Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Three Day Weekend Ramble

I worked late on Friday evening and fell asleep in my work clothes while snuggling with the pups on the couch.  Woke up bright and early--literally, all the lights were still on--Saturday morning and got an early start.

Saturday was jam-packed with activity.  I worked, interviewed two MBA applicants, and drove to Irvine to watch the evening session of the California Open.  I took a seat in the ballroom at the edge of the dance floor just before 7pm and had the best time watching the ladies in sparkling gowns and gentlemen in tails put on a fantastic show.  It was all very glamorous!  Except for the part where the fake tan of one of the pro international latin ladies rubbed off all over her partner's white shirt--he looked a wreck by the end of the final.  I left the competition at 12am with heaps of inspiration.

On Sunday, I picked up a cuddle sack for Little B, who loves nothing more than to burrow into a soft blanket.  Little B's sister, a skittish poodle, won't go near the thing.  This is the point of the cuddle sack, as poodle sister has been harassing the hell out of Little B lately.  B hopped right in before I could even get the tag off and has been enjoying her poodle free zone.

Little B testing out her new Snuggle Sack

The day also included some chores and a couple of group dance classes.  *sigh*  I'm getting frustrated with group classes.  We don't progress to new figures because, inevitably, a brand new student shows up and the teacher decides to start at square one.  And while I can surely benefit from practicing the most basic steps, it's hard to do that in a productive way when there isn't enough room to see your reflection in the mirror.  Most days, I leave group class feeling like I've made no progress.

This is in stark contrast to one-on-one classes.  I read somewhere that each one-on-one class is the equivalent of five group classes.  Frankly, that's too generous.  (Perhaps other studios have a more effective group class regime?)  Today's 45 minute one-on-one lesson answered numerous questions, identified and solved a technical issue that has been overlooked during the course of something like six group cha cha lessons, and introduced tons of new technical information about cha cha and following.  It was awesome!  I left feeling like I could, one day, dance as well as the competitors I watched on Saturday night.

And this is where ballroom dancing gets a little bit frustrating.

To reach the level I would like to dance at, it seems that I should take two or three one-on-one classes a week and practice independently on the other days.  But the one-on-one classes are so costly at this studio that I haven't been able to talk myself into it.  I'm wondering how other folks deal with this dilemma?

On one hand, my quality of life has taken a turn for the better in a big way since I started ballroom classes.  It gets me out of the apartment and DTLA on a regular basis, it's been great exercise (I've lost 5lbs since January--not bad for someone who is 5'1"), and it has helped me reconnect with dance and the associated happy memories, feelings, and experiences.  I like that the movement and the challenges, particularly the challenge of interacting with a partner, are so distinct from what I've done in the past.

On the other hand, it would be a lot cheaper for me to take classes (in other styles of dance) at the Edge.  It's a great studio; and for the price of a month of weekly one-on-one ballroom classes, I could take more than 30 group classes at the Edge.  I have considerable experience in the styles of dance I would study at the Edge, meaning that I know enough to get a lot of progress out of each group class.  There is some downside: (i) commute to Edge is longer; (ii) nothing to achieve in these styles of dance except for fitness; and (iii) styles would be higher impact (always a little worried about my knee injury in the back of my mind).

Perhaps a hard look at my budget is in order.


Virgin In The Volcano said...

That cuddle sack is so cute, and your dog looks very happy in it. Where did you buy it? I'm thinking our dogs would like the same.

Juliet said...

My cat would love one of these! I need to find one.

I vote for the 1 on 1 lessons. You love them. You will be happy. Take as many as you can afford and nix the group classes. You are too advanced a learner for those.

Paragon2Pieces said...

The cuddle sack is from Petco: http://www.petco.com/product/116636/Petco-Cream-Cuddle-Sack-Cat-Hideaway.aspx?Ntt=cuddle%20sack&OneResultRedirect=1

If you visit the store in person you'll find the cuddle sack in the cat section. (What was I doing in the cat aisle!?!)

Internet sale price of $10.49. $14.99 in stores.