The Edge of Confidence

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(No, I have no real idea what that title means.  Some days, a title just comes to me.  Some days it really doesn’t.  This is one of those days)

If it’s Monday, then it must be Studio B night.  (That might have been a better title but it is a bit too long).  I got there as the beginner class was wrapping up so I watched a bit of that.  They were doing a step in Tango which requires a significant amount of rotation to make it work.  You have to start the rotation on the first step but the second step is really what makes it.  I was watching one couple and the guy just wasn’t getting what he needed.  Given that it was a large group class, there was only so much time the instructor could devote to each couple so there was nothing for this couple to do but keep trying.  I really just wanted to jump out of my seat and see what I could do to help but I know that wasn’t my place.  I also wanted to tell him not to give up and that this stuff takes time to learn.

See, I always so great at do as I say not as I do since most of those comments would have applied to my lesson.  But it also means I can feel the frustration when your body doesn’t cooperate and your mind can’t really figure out how to tell your body what it needs to do.  So that just makes me want to jump in and help and offer support.

As we progress in this dance, there are two major themes emerging.  Well, there have been other themes but it is like the boy trying to plug leaks in the dam.  Plug one and another springs up.  So you “fix” one thing and then there is another issue to focus on.  Trying to fix a new thing sometimes means you pull your finger out of a old hole and it starts leaking again.  But the big themes for tonight were contra-body movement and my second step.  There were too many places where I wasn’t pushing off my foot and I was shortening the second step which just set me up for failure and ruin.  The hardest parts were places where I needed to get around her on the first step so I was so focused on making that work and it meant that I just dropped my foot on the second step.  It remains a challenge and something I have to keep reminding myself to do.

The CBM stuff just feels like something I should already know but it is the difference in teaching philosophy at the Famous Franchise where they seem to focus more on other things.  But it starts some things cascading in my head.  So does a silver dancer at the Famous Franchise equal a Bronze dancer elsewhere.  Or is it because I’ve been doing American Fox Trot at the Famous Franchise and a lot of this is more International Fox Trot?  I don’t know.  But what I do know is that it starts to gnaw away at my confidence.  (Like that’s a shock – heck a strong wind can erode my confidence, that’s just how fragile it is at times).  No, it is like I think I should know all this stuff already given how long I’ve been doing this.  And I don’t so it must mean something.  Not sure what but it does make me less likely to want to do a comp – even a Famous Franchise one.  If I haven’t mastered a technique like CBM, then I really don’t belong on the floor at a comp.  I can stick to Showcases where that is less important.

On the plus side, I am learning new things and when they eventually become comfortable, then it will make me a better dancer.  The down side is it illustrates some gaps and you know I’m just going to zero in on those.

At the end of the day, this routine is coming together fairly well.  I will get to a point where I can do a reasonable facsimile of what I need to do.

Tomorrow I’m back to the Famous Franchise.  Don’t think I mentioned this before but it looks like OwnerGuy is going to be on our lesson.  He told me that last week before he told Kid T.  They really need to work on their communication.  I’ll see what he finds and what other gaps I need to close.


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