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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Competition

Shawn and I were tearing it up on that hard wood floor. Night after night, week after week. But he was a jack of all trades, so he would be out of town frequently. Those nights would suck. I'd kind of blown off some of my other dance partners and I would be standing around waiting to see if someone would also be standing around, so I could ask them to dance.

I saw this guy from across the room. He was wearing a white shirt and under the black light, he stood out. I remember seeing him there before and I knew he could dance. We labeled guys like that "prissy dancers". I gathered my courage and went over to ask him to dance, knowing that the only thing I had going for me was my looks. I was a novice dancer, and knew he was far more experienced, but I thought maybe he'd be willing to humor me because I'm hot!

I walked up to him and said "Hi, I'm Cindy. My regular dance partner isn't here tonight. I'm still new to dancing and I'm wiling to learn if you're patient with me. Would you like to dance?" He said, "Sure. I'm Billy. Nice to meet you." Score! And off we went. I was horrible. He was a very light lead. No yanking me around the floor, so I had a really hard time following him. I'm sure he thought, "Oh God, how long is this dance going to last?" Because after it ended, that was it. No other conversation. No additional dance. I was horrible and he knew it. Damn, oh well. So much for all the dancing I had done to get better.

Shawn came back into town. He would slowly start to open up to me and I learned more about him. Long nights of dancing our tails off and long conversations about life, our families and poker. I learned a lot from his insight. So when I heard there was going to be a dance competition, called Just Dance, I thought we could enter and win. We're both pretty competitive and the only way Shawn would enter is if he thought we could win or place.

Eventually, I convinced him. We started practicing our moves off site. We practiced and practiced gearing up for the competition. We did these floor spins, through the leg moves and everything. We thought we had nailed it! Off we went to the first of 3 locations to try and get a spot in the big competition a month from then.

We arrived at the first location with high expectations. We knew we were good and we were going to show everyone! We gathered our numbers and pinned them on. We waited for our number to be called and then off we went to take the floor with a handful of others. As all the "heats" danced we waited to see who made it to the final "heat". Our number was not called. Wait! What??

This was a Just Dance competition, for those "prissy dancers" not for the bar room dancers. But we pressed on thinking we would eventually place somehow. We tried the following week. New venue and some different dancers. We grabbed our numbers and that's when I saw him again, with his partner, Joan, the best dancer at the place we usually dance. Billy was here and ready to compete. We were toast. I did the only thing I could think to do at the time, knowing that this was going to be bad again. I sat down and cheered Billy and Joan on. I didn't really know either of them but I thought, what the heck? If it's not going to be us, then I'll cheer for the dancers at our bar.

After the dance, Billy came up to me and told me that it was really cool of me to cheer them on. He was impressed. I just wanted to get through the nerves I had and get out on the floor for our dance. I excused myself and ran for the bathroom, trying to get the courage to hit the floor again. Our number was called once again and we were off. I think we did pretty well, but the judges didn't think so. We were out, again. Oh well, onto round three.

By the time the following week rolled around, we thought things would be different somehow. Or at least, I did. I wasn't aware of how things really worked in the dance community. Eventually, I understood after the 2nd venue, that we were not what they were looking for. By the time the 3rd rolled around, we were in it for fun. When we arrived at the 3rd venue, Billy and Joan were there. Even though the took 1st place in the 2nd venue, they were there to check out the other dancers and offer up support for others. We had a great time but again, were rejected.

I suspect that Shawn's ego was wounded a little bit after that whole thing. But for me, I saw an opportunity to become better and to try and open up my options in the dance world a little bit more. Sometimes, at certain venues, there are far too many line dances in comparison to two-steps so there's a lot of standing around. I got the bright idea that if I learned to west coast swing and learn some of the "prissy dancer" ways, then I might be able to dance more in a night.

I honestly had no idea what door was about to swing open for me. I will tell you though, this was one of the decisions I made, that ultimately changed my life as I knew it........

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