Another surprise... and a Saint Patrick I just can't nail

When I get into the hall, I see the Tai-Chi group, that uses the hall before us, practice outside. Considering the fact that the climate-control in our hall is usually set to 25 degrees when we enter and temperatures have risen to tropical numbers today, I can't imagine they can't stand the heat, but I have no idea why they are outside.

More annoying is the fact that the hall is completely blocked by a huge piece of stage-scenery. Dancing sure won't be possible there. We are only told around 8 by the group before us, while the teacher and some students are already waiting there for a while.

We have to find another hall. That will be the same room I encountered on my second class here and I just found plain dangerous. It appears we can't dance there as well as the protectice rubber layer isn't covering the floor, but we find it rolled to the side of the room. With some tape on the seems here and there we can at least work our magic.


Then we find out there is no music. The stereo is still in the other hall, the powercord proves to be missing and the spare-cord doesn't fit.
The teacher decides to go on without music, but being the knob-turning freak that I am, I can't stand the fact the 16-channel mixing table is only switched on and we don't use it.

While the rest is doing their warm up, I can't stand my urge to find a cable that fits. When I do find one the big knob-puzzle starts: I'm not unfamiliar with mixing tables, but this one is quite complicated.

When I suddenly see the VU-meters respond, I start looking for a switch that powers up the amplifier. There are 2 huge loudspeakers in this room, so there must be an amp somewhere. When I find a switch covered with black gaffer-tape on it, with a marking that just shows an 'A' I think I found the right one. But when I flip it and the lights in the room dims significantly, I think I'm turning on something different and flip it back.

As I can't think off anything else I flip it again, see the lights dim again and then suddenly feel the buzz of a big transformer in the table that supports the mixer. Shortly after, a fan revs up, I crouch down and then see a beast of an amplifier mounted in a 19-inch rack. No wonder the lights dim when I turn it on!

We've now finally got our lovely music and we can get going with a 20 minute delay.

The teacher is nagging about the floor and then goes through the dances one of our students wil do at the upcoming Feis. One of my classmembers has gotten the book thrown at her just a moment ago as she said she was afraid to fall. Thoughts like usually work contraproductive in preventing a fall, but considering the state the floor is in, I can't really blame her remark.

While I practice the Primary Reel outside the room (well, what I still know about it) and get back, the floor makes it's first victim. One of the girls busts her ankle in a large pit in the floor. It is marked and shortly before beginning another dance we find another pit with such depth that it will cause problems if one steps in it.

The Primary Reels' sidestep

After a flawless lead-around of the Primary Reel, I get the sidestep. Complex? Well no, it's only that I think the steps are illogical.
Outside of the room I'm doing quite a good job and I even try my left leg. As I'm still thinking a lot what I need to do with right, I don't succeed.
I'm surprised though that when I get home that evening, I can still remember all the steps... That's a long time ago!

It is in the side-step though that I'm now also afraid to fall on this rotten floor. One of the other girls already mentioned that and I slow down because of it. With a driving-test in less then 2 weeks I don't want to run the risk to have to cancel that because of a bad injury.

That's why I think it's not completely fair that my teacher emphasizes how bad I dance the Saint Patrick. I quit right after beginning the set when I first step into a ridge between two floorboards and then step on a protruding piece of wood. Just outside in the big hall, it went flawless 4 times, when I don't count me dancing slightly out of tempo.

My teacher insists on me trying the Saint Patrick again but then my stamina is gone. It just won't work at all anymore and I keep messing up at the rocks. After 5 attempts I try to have a go at it one more time, frustrated as I am. If I fail, I promise myself to quit right away. Then the clock already shows 9:30 PM, and class has finished.

It's extremely sultry weather: the thunderstorms that were expected have missed the area from Amsterdam to Purmerend almost completely and nothing more than a mild shower remains. Everything is sticky and I leave my coat off.