My five-month goal was to skate the social dance session at Adult Nationals this morning. Today is exactly five months after my LPAO (9+ months after my RPAO) and I met my goal.
I was judging at the Adult National Figure Skating Championships all week, and brought my skates for this morning's social dance session. I was stiff and sore (it was colder than I was used to and I had not done much exercise during the week). I did a Dutch Waltz, Rhythm Blues, 2 Canasta Tangos, and 2 Cha Chas - all forward dances - with six different partners. Three were friends (thanks L, K and JB for bravely holding me up), one was a fellow judge, another was someone I knew informally but had never danced with, and the last was a stranger. "Nobody fell down and nobody threw up, so it was a success," as my friend Marilu likes to say.
Not that I have an ego, but of course I do, and it was hard to be the worst skater on the ice and wearing crash pads. It looked like I had wandered over and accidentally got on the dance ice from a nearby public session. (The only worse scenario would be if I showed up wearing a helmet too.) The person who partnered me on the Canasta Tango (the easiest compulsory dance of all) did not know me, and counted every beat out loud (really loud! 1-2-3-4!) for two patterns as well as calling the steps for me which I didn't ask him to do (I did ask him to please go slowly and told him my edges were pretty weak) ... of course I know the steps (and I was actually on time) but some of the steps are difficult for me so I was on two feet a lot. I am sure he thought I just didn't know the dance.
I had help staying vertical!
Another person asked me if I had ever taken any dance tests, and I said the last test I took was the Silver Samba. He laughed, thinking I was making a joke. I explained about the surgery but it was kind of awkward.
I later told another skater that I had been a judge on her panel and enjoyed the performance she and her partner did. She paused, looked at me funny, and then said, "but you are not an ice dancer!" I explained about the surgery but again, kind of awkward.
I turned down a Fiesta because I'm pretty sure I can't do the step forward. I wanted to try a Swing Dance, but nobody asked me and none of the guys really made eye contact as I skated toward them. The one I was able to corner said he "hated the dance." They probably thought I was too scary to skate with on a dance with backward skating, although I actually skate better backwards.
I really shouldn't be so sensitive, but the comments (all innocent and none malicious) were still hard to take. They tell me I really look scary out there. I could say I don't care but I'd be lying.