Coaching, Take 2

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I don’t think I mentioned this but I had a lesson with 3 of 3 the same night as the coaching lesson I described in my last post. In between was a Waltz master class which was taught by the same guy. I was not in the best of moods coming out of the coaching lesson and the master class didn’t do much for me either. But the road to feeling better really started with the lesson that night. We were doing our triple two step again as she adds steps to the routine so we can fill up the allotted time. We also worked a little more on the two step. I have to say that I really enjoy working with her although I can’t quite explain it. She talks a mile a minute which is actually OK since as an INTP, I do a lot of listening. She manages to keep the lessons light and fun and just has a better way of offering corrective feedback than the other instructors I’ve worked with.
The next day was a Quickstep lesson with the Body Double. She has a very set way of doing things. You repeat something x times without music and then you do it with music x number of times. I never took piano lessons but, if I had, I suspect it would be something like this with a focus on simply repeating a pattern over and over again until it is muscle memory. I was not at the top of my game going into that lesson as the negativity demons were talking to me on the ride out to the studio. So there was a part that I just blanked on and couldn’t make it work and this is where repetition can fail because I don’t know HOW to do the step, simply repeating wrongly multiple times doesn’t help. I think I finally got that across because she brought OwnerGuy out to watch and he corrected things.
Thursday was also the party day at the studio so I got to have a little fun to close out the night. There were a couple of unattached ladies so I was put to good use during the night. Also, some of the couples who’ve been there awhile are now starting to branch out and dance with others so I danced with a larger number of women than a typical party. Always a challenge since everyone is different. The only anxiety inducing moment was when I was dancing a Fox Trot with the Statue and caught OwnerGuy giving us the eagle eye. It is unnerving when he or Z stare you down at a party since my first thought is “what am I screwing up now?” (I’m fighting it but its pretty much my automatic first reaction)
Yesterday I had a coaching lesson with the other half of the couple that was in town this week. They are coming back to judge our showcase in May so this might have been a sneak preview. Well I also think they enjoy hanging out with Z and OwnerGuy so it gives them an excuse to come here for a couple of days. I’m sure it must pay well too because they are from a very nice warm, weather place and who would leave that to come to our frozen wastelands in January.
This is the first time I’ve worked with this lady as she’s relatively new to dance instruction. Believe she was an accomplished amateur dancer and then decided to make it her career. Fortunately, my lesson was later in the evening so there was a Rumba master class first. I think Master Class is kind of hype because they pile everyone into one group which limits how advanced they can be. The focus here was on holding the slows in Rumba so it wasn’t all bad but it gave me an opportunity to see her first hand and get an idea of her personality.
Before the lesson, Z came over to have a little talk about the previous coaching lesson. I’m a man of few words (spoken that is since I can write like nobody’s business) but I’m not real good at hiding my facial expressions. I’d go broke if I ever decided to play poker for a living. She mentioned that she was watching my Quickstep lesson and saw where we ran into the snag so she wanted to know where my head was. The bottom line from the other coaching lesson is he was giving me good information but I don’t deal well with verbal instructions. I need to see and feel it. She agreed with me that he was dancing way too far above my level in trying to demonstrate those steps and that I didn’t have enough opportunities to actually practice. But she reassured me that it isn’t that difficult and that we can start working on head weight next week.
We got to practice the Mambo before the lesson started. Unfortunately, we had to start with a demo of the whole thing. She had been warned that timing isn’t my strong suit and we know that timing is critical in Mambo since you hold the 1’s but she was also told that we really just finished this routine a couple of weeks ago so it is still new.
We did some real good work on timing. And she added an intro to the routine. Originally, we started off apart and then had to go on time. She changed that to give us a couple of basics in frame before breaking apart and starting the routine which will work a lot better for me. And she changed the ending as well which I still don’t quite get since there’s lots of arms flailing about and looping over my head so I still don’t quite get it but it can be worked on.
She was great to work with. At the end of the lesson, she decided to get all psychological on me. She tells me I’m a great dancer which I just responded a little awkwardly to so she asks me “don’t you think you are a great dancer”. See this is a problem with working with someone who has no idea that I’m just a giant mass of insecurities when it comes to dancing. So she made me say it out loud (awkward!) Then she tells me I need to believe in myself so I can project confidence on the dance floor. Z was eating that up because she’s said the same things. But I know that’s something I need to continue working on. And so another dance week ends on a high note. Back to it next week.

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