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Welcome To The Ballroom Episode 6: Progress, Partners, and Pinball
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Episode six of Welcome To The Ballroom brings us Tatara and Mako’s practice in earnest. They’ve officially announced themselves as partners—and so have Gaju and Shizuku. Well, Gaju goes a step forward and optimistically outlines his new dance life with Shizuku from their next official competition up until their future marriage.
This week’s episode is largely dedicated to plot advancement. However, there are some more explanations of some facets of dancing, and it does also introduce Quickstep to the audience. It’s a flashy, quick dance, full of flair; in a fun visual metaphor, Quickstep is compared to a rollercoaster at an amusement park.
While Gaju shows his prowess with Standard, we see that Tatara has his own talents too, when he learns the Quickstep routine so fast it even shocks Mako. There are a lot of cute scenes between the two of them, both cheering each other up and cheering each other on; building self-confidence and expressing your belief in your partner seem to be key parts of how this arc is going to play out. While it seems to be a recurring joke to compare dance partners to spouses, a dance partnership is an important, lasting one that should be built on mutual respect and emotional support.
While Tatara works up the courage to challenge Gaju to an unofficial competition that’s coming up, most of the cast admits that Gaju is still far beyond Tatara’s skill level. A large portion of this is due to the sheer amount of experience. Thanks to a flashback, we learn that Gaju has at least six years of dance experience, while Tatara has been running on just a few months, and a single heat on the competition floor.
This comes back to bite him in the butt when he realizes he does not know how to navigate a crowded dance floor. First, he bumps into Gaju and Shizuku, and when Sengoku sends them to a dance hall to practice moving with other couples on the floor, he calls the result “pinball”. Sengoku explains how the line of dance works – the counter-clockwise movement of dancers around the dance floor. This keeps everyone generally moving in the same direction, if not the same pace, and is a basic piece of dance knowledge.
But even this is something Tatara had been unaware of. He has a lot to learn before he can catch up to his newfound rival and help Mako shine on the dance floor.