Practice, Performance or Who Gives a *

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When I was talking with OwnerGuy before handing over my credit card, he was talking about lessons being either in the Practice zone or the Performance zone.  And that you needed to know the difference.  In the practice zone, you were to acknowledge that you were there to learn and accept the inevitable mistakes without beating yourself up over them.   Performance zone are lessons before an event or other times when you just want to work on your routines and get them down.  I suppose you can still be given feedback in the performance zone but the focus is different.  He said you can’t spend too much time in the performance zone or it will drive you crazy.  (I’m feeling like I may already have covered this)

Today might have been a third zone.  The I don’t really give a damn and I just want to have some fun.  More on that later.

Yesterday, we did finish the Country Waltz we are doing for Showstoppers which is good since we are two weeks before that event which allows plenty of time to add some polish.  If I’m going to be honest (and why should I lie on my own blog), I’m not really impressed with this routine.  It is too basic and too easy.  Maybe I just picked a dance that is too easy and not enough of a challenge.  The biggest thing is that there isn’t supposed to be rise and fall in country waltz.  Although I remember doing rise and fall when I was doing this with the Statue.  Maybe the rules have changed as they often do.  So it has a weird feel in that it is waltz music but you are basically just walking.  Of course, since the choreography is easy, that gives Kid T time to start focusing on all the technique things that can be improved.  More on that later as well.

I’ve mentioned before that my drive to the studio is mostly highway and I’m going against the prevailing traffic flow so things generally move smoothly even when I have my lessons near the end of rush hour like today.  But there are times when traffic is snarled and I’ve got an exit that represents the point of no return.  I can bail out on the highway and take a local road where traffic moves rather well.  I rely on my Sirius radio for traffic and it isn’t the best.  Anyway, I had already been stuck in one slow spot and the estimated travel time to my destination kept fluctuating so I decided to bail out of the highway which turned out to be a mistake.  The local road was bumper to bumper for a stretch so my trip took about an hour which is long for me.  And the stop and go nature of the drive is tough on my knee.  So I had that going for me.

Yesterday, I also had my workout with TrainerGuy2.  He’s like some master at figuring out a way to work the maximum number of muscle groups in the 30 minutes we’ve got.  And, I swear he thinks I’m 30.  We ended the session with some wonderful reverse crunches and I’m lying on the mat deciding whether I really wanted to get up or if I could just take a little nap there.  He tells me that he wanted to challenge me.  Mission accomplished!  So, today, almost every direction I move my shoulders, there is some muscle that is a little sore and complaining about being asked to move.  Plus, he had me doing some kettle ball squats so my legs weren’t happy with me either.  So I also had that going for me.

I’m going to admit that I can be lazy at times.  It can be a pain to hold the frame and posture up where it needs to be and there are just times I don’t feel like doing it.  Yeah, that’s when I can act like a 3 year old.  You can’t make me!!  Maybe not that bad but when she dragged out the whole posture thing for the Country Waltz, I was mentally rolling my eyes because I just wasn’t in the mood to focus on technique.  Then, she gets on me about heels leads.  I think I’m taking heel leads but they aren’t obvious enough for her.  We end the routine with a pivot, and just because I was in a mood, I tried to do the pivot with all heel leads.  Yeah, it didn’t work so well and she’s on me about that.  So I just tossed it back at her and said “you told me it was all heel leads”.

I suppose I need to focus on being a better student but working on technique just can grate on me.  I have to be in the right mood and, if I’m not, it is going to be a struggle.  I did end up doing it more seriously later but I made her work a little bit for it.  I know, it is childish and a bit immature but I roll that sometimes.

Oh, and when we were having the heel lead discussion, she starts in on how these other students are going to be watching.  See, this is not the kind of argument to use on me.  I know they aren’t going to be looking at my feet when we do this at Showstoppers.  I know they are just going to be watching the general flow of the dance and not the technical parts.  She left it with not wanting them to pick up bad habits so that’s why I should be making more obvious heel leads.  Kind of felt like saying “I don’t want to be a role model” but I held that in.

Fortunately, we moved away from the Country Waltz and worked on revamping our closed Waltz routine.  Didn’t get all the way through.  The first step is the same but then she tossed in a new step that moves more and then changed the order and brought a step up to the third position.  In doing it, we can cover the long wall and the short wall and about 1/3 of the next long wall.  So it moves.  And I like that.  Smooth dances should move!  The old one started out moving but then kind of meandered in the center like a stalled out hurricane before moving down the floor.  The only bad part is we had a check to a develope in the old one and she tried to fit that after the in and out spirals but it wasn’t working because the alignments weren’t there.  I hope we can find a place for it because I that’s a step I like doing.  And I like it more because the last coach was talking about how to really do that step with compressing into it.  So I’d hate to lose it.

So it wasn’t really a lost lesson.  We did accomplish a lot but there were definitely times when my focus wasn’t there.

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