It has been quite the week and weekend, so this post may be on the longer side, aka it is definitely going to be long and I applaud anyone with the patience to read through the whole thing. At least I will guarantee that it will be more interesting than Madonna’s halftime “show” at yesterday’s Super Bowl, which inspired my speedy exit from the Keble MCR.
But more on that later.
Reaching all the way back in the recesses of my memory to Wednesday, we had our second crew date of the term with the boat club from Christ Church. Such an improvement over the debacle of St. Peters. I think it’s almost a signal of the classier standard that I didn’t end up with yet another tie or bow tie in my room at the end of the night. And I just realized how potentially inappropriate that statement could sound. We went to the college’s Hall dinner, which honestly gets the award for the worst of the three formal dinner’s I’ve eaten at a college here.
Apparently dinner is better when at the High Table or actually cooked by the chef, but at Teddy we get the same dinner as High Table and our chef is awesome so…we win 😉 The guys were all really nice and polite, not rowdy or drunk, and were great about putting up with umpteen conversations about ballroom dancing, though they did have a weird obsession with our shoes. Afterwards we went to the Christ Chutch bat for drinks. You’d think that once in the bar, things would get a little more like a typical crew date, but no, they stayed classy and gentlemanly, one even let me borrow a sweatshirt he had with him because I was shivering.
Unfortunately the guys all had rowing practice at 6 am the next morning meaning the night ended with all but one of the guys taking their leave without going clubbing. With one guy left with seven girls, it was Snow White and the Seven Dwarves in reverse. He did then proposition us for a six some and didn’t seem to understand why we weren’t into that, but even so he was really nice and funny about it and we all left eager to crew date them again.
I think the difference is because the guys are MCR, they are older and more mature with less of the lad attitude. A couple of the girls requested that we only crew date MCR from now on, but I’m not really sure how I would ensure that. I caught a cab home because it was absolutely freezing and my heel was really badly injured and with the competition this weekend I didn’t want to take any chances.
Saturday was our first competition of the term in Sheffield. It was one of those days that just goes from bad to worse. It started with us leaving Oxford late and ending up at the competition fifteen minutes before it started, so the floor was packed and we had to change, giving us absolutely no time to get warmed up. We ended up competing Ballroom cold. And it showed. The floor was also a small octagon and the runners of the comp decided that it was perfectly okay to have 17 beginners dancing on the floor in one heat. It wasn’t. I’m not even going to mention any of the results because in all honesty, we figured out at the end of the day that the judges were completely biased because even among the main team, no one placed higher than 4th except one couple in Open Salsa. Which makes absolutely no sense because we have some incredible dancers on our main team that I feel were completely robbed and once the other results were announced it became pretty obvious that the judges were playing favorites. So no results, just going to talk about how we danced.
Considering how much Quickstep freaked me out in our first competition, I think we danced it amazingly this time. We remembered our choreography and were on time and smooth, and it made it a real pleasure to dance. Waltz was more of a struggle. Our routine is really difficult and we had a hard time with the octagonal floor and other couples running into us, so we struggled through it and didn’t do that well. But we both acknowledged that we didn’t really deserve a final in waltz so we were okay with it. We also immediately booked a private lesson with Bruce.
Latin was where I really felt we were cheated out of what we deserved. We have been working on technique nonstop with our Latin coach and felt like our Cha had improved light years beyond what it was at Warwick. We even toned down our performance enough for Neil to acknowledge that we weren’t mad as hatters! And as usual our Jive was just a complete blast to dance. I really love Jive, as does Dan, so when we end up dancing it we have a lot of fun and don’t care so much about the results. Again though Jive ended up being our best dance of the competition from the judging standpoint, but as it was biased I don’t really trust any of the results where Oxford couples ended up. We also competed Rock n Roll without any practice or idea of what England considers Rock n Roll so Dan and I just went out there and basically goofed off the whole time.
And placed 5th! Okay it was out of 7 but we got a medal anyway so who cares.
After the individual competitions it was time for the team match and Dan and I were (shockingly, okay that’s sarcasm) placed in the top Beginners team Jive. Meaning I got to wear another main team dress. I really think that each time I am put in one of those dresses they become skimpier and skimpier, but I am really trying to work on my self confidence. The amount of skin showing wasn’t really helpful with that, but everyone tried to make me feel more comfortable in it, proving why my team is an amazing group of people 🙂
We actually did pretty well too; we were the only Beginner team in the entire competition to make the first division! We beat a lot of the other schools’ main teams! but by this point, snow was falling and we needed to rush out of Sheffield so that we wouldn’t get stuck there overnight.
Yes, I had my first snowfall of England, and everyone had a ton of fun inaugurating me by throwing snowballs at me! I must have “throw snow at me” written on me or a big white target on my back because everyone always finds it entertaining to pelt me with powder. An obvious solution right? Luckily the snow was pretty dry (is that accurate? calling snow dry?) so I wasn’t soaked through to the bone like I was that one time at AOC.
Unfortunately as pretty as the undisturbed snow was, it caused a lot of problems on the road. It took us nearly 6 hours to get home from Sheffield and I didn’t sleep for any of it, and then had to walk home in the snow in my converse which are not snow appropriate shoes. After a snack and shower, I was passed out at 4 am, ended up oversleeping my alarm Sunday morning also known as
SUPER BOWL SUNDAY!
Now I really couldn’t care less about football unless it was basketball, but the Keble MCR was hosting a Super Bowl Party partially because I pressured Dan into cooking for it (aren’t I a great partner?) so I happily volunteered to help with all the cooking and baking. And it was a lot of cooking and baking. Mac n Cheese, hot wings, bruschetta, chili dip, guacamole, muddy puppy chow buddies, iced sugar cookies, and my peanut butter chocolate cupcakes with little footballs piped on. Then the requisite chips, salsa, pretzels, and sodas. Five and a half hours!!!!! Not including the shopping and prep work. Every once in a while someone would pop in to help but the majority was done between the two of us and while it was exhausting, it was also a blast.
We enlisted people’s help in bringing the food from the Acland kitchens to the Keble MCR and within ten minutes plates were filled, the guacamole and dip were gone, and everyone was smiling and laughing. People were raving about my cupcakes, making me smile in pure housewife pride.
And Dan was the consummate host, introducing me to everyone, flitting around socializing with everyone once I had fallen asleep on the MCR couch, and attempting to convert everyone to Patriots’ fans and failing. I stayed neutral. I have some of my favorite family members in both New York and New England, my dance partner is from New England, and there was this guy there celebrating his birthday and rooting for the Giants, so I was at a loss. Hence, Switzerland it was.
I left after the halftime show once I realized that I was really not going to make it home if I didn’t leave then and would end up spending the night on an uncomfortable couch in a different college’s MCR and that would end up as sconsable material at tonight’s ballroom team social, so I caught a cab back home. In this weather, taxi drivers are becoming my new best friends.
Overall, frustrating but wonderful weekend with my amazing friends and dance partner ❤