Despite my best attempts to sabotage things, progress was made. Kid T and I had worked on the open Cha-Cha routine yesterday and it was something of a hot mess when we were done. This is the routine where OwnerGuy decided to challenge my timing and footwork so there are all kinds of syncopations and other strange footwork things. There is a stupid telemark which requires me to do a lot more rotation than I’d like without bumping into Kid T on the way. Oh and there’s a spin where I always want to go the wrong way.
So I was grousing my way through things and feeling like a complete failure but, for some reason, when we got up to speed, things went much better. Well there is probably a good reason. I don’t know this well enough yet so at real speed, I’m just reacting and not thinking so what I do know in my muscle memory takes over and my brain has to take a back seat. This turns out to be a good thing. Who knew? Is it going to win anything? Of course not. But the point is that I can get through it without getting lost and having to stop and look stupid. I fell behind in one part (that spin) but got it back on the next part. Even managed to loop it and do it a second time. For a routine that has been the bane of my existence, signs of progress are welcome and a little reassuring that I’m not going to completely fall on my face.
The only issue is arms. She wants my free arm on my stomach with the hand extended. I’m not all that crazy about feeling that part of me roll during the routine and, to me, it looks stupid. Yeah, yeah, it is probably want you are supposed to do to look manly (which I guess is a thing) but it feels anything but.
We also worked on the Tango routine. It was rough at first because we hadn’t done it in a bit but it came back pretty quickly. Again, managed to loop it and keep it moving down the floor. Another sign of progress. We even came back to the Cha-Cha at the close of the lesson and ran through it again and that turned out to be my best effort. I had to admit to her that things went pretty well. Yeah, I probably could have found ways to run myself down. For example, she’s still counting which isn’t going to happen at the Big Dance Event and I don’t know if I can do this without the training wheels. But, that’s a minor concern right now. I’ll take the progress for what it is.
Not going to lie though, it still feels like I’m on the JV squad. I think FT Diva said it to me at one time – if you want to be the best, you have to work with the best. Clearly, that’s not what I’m doing. And that is not to take anything away from Kid T because she’s good but still a long way from OwnerGuy and Z. She can teach me the basic footwork and some of the lead but she really can’t see things that OwnerGuy can. I’d love to entertain fantasies about doing well but we still have a long way to go to be able to stand out on a competition floor.
So why do it if you have no chance? Honestly, this is just about getting out there. I know that sounds like a cop out “you win by showing up” but, in my case, that will be true. I don’t know how or why but the fear has taken over again. I’m almost back to where I was before my first Big Dance Event when I was convinced I was going to look stupid. (And, I actually may have looked stupid, but you never really find out). But all the demons and doubts are out in full force and telling me that I can’t do this and that I’m just fooling myself and that I’m only being brought along so OwnerGuy can have a full table. That I don’t really belong there. On and on. Yeah it is a full on crisis in confidence. And living with fear and doubt is no fun. So I do this just to prove to myself that I still can. Yes, I’m setting a low bar – just showing up and getting through the dances without falling down, but that will be a victory for me.
Had a lesson with Sunny as well. She was trying to get me to do a new step in the Quickstep and it wasn’t going well. OwnerGuy happened to be free and he fixed it in ten seconds. We weren’t doing the step correctly. I think this is because she tries to learn the steps from the videos and doesn’t have OwnerGuy or Z look at what she’s doing to verify that she really understands the step.
Hit a low point in that lesson though. I’m at a point where I am hypersensitive to criticism which is not a good place to be when you are in a learning part of the curve because you are going to screw up and need correction. Well, this one set me off a bit. There is one part where’s she’s been on me to “keep the rotation going” but never once demonstrated which direction she wanted the back half of the step to go. So, I was thinking that we had to move in a different direction and she never corrected me. Tonight, she tells me that she’s been “letting me get away with not rotating enough” and we were going to fix that. I honestly thought it wouldn’t work because I figured she couldn’t get out of my way to get me moving in the right direction but it did actually work much better than I thought.
But, it wasn’t that she was “letting me get away” with anything. She never explained which direction the step was supposed to go. Tell me which direction and I can probably make it happen. Give me a vague “keep the rotation going” and then tell me I’m doing it is going to leave me with the impression that I’m OK. This is one of those places where I really wanted to argue with her. I can only do what I’m taught to do. If you didn’t teach me to take the step in that direction, then why would you expect me to just figure it out on my own. You weren’t teaching me. This is all on you and not on me! Yes, I fume internally but I know enough about her personality to know that arguing with her would have been a waste of time.
I’m a strong believer in owning up to messing up. I get a sense sometimes from her that she needs to prove that she’s the teacher and I’m the student and so she can’t be wrong. (Even though she often is). It can make it hard for me to really take correction from her especially when it is something like I’ve described above. It also makes it harder for me to accept compliments from her (strange but true). She was trying to be nice on our lesson today and was telling me that she was watching me at party and that my posture was looking better. But, as sincere as she was trying to be, it comes across as patronizing. It is one thing to come from OwnerGuy who was a competitive dancer but to come from someone who is still relatively new and still has issues of her own, it just has a different feel to it. Yeah, I know that probably doesn’t make sense to you. This is my INFPness coming out. Told you we make “right/wrong” decisions about everything based on internal criteria that we can’t explain and aren’t based on logic. So she’s trying to be nice but it comes across wrong to me.
On the other hand, the Quickstep is progressing nicely. If I end up doing Showcase, it should be a nice little routine.
And the Big Dance Event is just two weeks away. Yikes. It could be an emotional roller coaster around here. Tonight went well so all is good. We shall see what tomorrow brings.