Michigan ~ Day 42

It’s a dancing summer!!! Josie came swing dancing with me tonight =) The minimal exposure back in Feburary paid off, because the lesson was mostly on triplets. I do not have the vocabulary, so I apologize if I completely butcher this in attempting to describe it, but it’s eight steps in a… basic set? Three to one side, three to another, and then two rocking back and forth – one t’three, one t’three, rock, step.

Almost immediately, we were set learning a sequence: following the basic step and from the lady’s perspective, the left hand is released, the gentleman pulls me to my left for the first one t’three and prepares to catch me on his right side. On the second one t’three, I am turning to my right so that I end up facing the same direction as the gentleman, my left hand on his right shoulder, his right hand on my right side. Instead of the rock step, he begins an eight-step sequence turning in a circle, which leads me to walk backwards in a circle to my right. After eight steps, I remove my hand from his shoulder and he pushes me away with his right hand, I spin forward and out to my right in six steps, then he catches my right hand in time for both of us to rock step back into the basic step. Hm. It’s so much easier to just do it… Hahaha.

I also learned sugar push steps. It’s more than a little tricky if you don’t know where your partner is taking you, because his hand supposedly leads you where your toes are pointing, but you’re supposed to step in the opposite direction that your toes will be pointing. I’m criss-crossing when I step, see; I step to my left, but my toes are pointing to the right, and vice versa. It’s six steps forward, with pauses following the first two steps, and then back into the basic step upon completing six sugar push steps. He’s simply walking backward and leading me using my arm.

Basic fox trot came next, and I’m not sure that I like that as much. It’s much closer, so you have to feel a little more for where your partner is going; your eyes are no use. In fact, it might be easier to try and learn blindfolded, in retrospect. The lady’s hands are positioned so that she is actually pushing her partner away; the tension enables her to sense better which direction her partner is about to go, and she’s doing a lot of walking backwards. Maybe that’s what I don’t like about it. It feels so much more… blind. I’d like to master it, but it doesn’t come to me quite as naturally as they said it seemed to with the triplets in swing. Fox trot is four steps; I learned the basic step which is slow-quick-quick-slow, and you’re dancing in a box, and I also learned to walk [backwards] around the dance floor, and when you’re walking, it’s slow-slow-quick-quick. Eh. Maybe it’s a confidence thing. Maybe once I know what I’m doing with that one, I’ll know where to look and not feel quite so… helpless… Lol.

The lesson was about 30 minutes, and then the actual dance began when the Up North Big Band started playing at 1930. The attendees were mostly from a club which meets in Harbor Springs on Tuesdays at a venue about fifteen minutes from the farm. There were maybe two couples closer to Mum and Dad in age; the rest were somewhere between them and Mama and Papa, making Josie and myself the youngest ones around, and most definitely the only college students there. It’s ok, we got a kick out of it, and I actually think it’s easier to dance with much older people and not be suspicious of their motives =) You know? They’re a nice group of adults and my three separate teachers were phenomenal. I’m going to try and go as much as possible for the rest of the summer. The vice president of the club, Paul, had been the first to speak to myself and Josie (and we didn’t know he was the VP until we found the club on facebook later per his instructions), and he was the best teacher of my three teacher/partners. I’d put him at around Dad’s age, very possibly a little older. At some point during the dance, the band played a song that was a little too fast for triplets, and on top of that, Paul decided to start throwing a bunch of turns at me that we hadn’t practiced at all. I guess I did ok, since he seemed perfectly comfortable challenging me, and we didn’t have to pause once during the whole song.

Ok, so swing dancing was the highlight of my day, but on a few other things… I loved the homily today; Father Joe spoke on the Eucharistic celebration being outside of time. He feels that a lot of Catholics forget how old the Church is, and furthermore that its central aspects are eternal, a continuing celebration, a continuing sacrifice.

Kelly and I actually managed to get out of the kitchen by 1745 today. We rocked service; Scott was doing paperwork and stuff and wasn’t actually scheduled to be on at all, so he was in and out and ‘not here.’ I decided to have dinner after swing dancing, so I dropped Josie off at the cottage, went and grabbed dinner and my laptop cord from the cabin, then headed back here and had dinner here. And now it is 2330ish and I am going to head back and be in bed by midnight. I intend to be out in the vineyards by 0800 tomorrow.

Peace out =D

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