Sunday, October 07, 2012


My TJ teacher asked his long time student-teacher, Tiger, to come lead warm-ups and the form before he arrives.  Last week, as I arrived late and walked in with the teacher, she didn't look particularly happy, didn't say hi to me during a short break, and left early.  I had made friendly overtures to her earlier since we both share an interest in some kinds of social dance and TJ, attended the University for graduate school, and are nearly the same age, but I had already sensed some sort of tension before that so maybe I was being a bit forward by trying to be too friendly.  She is actually friendly towards me but seemed to be in pain.  I had almost wanted to ask her directly what was up with the palpable tension (literally during PH and figuratively) at the workshop we attended... like hey, if there's something between her and the teacher, hey, I'm not doing anything, not here to intrude, and my hands are off this matter, although I know I've been getting some kind of extra attention from the teacher.  But I thought twice about my tendency to be too blunt and direct, asking a personal question like this to an almost stranger right off the bat, and I could be totally wrong about my perceptions... but then again, experience tells me that my perceptions about these sorts of things are usually pretty darn good.

This morning, she was happy and friendly.  She is a good teacher and I actually learned quite a bit from her today on a section of the form near the end that I never learned very well.  Many people weren't in class today so it was only S, her son-in-law? B, and me in the "intermediate" group, making me the most "advanced" student in the class today.  The teacher has been asking me if I want to come down to the LA park class right after the SM park class, and also the MV class on Tuesdays.  He even told me I don't need to register and pay for the MV class.  The MV/LA classes have more senior students.  But two classes in a row is a bit too much for me now and the driving is too far with my fatigue.  Today he commented that I could carpool down with Tiger... hm... would she want to give me a ride?... but I asked her if she lived up here (I didn't think so) and she said no, so they would have to find a ride back for me.  I looked back at the teacher and he had a little bit of that intense stare at me.

During the park class, sometimes we end up chatting while the teacher is working with different groups of students although we should be practicing.  Today the topic got onto ballroom dance as, I think, S does some dancing.  Conversations about ballroom dance often go like this:

"Oh, you do ballroom dance too?  What dances do you do?"
"Mainly waltz."
"Oh, like..."
"Actually, not that kind.  I've never even watched Dancing with the Stars or any ballroom dance shows on TV."
"So what kind do you do?"
"It's vintage social dance, like historical."
"Do you do competitions?"

Today, Tiger, S, and B were actually interested so the conversation got to continue:

S: "So what is vintage waltz?"
M: "It's like from the 1840s... when they had those big poofy dresses."  (gesture)
Tiger: Oh really?  But you don't do that kind, do you?"
M: "Yeah, actually, I do do the kind with the poofy dresses."
Tiger: "Oh really?"

The teacher was walking up to us at that point.  Whenever he makes a comment about dancing in class, he looks over at me with a slightly teasing smile.

Teacher: "So do you do the ballroom dancing like them?"
M: "No, I do a different style."
S: "1980s."
M: "1840s. :)  1840s to 1940s actually.  It's like LJ."
Tiger: "Haha, she's good."
Teacher: "So where do you learn this kind of dancing?"
M: "There's a teacher at the University who is one of the world's experts..."
B: "Is that like Viennese waltz?"
M: "Yeah, but slightly different style."
B: "So how is the style different?"
M: "Um... it's a bit more circular..."  (gesture, kind of like TJ)
Teacher: "She does LJ dancing."
S: "Can you demonstrate a little?"
M: "Well, I kind of need a lead partner."
S: "B can lead.  He knows how to dance a little."
M: "Er... well, it's a different style."
Teacher: "So on Tuesday nights, you have the dance class in PA, afterwards you can come to the MV class."
M: "Oh, they overlap."
Tiger: "See, if there's a choice between dancing and TJ she'll do dancing."
M: "There's no substitute for the dance class.  There's only this one.  But there's TJ class here."
Teacher: "A long time ago, I tried to get her to..."
Tiger: "We have to convert her.  He converted me.  I don't even go to the TNT anymore."
M: "Heh... I'm already converted."

At one point, we were discussing a video.  I told the teacher that I hadn't gotten the e-mail from him but from L.  "L?  Who's L?"  I had a puzzled look on my face and was thinking, uh... L, your long-time student and friend.  Tiger said with a little laugh, "L!"  Tiger was standing on his left, I was on his right, and we were talking across.  Teacher wasn't following the conversation.  Tiger said, "He's not listening."

After class as we were walking to the parking lot, the teacher offered to give me a ride down to the LA class and drop me off afterwards.  I said that would indeed help with my fatigue but that I had already done another activity before this morning's class.  "So you already used up your energy."  Yep.

As I was turning to go to my car, he called me Tiger.  "Did you just call me Tiger?"  "Uh... no. M."  Uh... actually yes.  At the LD weekend workshop, at one point he had called me M-Tiger and Tiger blurted out a correction for the both of us.  On the positive side, he called me "beautiful gorgeous".  But really, he gives me extra attention but can't get my name right, a little teasing, sometimes subtly raunchy, made Tiger mad, and called me by her name which even platonically is not that nice.  I'll stay out of this now.  He offered to give me a ride again.  "Uh... I... kinda hungry...."  It was lunch time.  "Ok."  "When do you eat?"  I was really curious how he has a full-time job and teaches more than 13 TJ classes per week.  Apparently, BBQ pork buns and walnut bread while driving.  "Maybe next week?"  "Uh... maybe..."