Walk This Way (If Only I Could)

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There are days when I dance I feel graceful and I feel that I’m moving like I should and I feel like a dancer.  And, then there are days when I’m trying to learn something and I can’t figure it out and my body starts to fight me and I feel like an uncoordinated boob stumbling through something that I’ll never be able to master.  Then I get all self conscious and assume everyone is looking at me and laughing.  Yeah, the fun part of learning something new.

Guess what Friday was?  Well, that’s really a trick question because it was a little of both.  Kid T pulled out the swing open routine for us to work on.  Again, the beginning part is for us to be apart and I’m supposed to be moving like a swing dancer.  If I don’t think about it, I feel reasonably confident but I know that my arm movements and other things need a lot of work.  I think I just subconsciously mirror Kid T which probably isn’t the best thing to do as a guy.  But it is either that or flail my arms about in some horror show that would make Elaine from Seinfeld look like Julianne Hough.   (Now there’s some gold plated pop culture references for you and it just came to me)

The dip or I guess it is really a drop is working out pretty well.  Kid T was wearing some long sweaterish thing that kept getting caught on my arm as she’d roll in before we did the drop/dip.  Kind of ruined the moment.  But she was happy with the drop and I guess I was secure enough to make her feel comfortable which is good because if not, we’d end up in a heap on the floor and that would not win us anything.  Still need TrainerGuy to keep working on me so it becomes even easier.  The only thing that is a little uncomfortable is I get these contact skin rashes from time to time and practicing that step over and over kind of ends up irritating the parts of my arm where she lands.  This is even when I rolled my sleeves down.  Fortunately, it went away relatively quickly.

After that, we are supposed to swivel.  Well it is really just enhanced walking but I’m watching her do it and then I’m trying to mimic what she’s doing and then she says something like “don’t do that”.  And, I’m thinking “that’s what you did”.  Eventually, I did say that about something and her response was “no, I wasn’t doing that, it only looked like that since I was doing it fast.”  OK, checkmate, I’ve got nothing for that.

This is one of those things that is very hard for me to learn.  I can listen to what you are telling me to do but I often can’t make my body do what you are asking me to do.  So I watch what you are doing and then try to copy.  The problem is that when they aren’t consistent from time to time, it gets me all confused.  To learn something, I have to physically do and then try to remember what it felt like and then see if I can copy that feeling.  It is hard when she tells me things like “get forward more” because I can’t translate that into a tangible feeling so I get stuck.  Then, my overactive thinking takes over and I start microanalyzing the move to try and figure out what I should be doing at each second and, when I can’t the mind just starts to shut down.  Then the emotions take over and start telling me how silly I’m going to look and, soon enough, I’ve psyched myself right out of even trying the step.  So I just do some silly attempts to make her happy and to move on to something else.

At that stage, I figure I’m so far off from what I’m supposed to be doing that any praise just ends up bouncing off me because I assume they are just trying to keep me motivated.  Then, I call the step stupid and start to get stubborn about wanting to do it.  It can get worse from there but that didn’t quite happen on Friday.  I got to brink but managed to back away before I was cast into the pit of despair and self-doubt.  I’m doing them but they still feel awkward and stupid.  Newsflash – I believe they are supposed to feel awkward when it isn’t something you’ve done, but I have a hard time convincing myself of that.  No, everything should come to me right away and, when it doesn’t, it must mean something is wrong with me.  Yes, the logic centers of my brain cease functioning and the emotional stuff runs amok.

This happens from time to time during my sessions with TrainerGuy although it never escalates to that level.  There were certain things he wanted to do to exercise and isolate certain muscle groups and, there were times, when I just couldn’t make them work.  I couldn’t move the way I was supposed to in order to isolate the right group.  I guess the difference is that I know I’m only going to be doing a few reps and he does put things on the shelf when it becomes clear that my body just doesn’t want to cooperate.  Normally, he has a back up plan that exercises the same group in a slightly different way.

I know if I just kept more of an open mind and was less sensitive to correction, then things would go better.  But knowing and doing are two different things.  Still got those demons to work through.

On the plus side, I do like the rest of the routine.  There is a lot more there so I should focus on the whole thing and not these four steps which seem to be a special challenge for me.

There is a coach coming in on Wednesday and I’m debating blowing off the master class.  It is hustle which is a dance I do at parties.  I’m going to admit that hustle is my “I don’t give a f*** about timing” dance.  Not to say I don’t try but if you dance it at party and they play a marginal song, you just spin the lady to whatever time works.  Most ladies like the spins so everyone is happy.  Guess the point is that I don’t compete in that dance so why take a master class?  It would be somewhat awkward though since I have a lesson right before and I’d just be walking out right as the class starts which would be obvious.  I’ve taken private coaching with this guy and I haven’t been that happy with the results.  I spent one lesson with him developing choreography for one of my routines with Z.  I know those lessons don’t involve a lot of dancing but it felt like he and Z just had a social hour with me in the background.  (OK, we did get some of the routine knocked out but I think it could have been more).  That’s really another reason to perhaps not stick around.  I’ve found that some of the coaches were really close to Z and I get this kind of weird vibe when they work with me.  Like I’m some kind of evil monster who dumped Z so they work with me only because they have to and not because they want to.  (Oh, there you go being overly sensitive again)  Yeah, it might not be anything but I really can’t stop these vibes from happening and they do have an influence.  Well, I’ll see who’s signed up and if there is a big crowd, I could probably justify a master class.

After Wednesday, I’m off on vacation and no dancing for over a week.  Kind of sucks to take a break when we were just getting to the open routines and it has given me a new enthusiasm.  But who would turn down a week of sun, sand and the ocean?  Not me!

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