I noticed a trend this past weekend. And that was that I was sitting. A lot. I circulated, I chatted, I sat in one of two areas near the dance floor in what I thought were good line of sights, and yet I sat. I was not sure what the reason was, and this was not the first time this has happened. There have been many posts about sitting at milongas and at festivals, and the blunt truth has always boiled down to those who are not good enough, sit. So I panicked a little. After all, I was sitting. ergo......
But instead I sucked it up and asked a question I did not really know if I wanted to hear the answer to. And I learned two things, that I have a tendency to look intimidating with an air of "supreme indifference" and that I tend to be invisible.
Apparently what I thought was a calm face with a slight smile, was instead stand-offish and rather bemused in a "royal we" sort of way. And that I tend to be invisible, leaders want to dance with me, but I don't stand out, so when they don't see me, they dance with others.
Well that threw me for a loop.
I vehemently denied being a "royal we" - mostly because I was horrified and mortified at the thought that was the case. Yes, after hour one of sitting, I do tend to space out a bit, but..... haughty??? Perish the thought! So proclamation number 1 (heh heh) - circulate more! I try to save my feet in my CIFs by sitting a lot, well, I can save them all night if all I do is sit, so walk and talk is my new way of saving my feet to dance. And instead of calm, I am going to try engaged, if I am sitting and watching the floor.
But invisible...... how to tackle that?
A chat with another leader when I mentioned this new discovery was at first surprise, and then agreement. He mentioned that I always look nice, but I always wear black or brown, so in a darkened room, despite my pale Irish skin, I sort of blend in. Circulating will help, but damn it! I am a costume designer! for THEATRE!! If anyone should know how to dress someone so that they look good and are distinctive, it should be me! I can do it for other people, why not myself?
So, horror of horrors, I am going shopping for distinctive tops. I bought some fabric that is pretty cool and colorful for wrap tops, and those are being cut this afternoon.
And while all of this was happening, I had a couple of moments where my doors were blown off their hinges. One was in a practica with an instructor whom I adore and respect greatly, and he mentioned that he wanted to see me step with quality. I was too smooth and mellow, that he often thought while we were dancing that "If only she had..." in response to my not showing the power I had with my steps. Wow. It's a whole new world. We worked on that, it started to feel good, I started to feel more from him, and the plateau I did not realize I was on, started moving in an upwards direction.
So of course, I immediately approached Shorey for a private on follower technique with this idea as the basis for the lesson. She was in town DJing at Providence at the festival, so it was now or wait months until the opportunity appeared again. Sorin constantly raves about dancing with her, and about her embrace, so it was a no-brainer. Our lesson was at the crack of dawn - 11am - heh heh heh, and worth every penny. We talked about lengthening the torso to allow for torsion and balance, about embracing with communication and being right there with your leader, and how to match my step quality to the music to communicate what I am hearing and suggest to my leader what I want to dance to.
First of all, Shorey is an excellent teacher, she communicates clearly what she wants you to do and is able to get out of you what you may not realize is there. Secondly, she is a very good lead! and thirdly, she gave me knowledge and inspiration to bring my dance to a new level. It's a whole new world, and I have lots to work on, but I am thrilled with it all.
So between proclamation #1, some striking yet signature Debbi clothing, and my new way of thinking about dancing - I hope to be vacating a couch sometime soon..... ;-)