On a lighter note

You might note a difference in tone between this post and the one I wrote earlier this evening. (Reading that one first should give you half a clue what I’m talking about….) That difference is entirely due to this evening’s ballroom dance practice, where I was able to get away from things and enjoy myself for a while.

I feel strange, being able to switch between being hella mad and quite mellow in the space of a few hours…. It sounds hypocritical, and in a way I guess it is. The truth of the matter is, though, that these things will weigh down on the back of my mind for some time to come; this evening is the brief respite before the inevitable. But, for now, the respite:

Lots of people at the practice this evening, which made it much more fun than last week; got to dance with all of the usual people, and a few less-usual ones. Learned that Mandy didn’t need to have surgery on her ear (lucky!), and had just heard that OSU is willing to pay for her graduate study in the fall (lucky again!).

Saw Kristina (usually of my workplace) at the practice as well, which was a first. She’s an amazing dancer. As the traditional Last Waltz cued up, she asked me if I wanted to dance (I had stopped to say ‘hi,’ earlier); before the first step, I could tell that she was a cut above.

You see, the frame formed by your arms is the mechanism by which a lead tells a follow where to move. In introductory classes, everybody is pretty much limp-armed and can only dance together because only a few moves are known (and are thus assumed to be the Next Move). As you progress, the amount of tone in your arms becomes much more critical—are you going to do a cuddle, or are you going to do a turn?—and people eventually figure out that they have to hold their arms somewhat firmly. (I’m squarely in this camp.) Kristina’s frame was absolutely rigid compared to mine, and she also positioned herself further away and to the right than the people I’m used to dancing with.

I only write this much detail because I’m fascinated by the difference in skill levels, and how quickly the difference was apparent (I mean—before the first step!). I definitely haven’t danced with a follow of her caliber before.

 

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