According to this theory, we are have three energy levels (physical, intellectual and emotional) that cycle at different frequencies. If you hit a high in all three, that is supposed to be a good day and you should just stay home in bed on days when all three are at a low point. I remember reading something where someone with a lot of free time, mapped out biorhythms for a number of baseball players and then tried to correlate them to performance. As with any pseudo-science, there were examples of real good things happening on triple up days and examples of players having really bad days. If one wanted to cherry pick, you could support this theory but the data set really showed no correlation.
And what in the world does this have to do with dancing, you might be asking right about now. Well, I’ll get to that. First, I should state that I think the pro/am pairing in ballroom dance is unique when it comes to a student/teacher situation. I have sessions with a personal trainer and he may demonstrate a certain move but I get to do all the fun while he watches and corrects. I think that is mostly the case in other situations like this where the teacher/trainer/pro demonstrates and watches but doesn’t often participate with you. Even in the case of a dance instructor working with a couple, they will spend more time watching and correcting while every now and then jumping in to dance with one or the other. But in the pro/am, they have to be with you every step of the way (both literally and figuratively). And they have to know your part so they can coach you but also their part so they can effectively follow (or lead). It must become much more difficult at advanced levels if it gets into steps that the pro doesn’t use very often or if they are working with choreography from someone else.
Also, ballroom dancing is both physically and mentally challenging. (And for some of us, it can truly be emotionally challenging as well). Consider that on a given lesson, you both bring assorted baggage from the day. My instructor does a lot of working out since she dances professionally so there are times she comes in with some part of her hurting. As for me, I’m older and trying to fight the effects of being overweight and a couch potato for much of my life. Clearly, I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in, but my body has to remind me from time to time that I’m not 20 anymore and, with the knee, I’m pretty much in some kind of pain all the time. Not to mention that we both have sinus and allergy issues which can add to the fun. Aside from the physical stuff, there are just days when my mind is mush – there are days at work where I’m balancing a lot of tasks at once and have to make a lot of decisions and I get to the end of the day and I simply don’t want to think anymore. And, an instructor may have a series of bad lessons right before yours or be dealing with other problems.
So why bring all this up? Well, I mentioned before that my instructor seemed more focused than normal but, at yesterdays lesson, that seemed to go away. She claims she only has two moods (while also claiming that I am Sybil-like in my mood swings). I’ll plead partially guilty to the second but she is much more complicated than she thinks. One on extreme is the drill sargent who just pushes all the time and the other is the slightly flighty lets have a good time when she’s not serious and tends to make more mistakes. But there is a spectrum in between. Last night, I know she wasn’t feeling the best and so we didn’t get as far as I would have liked.
And how I react is based on what mood I’m in. When we are both serious, a lot gets done and we have a great lesson. When we are both a little silly and brain dead, then not much gets done but we have fun. When we are in different direction is when things can be interesting. The worst for both of us is when she’s hyper focused and I’m in one of my deeply introspective moods cause she just wants to work and doesn’t have the patience to deal with my crap. Last night is not great for me. When I come in wanting to work and she is a little off, then it can get a little frustrating. But, that’s why I writing this because I wanted to give myself some perspective. Given everything they have to deal with, I think dance instructors are special people especially the ones who do actually care about their students desires and wishes.
We did get some things accomplished as well. On Monday, OwnerGuy was showing us his idea for an open Tango. At one point, he asked both of us how difficult we wanted the routine to be. Of course, I instantly took that to be a challenge that I wasn’t going to back down from. I’m no wimp! So I said “Challenge me, baby”. Yes, that is a direct quote. I’m not sure OwnerGuy was ready to be called baby but it was out before I could take it back. Sometimes, the logical part of brain isn’t fast enough to prevent me from jumping into situations like this. So he naturally put a lot of open work and very little in frame and all kinds of other fun things that require arm styling and theatrics. And there are some parts that require pretty close contact but it is Tango and that’s what Tango is supposed to be. Yep, I opened my mouth and he called my bluff and designed something that will really push my boundaries. The only question is whether I’ll do it at the event that shall remain nameless. Part of me says I should do it no matter how I feel since I have no expectations anyway and practicing it on a crowded floor is a good thing. We shall see.