One of the great challenges of being a travelling dance studio is…well, the travel. Sometimes, your favoured means of getting around just breaks down. You put your travel plans on hold for a while and dig into a place, make the most of it as the mechanics try and fix your car.
That happened to me last week. I was driving through Perth when my car started making strange noises. Not knowing much about cars, I decided it was safer for me to bring it into a shop to have it checked out.
One of the guys there told me what was wrong. He said it’d take a few days for a replacement for the part to come in. It seemed I was stuck in Perth for a while.
While I was waiting for a more thorough evaluation, just in case the busted part wasn’t the only problem, I got to talking with some of the guys. I told them about what I do, and there was a little bit of interest.
One specifically was thinking of taking his wife out ballroom dancing. He asked if I could help him with that. I admitted it wasn’t my area of expertise, but I could get him through the basics.
Since I was stuck in town for a few days, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to give a few quick lessons to help. He couldn’t give me a discount, but that was alright. I thought I needed a little practice with ballroom too, and I didn’t see the harm in it.
After I found a place to stay, I made a call and arrangements. We’d meet during his lunch hour, and we’d practice. He figured the basics like the waltz were his best bet, and I agreed. Nothing fancy or more strenuous than a dip. I certainly wasn’t about to let him spin and throw.
He was a perfect gentleman, but his coordination was less than perfect. He had no sense of flair, no sense of panache. He could move as I told him to, but it was stiff and lacked fluidity.
It was like teaching an old person how to use a computer. They could replicate your exact actions, but they had no concept of how to tie it all together. He wasn’t tackling the dance on its terms, wasn’t feeling the rhythm so he could move with it. The whole thing was rote to him.
I corrected it as best I could, and then made sure he remembered how to adapt to the rhythm. The thing about ballroom dancing is that the beat for most songs is predictable. They’re not going to throw a song that’s too out there because it makes amateurs miss their cues.
By the time the part came in, and my car was ready to go, he was a decent dancer. His fluidity wasn’t quite good, but he could hold his own with his wife for their anniversary, and that was important. I thanked him, he thanked me, and we both made a friend.
Incidentally, my car has been running super smooth since then. If you’re interested in having them take a look at your wheels, try their website.