Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Hot Date With My Hardshoes

Last week I went to a Wednsday night Adults class for the first time. It was thrilling! Besides not having snot-faced kids telling me I am too old for their class and critiquing me not knowing the 'harder steps' yet, there were lots of things to love about it. Dancing with peers, yes, people my own age - I forgot how nice it was. When you are achy and tired, they are too. When you collapse on the floor in a heap because you knee just did it's funny twinge thing, they understand. Comparable height is always nice too. That being said, evey one in the Adult class (there were a total of 5 of last week, and only me and one other girl this week) is in Prelims or Champs. SO, yeah, I am SUPER the remedial student. One thing about dancing with the 5-10 year olds is even if they know the step, they are usually too busy running around and making fun of the "old woman" in their class that they don't pay much attention to their form, so, I can at least feel superior in some small ways. In the kids class, I am not the bottom of the barrel when it comes to skill set. I am one of the dancers that the little kids coming to their first class look at and whine about how they want to dance what I am dancing, without having ever learned their sevens or hops yet. Pretty much, on wednsday nights, THAT is what I have become, while I am DESPRETLY trying to get the timing right on my Advance Beginner Treble Jig, they come sweeping across the floor with their sets, feeting moving in ways that astound me, and I find myself mentally whining 'but I want to do that'. Luckily, I have the maturity and mental age to grasp the idea that I have to learn my stuff FIRST and the harder I work on it, the harder I will get to their level.

It is a strange, but I think good for me, dichotomy between the Adult and the regular satuday classes. Saturdays with the kids, I break down the steps more, go over them time and time again. That's good, I need that. Wedsndays, when it's just me and a small group of others, it's just pounding out you steps over and over and over again. Which, is also good, and I need that too. Dancing with the kids, gives me confidence. Not saying I gloat over the little mites, but seeing them struggle with things makes me feel slightly less useless  - I can accomplish SOMETHING and I once was where they are at now look at me sort of thing. Dancing with girls that are miles away better dancers then I am gives me a challenge. So, it's sort of like I am either dancing with where I have been, or where I want to be, constantly stuck between the two. It's good though, gives me different levels of motivation.

Other benefits of dancing with people my own age. I can actually talk to them - work, boyfriends, car repairs, etc. There is something to actually chit chat about. I can swear around them. That was an amazing feeling. I don't have the worst potty mouth in the world, but I am constantly watching myself around the kids. But being able to go "Shhhhit!" When I screw up my Slip jig for the millionth time - it's cathartic, really.

And victories. I finally got through right and left of my second sip jig step. I had been working it all soft shoe, but I just kept tripping over my own feet. Kids don't see all the hard work. Some just see you messing up and wonder why you haven't gotten it yet. Others don't even see past their own feet. But to have a peer, a girl my own age (roughly), who has gotten to a much high level of compition than I am stand there and watch me do my sad, (comparatively) simplistic  little Slip Jig step, see me get through it and cheer and give me a high five - well, yeah. That was kinda great.

Little victories. Little victories everywhere. My victory tonight was my slip jig Which brings me to a long over due "Win"

Maybe kids don't either, I don't know, I've never danced as a kid. And I don't mean to down play how hard kids work on their steps, but it seems to come easier to them - for all the obvious reasons that we area always talking about. They are younger, fitter, more energetic, less exhausted from work (they don't have work). Their minds are sponges and show them a step twice and they at least get the gist of it. I fight, I battle, I WAGE WAR on every single step, and when I finally get it, I never get over that sense of victory. I see kids take certain things for granted, like "Oh, of course I know my light jig. Light Jig is so stupid simple." while I just go "HECK YEAH I know my light jig! Boooya!"

Anyhoo, this old woman is going to bed. More old lady things in the AM.



  1. I just found your blog yesterday and have already read every single entry. I just started ID in September, at the age of 25, and I relate to so many things you write about. I haven't competed yet, haven't even learned full steps for all my dances yet, and honestly was feeling pretty down and like I should quit. It's such an inspiration to read about someone chugging along and doing this! I really hope you continue to update this year. I'm dying to hear about your progress since this last post! I'd also love to be friends on Facebook, if you update that more often. And finally, which school did you dance at in PA? Just curious. Thanks!

    1. Hi Alison! Sorry it's taken me a while to get back to your comment. Wish I had a better excuse then just "I've been soo busy" but that is the long and short of it! Oh yes, don't quit!! If I can chug along ANYONE can! I can't promise that it will be easy, or even "worth" it, but it's certainly a helluva fun ride and give supreme bragging rights. And if you love it, why stop?!

      I've got a busy year ahead of me and I am hoping to keep making headway towards that ever coveted solo dress! I am sure I will be blogging about it when there is anything of interest to share!

      Thanks for the kind words, and keep dancing!