As promised, this post will be full of more positive things. We’ll start with the title of the post. Bear with me as I start the story at the beginning.

I arrived at my lesson and the first order of business was asking Ivan if he had my shoes. I had left them at the studio on Thursday and he had promised to pick them up, which he did, but then subsequently forgot. I had sent him a text, to which he hadn’t replied so when he said he didn’t have them, I asked him if he got the text. It was something to the effect of, “Please bring my shoes. If you don’t it will be ballet slippers again and I’m kind of done being a ballerina. Time to be a ballroom dancer…for realsies”

He said he got it but, “I no understand. What you say?”

I explained it and then he asked me about another text. He had been communicating with someone else and after they had figured out whatever time they were going to meet, the other person texted back to him “10-4”

Ivan was like, “What is this? I no understand. I thinking maybe this is the hours they are open?”

As I looked at the message, it dawned on me, and having been a person speaking a second language in a foreign country, I sympathised. I think people think Ivan knows more English than he does because he does so well but using a phrase like 10-4 is kind of an unfair stretch.

“Oh Ivan, here’s what it means. You know truckers? People who drive trucks for a living. They use the CB radio.”


“Okay, well when they complete a message and then if the other person understands, and it’s all okay he says ‘ten-four’.”

“Ah. But how am I supposed to be knowing this? Oh my God. Not possible.”

“I know Ivan, I know.”

So anyways, I thought that was kind of funny. And the Bulgarian hilarity didn’t end there. Later in the lesson, we were playing around, just moving to the music, really going over the top. It itsn’t generally something we do, but it was a really good lesson. I had lots of energy, and we were really dancing. And it just came out of us. And so I’m being all big and full of feeling with my movements and Ivan is too, and then he gets down on his knee, and before I know it, he’s rolling like a log. Of course, bewiledred, I bust out laughing.

Apparently Ivan had been kind of inspired to this movement. He’d been to a performance where he and Marieta danced, and so did others doing what he called, “temporary dancing.” At first I couldn’t figure it out, but then, it made sense. Apparently some other couple did a contemporary number in which the male rolled on the floor. While this male dancer complimented Ivan on his dancing, Ivan replied back, “I see you get on the floor like this and if I get down there I never get up again!”

Well, I suppose all dancing is temporary so Ivan is maybe on to something. And, he did manage to get up off the floor and continue dancing, thank goodness.

Anyways, like I mentioned, it was a much-needed great lesson. We danced and I had lots of energy, we really hit it hard, and during some of the dancing, I even liked the way I looked. It’s such a fickle and fleeting feeling so I appreciate it when it happens. I thought we looked good doing some side by side Samba steps and my Rumba fan is much improved. In fact, Ivan even came to like my arm styling, which like, never happens. I pulled my arm closer to my neck and shoulder just doing what felt natural instead of doing what I normally always do, the prescribed motion, and Ivan picked up on it immediately.

“You so feminine. You like Marieta. Maybe this movement no look good on her, but you feminine like her and it look good on you.”

It was a discovery, I thought. A little piece of who I am as a dancer. I have a feeling that as I take off more and more layers, she will show up more and more. Indeed, the way that lesson went, I was super-motivated to continue doing the work to transform my body. If being a bit hungry and tired create results like this, well, it’s worth it.

But I have no delusions that I look very much different. For instance, later in the lesson Ivan encouraged me to touch my butt more or something and I was a bit hesitant.

“Ivan, if one of the things we are concerned about is how we will be perceived, I think trying to be all sexy or whatever, well, it will make people laugh at me again.”

“Ah. Okay. Yes, if you not doing anything, then all the people is see is the fat. But if you doing something, if you always bringing the attention, finally they seeing you dancing. They thinking, ah, yes, she is fat, but she is always bringing me to look, she is dancing, moving so well.”

I guess I’m practicing for when it does actually look sexy. I’m just going to have to once again get over myself, my fears and insecurities, and just do it. No matter what I look like at the moment. Because right now, the inside vision doesn’t match with the outside picture. It hasn’t for a while. I have to dance as if I were already that girl I see in my mind’s eye because you know what, evenetually, it will be.

So it was an energetic lesson and at the end Ivan was pumped.

“I like this lesson. I think it is the best. I so happy. I feel for the first time our potential, how strong we could be. Before, yes, I like it, but is better.”

“Ivan, just hang in there with me. We are going to be awesome. I just know it. We both just need to be patient.”

And as I reflected up on the lesson, it made me think about how important it is to “clear” things in relationships. Like just days ago I had a lesson where all we did was “clear.” All that emotion, all that communication, it was necessary. If we hadn’t addressed it, it would still be lingering in the space between, in the words unspoken, and it would still be affecting me/us. But since we did take the time to address it, it is cleared, like an erase board, and the slate is clear and open to be written upon once again. There was the space to get into the flow like we did on this lesson.

And I feel like, at the end of this lesson, saying 10-4 Ivan and the universe. I got the message. I’m on it. I see the value of working my butt off (literally) at the gym and with the cleanse and all that. I’m going to be the dancer I was meant to be.

After the lesson, I went to get some new shoes. I had a gift certificate from Christmas for the local ballroom shoe store and my practice shoes are stinky and the inner lining is coming up, plus my actual heels are also in poor shape, plus there was no guarantee that they would be in Ivan’s posession the next time we danced (which they weren’t) all good reasons, I thought for a new pair of each.

So here are my new heels:

The trip took longer than I thought it would and I also brought a brand different than I had anticipated. I wanted a shoe that would let me feel the floor because that is what I love so much about my practice shoes. My current heels have a tougher sole which makes it harder to feel the floor and to make a nice pretty point with my foot and toes. I thought Ray Rose, or Supadance (though really I want Dance Naturals but those are so tricky to purchase online) and tried on multiple pairs. Finally the salesman brought me a pair made by Bloch. I recognized the name from my days in ballet and jazz, thinking that they made toe shoes. Apparently the company which has been around since the 1930’s making shoes for ballet, tap, and jazz, has recently parlayed into the ballroom arena. And you know what, I’m glad they did. They fit the best. They had the nice soft sole I was looking for. Basically, they fit my American feet.

You see, I learned from the salesman, the biggest market for ballroom shoes is in Japan, followed by Europe. The higher quality shoes that I’ve tried always seem to be made for a narrow, delicate foot and small ankles. Well, I don’t fit that body type and it seems like Bloch, being an American company and all, and probably using designs similar to what they had used for other types of dance, well, they worked for my hooves.

So, well, I kind of recommend them. The one thing I didn’t like about them was the heel. It felt like it is placed properly, inward on the heel, but it has a chintzy plastic topper that I don’t care for.

I was skeptical at first, having it in my mind to get a shoe from a well-known ballroom company, but hey, if the shoe fits….

Plus, I can go to a shoe repairman and have them change out the heel, or apply some suede to improve it.

So them’s my recent ballroom escapades. I will report, in other news, that I did great at my mom’s birthday dinner. I stuck to sparkling water, having already consumed what I was supposed to ingest for the day. I had a bit of a headache but felt better over time and it was lots of fun with lots of laughter spending time with my family. I got to sit next to my brother and we got to talk for more than 2 minutes, as usually nevervhappens at these family events where he is busy with his 2 kids, both of which are under 5 years old. I was glad I went, and proud that I was able to use my determination and willpower to stick with it this time around.

Speaking of my mom, she is still taking occasional lessons with Ivan. He says she learns very quickly and I think they have a lot of fun together. I had a lesson after my mom this morning and popped in a few minutes early. They had just worked on Swing, Ivan said they’d just done it 5 minutes ago, and look at this:

She is just so darn cute! Way to go mom! Happy birthday and good job.

Over and Out.

4 thoughts on “10-4

  1. Alaina says:

    I loved that little shriek your Mom let out when Ivan tried to dip her. Very cute. 😀

    I just wanted to say how proud I am of you for taking such initiative. It helps me feel not alone as I work through my own baggage. Oh, and Ivan is absolutely correct. Beauty really is only skin deep, and if a person is just a shell with no real substance, well, that’s what people will see. I had a great friend in middle school who struggled with her weight. Sure, when I first met here, it was noticeable. But, soon I was overwhelmed by her sweetness and willingness to accept me as a friend, warts and all. Now when I think back, all I saw after initial impressions was her, as a human being. It’s pretty hard to stay out of my head when I’m dancing, but if I lose myself in the music and sheer joy, the true me comes out. I think that what you’re doing currently is really helping that, and again, I’m proud of you.


    • loveablestef says:

      Awww…thanks Alaina. My mom is sure cute, huh? Thanks for the nice encouraging comment. I appreciate it very much. And we are not alone working through our baggage, as you say. That is the illusion. Thanks for connecting here. I’m truly glad that it’s a help.

  2. Paragon2Pieces says:

    I like the new heels! Have never tried on Bloch ballroom shoes, but the Bloch Sonata was my pointe shoe of choice back in the day so I should give them a try 🙂

  3. Ruxandra says:

    Those shoes are gorgeous! I bet they make you smile whenever you look at them. I love those first few dance lessons in a new pair of shoes, until it turns out just how friendly they are and that they somehow seem to remember each and every one of your routines 🙂 On with the dance!

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