... apparently all the others that have Mambo as a major didn't have to dance it.... or I'm the only one with anything Salsa/Mambo related for a Major anymore... Jackie calls my name... asks me if I want Salsa or Mambo as I meet RT on the dance floor... I told her she can ask me to dance on the 2... but it's not going to be pretty. So Salsa it is. Jesse was manning the music.. he puts on a song... it was very Mambo like...but I'd heard it a million times before.... and because it was JUST me and RT on the floor... ACK!!! I decide to mess everything up!

We start out basic enough... single turn... then RT starts the Miami Special and all I can think is that we haven't done this in FOREVER... I ALWAYS screw it up... then... on top of it all.. I forget to listen to the music... and completely screw EVERYTHING UP.... *sigh*... then... I hear RT... "Quick quick slow...quick quick slow." I wanted so badly to yell... NOT HELPING... but can't... I'm being tested.... Then... RT did the one thing that always helps... a little basic... a little cross body lead.. and then MY SPIN!!! YAY MY SPIN!!!.... I call it my spin cuz I've never done it with anyone else... and it's the one spin that completely clears my head and for whatever reason.... I can find the beat when I come back.... turns out I took my spin a little fast... no, it was like WAY too fast and I think I had at least a full beat... maybe a beat and a half to wait before the top of the next measure... but here's the magic about that... I KNEW that and froze with RT until it was time to go again... Some call that not being in control... maybe not of the spin...but I think that's CRAZY control to be able to wait before moving after whipping around like that. I heard some comments from the crowd on my spin as we did another basic and they called for the song to end. (Too bad... another measure or two of being back on track and I could have gotten a better score).

Ok... so the LAST time I tested my highest score was a 93 - and that's fair... I suppose... I really wasn't expecting to get any better... and that really would have irritated me. But given the way I felt on the floor through all those dances.... yeah I think 93 would have been appropriate (and a 92 for that stink'n Cha Cha)

But... here's what I got...
Cha Cha = 94
Rumba = 94
East Coast Swing = 94
Salsa = 95 + a lot of people saying that I was fun to watch... better than any score!

So I hereby from this day forward... will no longer tell you that I suck at dancing...

... I'll tell you that I'm an OK dancer. :-)

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