Back on the Dance Roller Coaster

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One thing I’ve learned from both dance and from my personal training sessions, is that I have a hard time isolating and moving certain sections of my body.  I do better if I’m not thinking about it but when either my instructor or trainer says “move this way” and my muscles can’t instantly translate what the brain just heard, then I get stuck trying to force myself to feel what they want me to do.  It gets seriously frustrating for me.  Some of that came out yesterday while working on a certain section of the cha-cha which involves hip movement but it isn’t really done by trying to move the hips.  Well, they have to move a little but it is an action of bending and straightening one leg which apparently causes one hip to rise.  I guess apparently isn’t the right work because both my instructor and her husband can make it work but I certainly couldn’t.  I started out like I always do when I don’t understand something and I was attempting to imitate what I was seeing which turned out not to be the right thing to do.  So she starts in with an explanation of what I’m supposed to do which ends up sounding like a foreign language to me.  Her husband came over at one point to join in but then I just had two people jabbering at me and using phrases that I couldn’t comprehend (or remember).  Then, I just got mental vapor lock and couldn’t take any more in and just got a little mad.  I think I remember saying something like “I don’t know what you want me to do”.  Anyway, they did finally dumb it down to my level so I could at least see what motion they were trying to get me to do and they both got a little excited but I couldn’t feel a thing so I had no concept whether I was doing something right or not but I guess I can fake my way through that part if I need to.

I’ve talked about this before so this is not a new battle.  I’m not able to really “feel” the difference between “good” technique and “bad” technique when the difference is subtle.  So I do something, and she tells me it was no good.  We try again, and then she tells me it was better and I have no idea what I did that was different so I have no way of locking down what I did.  I know some of the big ideas and I can focus on those but it is the little subtleties that kill me.

I’m a little down going into tonight’s lesson.  Part of that is because we have some nasty weather coming in and I really, really hate snow and cold so it depresses me a bit.  The other part is based on the conversation we had at the end of the lesson.  I know that nothing lasts forever and there will be a day when we don’t work together anymore.  It isn’t in the near future but, despite our differences, we can do some nice things together – even she admitted that.  So having to transition would not be easy and part of the reason is that there really isn’t anyone else at an advanced enough level so, if there isn’t another option, then I’d be faced with the choice of leaving the studio or just stopping.  Again, this is not happening right away and it comes with the territory but I’m not ready to think about an alternate future just yet.  Well, I have a long drive to get to the studio, so I’ll crank some music and hope for some good tunes to put me in a better mood for tonight.   We’ll see how it goes.

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