The dance for dancers

How is it that I’m more competent learning the difficult dance (west coast) than I am learning the easy one (night club)?

Of course, I have half a clue why. In west coast we only know a handful of moves—all of which are relatively simple for the leads, and so all of which I can do—so there’s no great stress placed on me yet. In night club (at least in the last two classes), there’s a gateway move (think gateway drug, but leading to better places rather than worse ones) that involves me spinning myself. If I’m weak at anything in dance, I’m weak at spinning. So I start out on shaky ground there, and then we have a plethora of moves that I need to chain (there I go, using fighting game terminology in relation to dancing) in a relatively short period of time. It takes time (on the order of days/weeks/months) for my brain to wrap itself around new moves, and to start seeing how one move might lead into another one… and I just haven’t had that time to get night club straight in my head. In part, I do that by sitting on the sideline at dance practices and watching others dance—observing how they put their moves to use. It took my a bloody eternity to piece together the standard ballroom dances (waltz, tango, cha cha, jitterbug swing)…. Fortunately, I seemed to pick up a later dance, salsa, much faster—so there’s hope for me getting my act together before the end of the class.

The only reason I’m doing well in west coast (and I’ll be the first to say how surprised I am at my progress there) is because we haven’t gotten too far into the dance yet. Barbara described WCS as “the dance for dancers,” in that once you get to a certain point it’s more about personal style than it is about specific steps.

Once a dance stops being about specific steps, I get cut off at the knees. (I took ballroom originally because it involved social dances that had structure to them; that structure—and the presence of a follow to actually be the star of the show—is my crutch.) Consequently, I expect that I’ll plateau earlier than others in west coast.

In non-dance-related news, I managed to pop something in my back while lifting some batches at work this afternoon. Immediately afterward I felt pain when moving my legs certain directions; aspirin allowed to me to keep working.

Aspirin also allowed me to attend my west coast class this evening. (Quick poll: is Brent stupid?) I only hope that aspirin will also allow me to get out of bed tomorrow morning.


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