Stress Fractures

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So I had my first coaching lesson with Kid T last night.  I wasn’t originally scheduled for one since the slots were taken and I don’t normally have a Monday night lesson with her but someone (OwnerGuy??) decided to cancel the master class he was doing so I could take the slot normally reserved for that.  It also turns out to be the same time as formation practice which Kid T is teaching so they had to do a lot of switching to make it work out.

Coaching lessons can be stressful for me.  Normally, the first time I work with someone new, it stresses me out a bit.  First, I don’t know this person or what their style is.  Secondly, they’ve never seen me so they don’t have any idea of my ability.  So it is someone new judging me and that starts to hit at some of the insecurities.  What if I mess something up?  What if they walk away thinking I can’t dance?  In reality, they are there to help and I really shouldn’t care what they think.

Compounding this was the fact that we were doing Quickstep and Kid T and I are struggling to get this routine down.  I don’t think she had enough time with the Body Double and she’s been trying to learn it from the video and there are parts where that just doesn’t work.  I’ll have more to say on this later.

I’m not a real stickler for tradition, but when you are working with someone you’ve never met, I feel it is the instructor’s job to make a proper introduction and explain a little about what we are trying to do.  Maybe that’s just the introvert in me because I’m not comfortable walking across the room to a coach I haven’t met and introducing myself.  The instructor has been there all day and should have had an opportunity to interact with the coach and I just feel this is the polite thing to do.

You can guess where I’m going here.  Kid T was running late on her lesson right before me which is mistake #1.  So I see the coach finish the lesson before me and take a little break and he’s ready to go and there is no Kid T.  She finally finishes up with her lesson but needs to refill her water bottle before we start so she walks away.  That’s #2.  So he walks over to me and we start talking and then Kid T shows up and doesn’t introduce us (guess she figures its too late so why bother).  But then she has to leave to get the IPAD where the video is because she wasn’t prepared.  And that’s #3 and we haven’t even started yet.  He did ask what we were doing this for and she said Showcase before she walked away.  I filled him in the back story which is that I had been doing the dance with another instructor and just started working with Kid T about a month ago so we were still trying to adjust to each other.

Well, we got the dreaded “show me what you’ve got” from the coach and we line up to do the routine.  She starts by counting down but I don’t know if she wants to go on the first 8 or the second and she starts before I do and we try it again and the same thing happens.  I finally tell her I need a clue as to when you want to start and we finally get going and she’s trying to count the timing but the music for formation is playing and it’s loud and I can’t hear her and she varies the timing of her count so I’m off and she notices and I tell her that it is hard to hear her over the music.  As you can see, we are off to a fantastic start.

I think part of it is that coaching can be stressful for the instructors as well.  This guy is pretty well known in the Famous Franchise world and he’s had a lot of success dancing.  And I’m sure there is some pressure to do well in front of this guy because who wants to look like they can’t teach (or dance).  Anyway, I sensed that from Kid T at the start as well.  I don’t know if was the running late or what but she was a little more tense than I’ve seen her before and I think I just started to reflect that and I was a bit off because of how things started.  She got a little snippy with me and I did with her which is unusual for us.

Fortunately, the coach took over and decided to jump in and start making suggestions which was great.  I had some trouble following him because he’d show me a part but he’d be calling out the steps (which is like speaking a foreign language to me since I dance Quickstep but I couldn’t really tell you more than 3 of the steps we do).  And he went over it so fast that I couldn’t follow what he was doing.  But he was patient and repeated the steps a couple of times and then walked me through a couple of places.  There were some small adjustments to my frame and some other improvements.  On the whole, it is better now but it still isn’t as good as where I was with the Body Double.  There was one part towards the end which she said always felt strange to her.  The funny thing was it was a part I knew really well and didn’t have any problems when doing it with the Body Double but we fixed that.

Towards the end, OwnerGuy came out to see how things were going and he started talking about why he designed certain steps the way he did including the part that Kid T thought was strange.  Then he said something to the effect that she wasn’t around when he designed that with the Body Double so she may not have fully bought into it.  But that got me to thinking.  I know there wasn’t a lot of time from when the Body Double said she was leaving until she left and Kid T had a lot to get up to speed with so I expected there to be things she didn’t fully get.  But OwnerGuy knows the Quickstep and he’s been there.  So has she not reached out to him and just tried to learn from the video or did she ask and he could never find the time?

Aside from that, we ended on a high note.  She was enthusiastic and encouraging as we left.  It wasn’t the best coaching lesson I’ve ever had but it wasn’t the worst.  I’m torn though.  I love the Quickstep but since I get the strong sense that she isn’t that into it and maybe doesn’t like taking over another choreography that I’m not sure it is worth continuing.  I mean we gave it a good effort but it may not be the dance for us.  I guess I have to wait and see how we do the next time and whether any of the coaching stuff has taken.

And, I’m not going to dwell on this anymore.  The Doubt Monster was waking up during the lesson and I need him to stay in his deep sleep until I get through this Showcase.  Lessons the rest of the week and we can finalize all the dances we are doing and that will help quiet the doubts.

4 comments

  1. Just had a small thought reading this–I know you have a showcase coming up, so maybe it could be something for after. From what I understand, you are mostly doing the same routines with Kid T you were doing with the Body Double. I am wondering if perhaps some of the things that worked well for the Body Double just aren’t good things for Kid T? I guess I mean that perhaps the routines choreographed with the Body Double in mind might not play well to Kid T’s strengths and to both of you as a couple. Perhaps after the showcase, if you have some time, it might be useful to look at your routines and see if some small changes will help things work smoother between you–just a small thought that popped in my head 🙂

    1. I think you are correct and I know these will have to evolve but we have to get some trained eyes on them to know where we need to go. That’s what I think I’ll get out of these Showcases.

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