Put Me In Coach

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Just coming from my second night of coaching lessons with a guy I’ll call Coach N.  Not very original but my brain is a little fried so just deal with it.

Coaching lessons rattle me a bit.  The whole thing about some super good dancer coming in to watch what you do kind of terrifies me.  Also, there is the dynamic when I work with coaches that had seen me dance with Z.  This is the first time Coach N has seen me with Kid T and I’m thinking about how much I’ve regressed and how he’s going to see all my mistakes.  Yeah, it makes me kind of a nervous wreck and then there is the problem of flop sweat which is another annoying thing I get to deal with it.

But, despite all my anxiety, these were two great coaching lessons.  Yesterday was planned to be Fox Trot and today was Viennese Waltz but we finished up with the Fox Trot early enough yesterday that I got a little bonus Tango coaching as well.

This was really the first time with Kid T that I felt like I was being trained like a competitive dancer.  Most of the other coaching lessons we’ve had have focused on choreography.  He looked at the Fox Trot and the rough patches and made some very easy suggestions – like not over rotating a place where I wasn’t aware I was over rotating.  None of it was major stuff so it was all just some minor tweaks in positions but it just kept working.  Things felt so smooth.

But, it was more than that because he also was focusing on how to give me more volume as he called it. There were parts in the Tango and Viennese Waltz where I don’t really move much and he wanted me to be moving throughout rather than hitting a line and just staying in place while Kid T did something.  In the original Tango, we just started with an eight count into an explosion (OwnerGuy came up with that).  But he now wants us to start away, then I move into her and she checks off my chest and we explode out and then go into the rest of the routine.  Minor but it makes it more dramatic.  It was a lot of stuff like that.

He also helped fix something I wasn’t aware I was doing in the Viennese Waltz.  I have a tendency to get a little tentative because I don’t really want to drive through my partner so I’ll tend to take steps more outside partner than they need to be.  He noticed that and actually lead me through how it should work so I could feel it (that was great!!).  And then I did it with Kid T and we got a whole lot more speed and power and fluidity.

It was a lot of information and my brain is a bit mushy right now but it was the kind of coaching lesson where you just want to stay in the studio and keep working.  At the end of the lesson today, he actually said he sees progress in my dancing.  He made a comment that maybe I didn’t feel it but he could see it.  (Wonder if he’s a mind reader).  With other coaches, I might chalk this up to just being polite but he was honest with me that last time we worked together when I had stalled.  That was in the middle of the “troubles” with Z and we weren’t really working effectively together and I think he sensed that.  So I take him at his word when he says there’s been progress.

He also taught a master class on Fox Trot with the focus on swinging your body and using your upper body to move the lady.  And also about keeping the proper alignment which means you end up a little twisted at times but that’s what is supposed to happen.  Funny thing was that as we were getting ready for group class, New Girl was hanging around near me so she was in the perfect position when he told everyone to grab a partner and warm up.  That made her my primary partner for the night which was cool.  We actually ended up moving pretty well together so the steps he was giving really helped.

So, two great coaching lessons.  One take away I’ve got right now is that it really was just a lot of small little things.  I take that as a good sign because if I was royally screwing up a step, then there would have been lots of focus there.  I’m not finding the right analogy but it seems like a good thing to me.

OK, I’m out of words now.

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