July 22, 2008 at 2:46 PM (Dance) (, )

We finally started working on Standard last week, and I couldn’t have been more thrilled.  Like many people who began ballroom dancing in college, I competed in every style for which I could convince a guy to tolerate me a few days a week for a couple hours at a time (read: “practise”).  Being the charming lass I was, I managed to compete in all four styles, International Latin and Standard, and American Rhythm and Smooth.  It was all good fun for a while, but eventually, finding a college student who wanted to take the dancing a little more seriously proved difficult, and finding a partner who wanted to seriously compete in more than one style proved almost impossible.

I realised that if I ever wanted to seriously improve my dancing, I’d have to look beyond the college students . . . and that I’d probably have to drop at least two, if not three styles.  Although initially displeased with the thought of dancing in only one style, I hoped that I’d find a partner who would at least be interested in expanding his repertoire to 9- or 10-dance (dancing Standard & Latin, or Smooth & Rhythm).

When I asked Carlton if he was looking for a dance partner, I knew he only danced Latin, but I figured I’d ask him about Standard, anyway.  I explained that although I knew competing in all 19 dances was beyond unreasonable, would he be completely opposed to eventually competing in Standard.  Although he didn’t seem ecstatic about the idea, he didn’t rule it out.  After further discussion of goals and objectives, we decided to dance Latin together.

That was over a year ago.

One year, 13 competitions, several lessons, countless practises, and too many last-minutes performances later, we have come a long way . . . and we have finally taken our first Standard lesson.  I was ectstatic to be working on the most basic of Waltz figures last week.  Johnny had nothing but wonderful things to say as we went over the fundamentals of Standard technique (aside from telling me that if I want to take it seriously, I should wear an appropriate skirt — it’s in the mail!!), and I’ve been anxious to start dancing again.  Maybe it’s because it’s been over a year since I’ve touched Standard.  Maybe I always liked it more than Latin in the first place.  Maybe it’s because the dresses are so stunning and every girl has the opportunity to live out her childhood fantasy of looking like a princess.  Maybe it’s because our coach was ecstatic during our first lesson and said, “You guys are gonna be amazing” about a million times.  Maybe it’s because I see dancing so much more differently than I did when I confined myself to the collegiate circuit.  Who knows?  Regardless, I’m thrilled to have my second chance to DANCE Standard.  I don’t know if Carlton really wants to dance Standard, or if he’s only doing it to humour me.  I hope it is the former.  Either way, Carlton, thank you!


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