So I went to group class last night. I have been skipping Tuesday group because Z teaches and the last couple of classes have been unbalanced with more men. That makes it a special kind of awkward. I knew I had OwnerGuy on our lesson after group and he normally doesn’t work on Tuesday so I figured things might be a bit different and I decided to go. Turns out we actually had two ladies, Tex and me so it was perfectly balanced.
Group class was a waltz step that I do in my routine so I knew it rather well. One of the ladies had a really rough time with it though. Having been there before, I felt bad for her because a lot of it was self-inflicted. You know where the brain and body are fighting and things happen that you don’t expect. The problem is that you try to overthink things and that just makes it worse and starts the whole failure cascade. I could see she was really getting upset with the mistakes and really felt lost.
Z did try a couple of times to give her some advice but I think she was in a state where it didn’t fully take. I ended up having to be more forceful than I like since a lead is supposed to be a suggestion and not a demand. I have mixed feelings about that because I’m just a student as well and who I am to force someone into position. On the other hand, I was kind of hoping if she felt it, then it would click. That works for me many times. Once I get my body to do the right thing, then it makes sense. But she was fighting the entire way. There was one point where I really don’t know what she did but she was moving away from me at the wrong time and it was like I hit the eject button and bailed out of the step. It was kind of automatic reaction but then I couldn’t tell her what happened. We did get it to a point where it was reasonable but it took a lot more work than I wanted. My shoulder is a little sore today even though Z told her not to be “heavy” she was leaning on me which also made it harder to move around.
I’ve never been trained to follow so I have no idea how it is taught or how difficult it can be. I assume it can be problematic because the lady does have to cede some control to the guy and there can be trust issues. Z was telling her to “read” my body and follow what I was doing but she was determined to do her own steps and was really thinking about what she had to do when she really just needed to relax and feel more.
After class, Z was actually talking with me and my designated Cha Cha partner who was also in group and got the step. She was giving us advice on what to do. Me to move through my upper body and her to follow that. It was nice but frustrating in a way. See, when she wants to, she can set aside the sarcasm, the snark and the inappropriate comments and actually teach. (OK, she teaches with all that stuff but it becomes a distraction). For that brief moment, that is a person I could work with but it isn’t her norm so it wouldn’t last.
Before the lesson with Kid T, I mentioned to her that my Mom asked me if she ever smiles. (The photos I sent home caught her without a smile on her face). I guess Z overheard and she and OwnerGuy started in on Kid T as well. Comments about fish face or duck face so maybe they noticed something as well (the whole Eye of Sauron thing). Z’s parting comment was something about teaching Kid T to smile. Which makes sense cause the judges want to see both of us smiling.
The lesson with Kid T was the Fox Trot open routine with OwnerGuy sitting in to give us some pointers. First thing he wanted to talk about was my placements and he asked how I did at the Big Dance Event. To be honest, other than knowing I got a gold in a Mambo heat, I couldn’t tell you the rest. Kid T filled him in and he’s talking about how that means I was dancing the closed routines above average and that we shouldn’t expect too much from the open routines and I’m just nodding because I’ve kind of lost interest in the placements by now. But then he starts in on how maybe I should move up to full silver like he wants his student to do. I was noncommittal which is my response whenever I don’t want to say “HELL NO” right away. Yeah, maybe in time, that will be the right idea but I’m also not sure how proficient Kid T is at full Silver and I don’t really want to be learning at the same time she is. No, lets get some more experience and then see what happens.
On the Fox Trot, OwnerGuy was his usual self. He made small but subtle and important changes in multiple places. They did improve the flow of the dance but it also made my head explode because there was so much information. Going back tonight to work on it some more so we’ll see what happens.