The Scoop (Part IV): Crossroads

Oh my ice cream

photo by snowpea&bokchoi (flickr)


It’s been over six months since my last post and more than a year since I’ve stepped into the ballroom.  Now, I’m preoccupied with getting a full-time job and moving out.  It’s probably going to be a while until I make enough to take ballroom regularly again.  Such is life.

I’ll be frank: I think it’s time to shut the blog down.  I have been dancing during my absence, mostly social Latin, and I’ll be embarking on regular Argentine Tango classes beginning this August.  I could blog about this additional dancing, but I cannot find the conviction to do so.  I cannot explain it.  This was a ballroom blog, with a bit of other genres on the side.  It was foundational.  And, I don’t think the bachata team I’m in will last much longer.  Call it a hunch given the specific circumstances around it.  That would only leave Argentine Tango.

I cannot tell all my readers, past and present, how grateful I am.  I went into this needing a platform for writing, never expected anyone to actually read or care.  And it lasted a little over four years.  Such an immense blessing!  It’s been a great ride.

May God bless you all,

Alaina Urbantke



Please, No Tug-O-War

photo by vastateparksstaff (flickr)

photo by vastateparksstaff (flickr)

I’m not fond of tug-o-war.  To clarify, watching people is fine, but don’t get me involved.  The fall semester of my senior year of college I decided to participate.  It was freshmen versus everyone else.  The competition is always rigged to make the newbies wear their dorky beanies for an extra week.  My freshman year, they tethered golf carts to the other side and lightly tapped the gas.

Anyway, I decided to join the “fun” because it was my last year.  Too bad I decided to wear flip-flops that day.  Noticing my poor choice of footwear, I was at a loss.  “Just take ’em off,” said the burly male student behind me.  Sure, it’d help me plant my feet better.  The flip-flops came off, and the tug-o-war began.  We won with some mighty tugging, unremarkable.  What was remarkable was the fact I didn’t feel the stinging and burning from the fire ants that covered my left foot until after the event concluded.  I had stepped in their hill as I was tugging.  I had at least seven bites, and my foot soon swelled to the point where I couldn’t where my left shoe properly. I still have the scars, but they’ve faded significantly.  No more tug-o-war for me!

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A Reminder for Compassion

What's better, dancing together or eating together?

What’s better, dancing together or eating together?

I’m taking Elementary Spanish I as my linguistic course this semester.  The last Spanish course I took was in elementary school.  So, it’s as if I’ve never taken it before because I remember nothing.  I seek eventual fluency because it’s a practical language.  (I live in Texas, y’all.)  However, the most significant reason is its connection to my dancing.

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The Argentinian Challenge

photo from Wikimedia Commons

photo from Wikimedia Commons

“Hey, did you know that I asked Tommy to teach me Argentine Tango?”  I eagerly told a friend a while back.  “You’re learning Argentine Tango?” he asked.  “Yeah,” I replied, still smiling happily.  His tone became frank, “I don’t know how you’ll do it.  I mean, increased physical contact makes you uncomfortable.”  An “alright” was all I could get out, not really knowing what else to say.  That stung a bit.  But he was a friend, so I brushed it off.  What I wish I would’ve said in that moment was “Challenge accepted,” with a big grin on my face.

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Going to the Roots

I’ll be honest.  It’s easy for me to get too comfortable when it comes to dancing.  It’s essential to recognize the extent of your talent, so you can use it as a baseline for improvement or encouragement when needed.  But, you have to keep it in perspective.  “Yes, I’m pretty good at this, but I have to keep at it.”  That’s certainly a tightrope to walk.  Don’t get me wrong.  I’m extremely happy with the state of my dancing right now, but I can’t rest on my laurels.  One can’t progress if one is sitting and basking, right?  In light of this, I realized something on Friday that I wanted to share: dancing with beginners helps keep me humble.  They serve as a constant reminder of several, important things.

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The Game Plan So Far… (with added notes from group class)

Man, I haven’t sweat that much during a lesson in a long time!  This may sound gross, but there’s something so wonderfully satisfying about a good sweat.  Your body rids itself of toxins through sweat, and those endorphins are great, too.  All Tommy and I did during this lesson was dance through my four dances for Team Match.  They are Waltz, Tango, Rumba, and Lindy Hop. Continue reading

Life In Heels

I love to dance.  Perhaps I love to dance a bit too much from others’ perspective.  There’s the inclination towards shameless plugging and the endless talking, which can garner several reactions.  The first and most common is the “smile-and-nod.”  The second is the polite request to change the subject.  The third is slightly amusing.  Their eyes glaze over.  I’ve been reflecting on this a little, and I’ve come to a realization: Dance has become a lifestyle for me. Continue reading


Disclaimer: All the information presented here is researched and can be found on the appropriate Wikipedia page or on  I will give links to both.  I also do not own the video in this post.


Have you ever had someone ask you this question?  “Describe x in one word?”  Well, if you were to ask me to describe this dance in one word, it would definitely be stomp.  It fits well enough, and it was the first word that came into my head as I danced in group class today.  I was quite eager for this particular class because it feature a dance I had never done before: the Paso Doble. Continue reading