Yeah, if I were an investment, they’d be all over my volatility. Up 20 points one day, down 30 the next, up 25 and so on. That’s a stupid way of saying last night was a very good night.
We did our open routines for Rumba and Swing and then closed routine for Rumba. So I got to practice standing tall and taking up space which, as you know, is so totally in my comfort zone. (Sorry just read FT Diva’s latest post and my sarcasm meter is at a high). But the little turn at the beginning is actually getting better. I have completely lost my balance in a bit although I still have some shaky moments. She did straighten out one little arm thing when we do open walks so I’m supposed to point in the direction I’m going as it creates a nicer look. Who knew?
The swing routine is a little farther behind but coming along. The drop we do is going fine. I’ve got a whole 8 count to get her down and bring her back the first time we go through so I have to remember to take my time. TrainerGuy was working on those Romanian dead lifts yesterday before my lesson so I was all warmed up. He’s got another variation where he takes two 18 pound bars and has me hold them and replicate the same type of move I do in the drop. Not quite the same because he’s trying to get certain muscles to work. But I do feel stronger when I do those. Not hulk like, of course, but still better.
There are a couple of parts in the swing where I get a little lost in the footwork. OwnerGuy stuck a volta into one part (I have no idea why), so I do this rock step and then a volta or a count that goes 3, 4 and 5. The problem is that when we take to music, I’m still having to think about it and my brain can’t move at the same speed as the music just yet so it gets a little messy. I’ve found that I need to really have the footwork down so I can stop thinking about it and then the timing becomes easier. The other part that is a little funky is that the timing on the loop gets a bit messed up so we only have four counts to do the drop and I have to remember that the second one is faster. Also, the first part of the loop is on different beats than the original pattern so, when Kid T was counting the beats, I kept thinking I was off when I wasn’t. That part is a little confusing.
The other thing that presents a challenge is my arms. I’m just getting used to standing there and trying to look tall and take up space and she wants me to extend my arms to take up even more space. But, I’m sure I’d just end up looking like some kind of ridiculous scarecrow. Or like the Karate Kid in the crane position from the end of the first movie except both feet would be on the ground. I tried but it started to trigger the whole self-conscious stuff so I kept them at about half of my full wingspan. She does little girly arms and I’m supposed to be doing man arms. I guess I’ll need OwnerGuy for this.
The closed routine was the highlight of the night. I managed to really lock in the whole forward poise thing with the right posture and we had a really solid connection. I could feel her through my hands for most of the dance and it made leading a lot of the stuff a whole lot easier. I wouldn’t call it a breakthrough but it was really encouraging because I could actually feel a difference and I managed to keep it going through the entire routine. I even managed to get it back for those parts when we moved away from the traditional frame and then came back to it. She felt it and made sure I knew that as well. That makes it nice – to feel something and to get feedback that it is correct. This is what the connection should feel like and so I can try to recreate that feeling in future lessons.
After my lesson, I was changing shoes and listening to Sunny talk to a new student. She was explaining the Famous Franchise way and got to the part about progress checks and how that meant OwnerGuy or Z would watch you and offer helpful tips. I had a couple of good sarcastic remarks teed up but I figured why burst his bubble so I kept my tongue. Then, she started talking about various stages (first learning, awkward, etc). This is a poster on the wall at the Famous Franchise which shows the steps cascading upwards towards the top which may or may not be unconscious or natural use when things just flow. (It really should be a circle because it is an endless loop. You get to the top phase and then there is something new you should be doing and you bounce back into that awkward part again). I was actually cracking myself up as she mentioned the awkward phase but I made it out like I was agreeing with her that everyone goes through that phase (I wanted to tell him that some days it feels like you never get out of it)
Tonight is Waltz and more work on being tall.