Hitting on all Cylinders

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Great lesson last night.  We really seemed to be in sync so it was one of those lessons that makes you want to rush right back into the studio for more.  We started with the Tango routine and did what I expected which is she broke into in parts, we worked on the parts and then strung the whole thing together.  Actually ended up doing several complete run-throughs and she even worked on how to rotate it in places so we move down the floor at the right angle.  There is a lot to do and the focus was on the footwork so we still need to come back and work on timing and arm styling but there was nothing that I can’t do.  There are things that need to be polished.  I have a spin in this one as well (why they love to make me spin, I’ll never know) and I’m supposed to reconnect with her after the spin but we are both moving so it was difficult for me to get it right but that was because I wasn’t looking for her.  Once she pointed out that I needed to do that (insert sound of hand slapping forehead DOH!) it worked much better.  I have no expectations for August except to just be able to do it as I know it will take time to grow into these routines.

We actually did so much that she stopped the Tango with about 15 minutes left and we moved on to the Fox Trot.  There was a new couple working on a wedding dance on one part of the floor so she drew an imaginary line and told me not to cross it so we wouldn’t scare them.  I have danced by newcomers before and I know it can rattle them at times.  I suppose it is like someone in a kayak having a speedboat roar by them.  We didn’t have a fox trot on and she wasn’t counting so I think it was more to just focus on the footwork and technique with timing to come later.  I know we were going much faster than a typical fox trot because that is what I do but she wasn’t stopping me so we just kept going.

If there is one thing I wish I could convey to my non-dancing friends it is the feeling I get flying around the floor when we are moving in sync and the moves just flow one after the other.  If I’m not having to think about the next step and I’m leading it well enough that she can just follow it is magical.  (OK, I wish I could really find the words here to describe it but it requires expressing emotions with words and my logical brain simply can’t come up with the appropriate way to interpret those feelings).  There is just that moment when you move from doing steps to really dancing and when you actually have two bodies moving as one that just feels so free and fantastic.  I do get that more from the smooth dances that travel but it can happen in any dance.  I’m sure if you did some brain scan while I’m dancing it would light up regions that don’t get lit up that often.  Well that’s the best I can do.  Sorry but expressing complex emotions isn’t one of my strong suits.  Let’s just say that we were really clicking with the fox trot.

She actually had to talk to the new couple after our lesson so she left and was speaking to them as I changed shoes.   On the way out, the guy stops me and starts going on about how great we looked moving around the floor and how we could see us in the mirrors and he was just really enjoying watching us dance.  She had told him about the event that shall not be named but is getting closer and so he said we’ll be great (have I mentioned before how much I love new couples).  I probably should have been more social but all I could manage was a bunch of “Thank-you’s”.  If I see him again, I’ll try to be more chatty.  I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy the comments; who doesn’t like hearing how great they are?  But it is always a bit surreal for me to hear that.  There’s something about triggering responses in other people that just feels a little weird.  Can’t really explain why but it just does.

The next two weeks are going to be a little light.  I’m out of town Thursday and Friday of this week and the studio is closed most of next week for July 4th.  There is one part of me that is panicking just a bit and screaming “You’re not ready!  You need more practice”.  But, that is just a tiny part so I’m actually eerily calm about the upcoming event that shall remain nameless.  I know I am much farther along than I was last year at this time.  I know I’ve made a lot of progress.  It will still be a challenge and an assault on my senses but, having done one, I don’t have the fear of the unknown that I did before so it doesn’t seem as scary.  Of course, she also hasn’t started yelling at me about timing and posture.  That’s when it gets fun (and not in a good way).

3 comments

  1. Wall – When recounting the joy of flying around the floor without having to think about it, you were talking about “flow.” The psychologist Csikszentmihali wrote an entire book on it – Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. I have a lengthy section on it in my book, along with descriptions of it from interviewees. I’ve been in flow states while doing other things, but never while dancing. I think I’ll need to be better in order to get there.

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