Christmas is only a few days away. And the New Year is sure to follow. Obvious statements aside, 2016 is going to see major changes in my dancing.
The most significant is my new dance teacher. His name is Cole. And from what I remember, he’s been dancing professionally for at least a decade. I met him for my first private lesson last Tuesday, December 15th. He is definitely the tallest of all my teachers at a little over 6″. Both Victor and Tommy were only around an inch or two taller than me. (I’m 5″3 without heels.) Nick was taller than both, so he was about four or five inches taller than me. Height between dance partners does matter. Idealistically, I’ve found I want a partner not much taller than me. Despite our height difference, my initial dances with Cole in full body contact weren’t bad at all. A couple more lessons and everything ought to be just fine.
Now, I’m sure y’all have heard the expression “It’s just a dance.” I’ve heard it from ballroom teachers and in social circles. And the part of me that’s an actress has no qualms with playing her part. It’s not like I’m having to kiss my romantic interest onstage. Still, I’ve had my awkward moments. Mostly it’s been when the man has towered over me. Instead of both our stomachs being roughly parallel to each other, his crotch would be parallel to my stomach. In terms of travelling, he couldn’t step between my legs very easily. In terms of enjoying the dance, it just felt…wrong. There were times whilst dancing bachata where I found myself sitting on his upper leg in a style reminiscent of the way a young child sits on a seesaw. Unfortunately, such matters cannot be helped.
Cole’s personality is hard to describe at the moment. He is sweet and patient, especially when compared with my perfectionist tendencies. His energy level fits nicely between Victor’s glacial pace (almost an island-time kind of chill) and Nick’s toddler-esque antics, which made every lesson as unpredictable as it was enjoyable. As for his impressions of me, he told me he could see us working well together because we were both highly analytical people.
Finally, my specific goals have shifted. The biggest one is readying myself for dancing in a scholarship round sometime next year in a larger competition, which would be for American Smooth and Rhythm. That would be four Smooth dances and five Rhythm dances. I need to work on Bolero and Mambo the most, especially the latter. Cole also told me that I clearly knew my patterns, so we’re laying off right now. This year should be all about technique. However, I don’t want to completely put those school figures on hold. Right now, I’m Bronze IV and would like very much to be Silver by the time the studio hosts it’s Medal Ball early next December. I’ve got to be sure to tell him that.
Those are the facts and the goals, but nothing in dance is set in stone. With the coming of the New Year, I feel as excited as anybody else. Yet, I also fee slightly scared. Whatever it may bring, I’m as ready as I’ll ever be.