Mambo all the Time

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So I got to the studio a little early (that tends to be my way) and I was scoping out the coach since he was on a lesson with Z and England Dan.  Got a pretty good vibe just watching them.  He was supportive and instructive and not over the top.

The other thing I noticed about him was how he was dressed.  It was well put together and unique but not in a real flashy kind of way.  I’m finding that I’m drawn more towards people who aren’t afraid to be individuals.  The more off beat and eclectic you are, the more I’m interested.

But it wasn’t phony at all.  I just got the sense that he dressed for him without really caring what other people think.  It was sharp and it drew attention but I know people who dress for attention and that wasn’t what he was doing.  There was a realness there.

He was clearly an extrovert but not a loud overbearing type.  Basically, the overall thing was that he was truly comfortable with who he was and that was the vibe that came through.  I’ve had teachers where there was a level of insecurity so they tried to over compensate.  This guy was just real and down to earth.  That the only way to describe him.  And, that just made it instantly click for me.

I still had the nerves when we had to do the Mambo for him.  I still hate the “show me what you’ve got” phase of a coaching lesson.  I just hope I don’t screw something up.  And that didn’t happen here.  He actually said he liked a lot of what we had and then he just got to work looking at each part and making minor tweaks.  Not a lot of choreography change but some subtle changes in my technique to make certain things easier.

And it was all stuff I knew but I just wasn’t aware I wasn’t doing it.  And Kid T is too close to see what I’m doing or not doing so having a new pair of eyes was great because he could just zero in on things that didn’t look right.  There is the telemark which has taunted me ever since OwnerGuy introduced it.  Turns out that what I was doing was turning my left side but not bring my right side along for the ride and Kid T was in my right so I was leaving her behind and that made it hard to get around.  Once he told me I was doing that and I focused on moving my arms in tandem, the thing just happened naturally.  I must have had this look of stunned amazement on my face because he was watching and made a comment about it because it was so clear that I got it and could feel the difference.  Here is this step that has been bedeviling me for six weeks and he fixes it in 30 seconds.  (As I sit here writing this, I realize that if OwnerGuy held up his end of the bargain and actually gave me my progress checks, then maybe he would have noticed and fixed it).

There were several other places where the same thing happened.  And he was also working on creating the right lines.  There was one section where he wanted a point from me and I gave him one and then he said “now give me the beautiful one you did earlier”.  I kind of looked at him like “huh” and he just showed me that he wanted the leg fully extended which I didn’t realize I wasn’t doing.  Another easy fix.   Several times during the lesson he looks at me and says “your holding out on me”.  It was all in fun because I would suddenly hit the line the way he wanted which meant I could do it but I just wasn’t aware I wasn’t doing it before.  You don’t know what you don’t know.

It was really one of the best coaching lessons I’ve had there at the Famous Franchise.  And there was a meta message to take home as well.  All he was doing was some simple little adjustments.  There was nothing major.  There were no comments on my timing other than to say it was good.  No real comments on posture.  In other words, there is a solid foundation there and all we are really doing is adding the decorative trim to make the thing look that much better.  It is nice to walk off a coaching lesson feeling like you’ve really learned something but also not feeling like a complete failure.

Tomorrow we have a lesson and then we demo the Mambo at the party.  I know I won’t be able to do everything he suggested because it isn’t in muscle memory yet.  But there are parts I can focus on.  Going to put on a good show tomorrow!


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