Well the rift in the studio’s space-time continuum caused by The Statue’s departure and my ugly break up with Z is starting to heal. I have not yet had my first lesson with Kid T but we have a tentative schedule now worked out. The Statue’s male students have been parceled out with Z having to pick up Tex since he is serious about competing and has money to burn on attending the various big Famous Franchise dance events. Still not sure everyone is totally aware of the break up but that will come with time.
Was working with the Body Double yesterday as our first follow up to the coaching lesson we had on Argentine Tango. That coach was amazing. It was like she opened up an encyclopedia to Argentine Tango and just dumped it all on us that night. Fortunately, the Body Double took the time to talk with her afterward and to write up all the important parts. It is a lot to work on but we have a good blue print to follow.
The first thing was, of course, the frame. We had done things in a closer position during the coaching lesson so she just started right there. My personal space bubble just keeps getting smaller and smaller. She also showed me where this dance ultimately goes with a lot more physical contact and no space bubble!! Fortunately, she’s not trying to go there right away. The Body Double is really the master of the “frog in boiling water” method of teaching. Things just move gradually so you don’t realize what’s happening. I suspect one day, she’ll just start out right in my personal space but, by then, I’ll be ready for it.
But she does that with other parts as well. The first concept that the coach wanted me to really focus on was passing my feet and committing to each step. Our song choice is a little fast so my footwork can get a little muddy. But, we started out with no music and just worked on the technique so I could feel comfortable with it. And, she also breaks the routine down so we start by adding the new technique to just the beginning. When she thinks I’m comfortable with it, we move on to another part and then link things together. Once we get all the way through, she adds music but picks a slower one to start with and then works up to faster tempos. It really seems to work for me. It gives me time to process and I can feel the difference and then it becomes easier to get it up to speed. We made a lot of progress in just that one lesson. There are other things that she says will get introduced later.
This is really another part of working with her that appeals to me. There is a lot more structure than there was with Z. The Body Double comes on to a lesson with a plan and she tells me what she wants to work on and what she’s hoping to see and during the lesson she’ll talk about where it is going to go in the future. I’m assuming if I wanted to do something different, she’d adapt but I find that I don’t mind letting her drive. I make decision all day at work and that gets a little tiring. What I like most is that I’ve got a little goal to shoot for. Yes, I could set my own goals but I’m not the expert here. I like that we have something specific to work on and that we can measure progress at the end of the lesson.
I should tell you that this is my reaction to Z asking how she she should teach me. In my classic style, I can’t answer that right away but it rolls around inside my mind for awhile and this is the result. I never really put a lot of thought into why I really started to prefer lessons with the Body Double but I’m finding that her style and methods are just a much better fit with my personality.
Z showed up in the middle of group class. She had been taking Mondays off but that’s a good day for Tex so she has to be there to work with him. They were on a lesson at the same time we were and yes I couldn’t help but look from time to time. OwnerGuy was with them and they were teaching Tex an open Fox Trot routine which makes sense if he wants to do scholarship at a future event. I will admit to feeling a little sad watching them. I remember working on my open routines and there when you’ve got people designing choreography and working with you, it makes you feel a little special like you are doing something that noone else in the studio is doing. I realize that dancing with her and being one of the “stars” of the studio was an ego boost and that did make me feel good. I know this will sound a little shallow but I was reluctant to give that up but the price was just too high.
At the end of my lesson, OwnerGuy did walk by and ask if everything was OK and if I was having fun. The honest answer was “yes”. I know at some point I’m going to have to sit down with him and map out my new future. I give him credit that he hasn’t pushed it so he’s giving me time to assess the situation and see what makes sense. I do think we aren’t going to be in a position to do the open routines any time soon. But I also think I’m building a much more solid foundation so that when we get back to them, they will be that much stronger. And that makes me want to continue.
Last word – and its not about dancing. Sunday was Father’s Day. I got an IM from the original Work Daughter towards the end of the day wishing me a “Happy Father’s Day”. It was just a short little but it said a lot and it made me happy.