If I Close My Eyes Forever

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Or, how I discovered a new way to learn.

So, yesterday was kind of a brutal lesson.  Or, maybe I should say it just had brutal parts.  Kid T was trying to teach me a waltz step but it involved me doing a spiral and a turn and basically changing places with her.  But I couldn’t visualize how I was going to get around her and I kept asking her to explain it because I couldn’t see how the pieces fit together.  There was nobody available to help demo so she tried a few times and she tried to back lead me through it and we tried doing it slow but nothing was working.

And, I had forgotten to tell myself that it was OK to make mistakes so I was getting super frustrated.  Enough so I was actually raising my voice which is unusual for me but she kept saying things that made no sense to me.  At one point she starts in on if I can’t do it, then we can drop it which is the worst thing to say to me.  I held it in but what I really wanted to say was “I can do it!  I just need you to teach me how to do it!!”   Cause what she was doing wasn’t working.

Finally, she started going through it again and was showing me the footwork and I said “I know the footwork, I just can’t figure out how to make the arms work.”  Then, I got a brief flash of insight and told her I was just going to do it with my eyes closed so I wouldn’t get distracted by where she was.  After all, I couldn’t worry about running into her if I couldn’t see her.  Worked like a charm.  The first time was a little rough because my arm was in an awkward position but when I opened my eyes, I saw I just needed to lower it.  So we did it again (with my eyes closed) and this time it went off without a hitch.

I couldn’t find a good copy of the clip but I felt like Luke Skywalker in the first Star Wars where Obi-Wan puts the helmet on his head and he manages to deflect the things coming out of the training orb.  I did watch that scene again just to remind myself and Obi-Wan’s message to Luke was “Your eyes can deceive you, don’t trust them.”  Yes!  Trust your feelings and all that.  But it worked.  That’s all that matters.

What I hate about steps like that is that they are never as complicated as they seem as they are being explained.  So you get it and then I’m like “what was I so stressed out about?”

Oh and then we had another fun moment later on when she was teaching me another part of that step and I asked her about my part because she had done it two different ways in showing me and she went to OwnerGuy to ask him if he could come off his lesson just to show her the step.  Now, I know this is an inconvenience to the couple who was on the lesson, but I’ve also seen OwnerGuy and Z do this on there lessons when they’ll call the other one over to demo something.  But OwnerGuy starts whining and complaining about being asked to do it.  He eventually did it but didn’t seem happy about the imposition.  So I was a little pissed about that.  Yesterday, Kid T got stuck on her lesson before mine since the couple had a million questions and we got started 15 minutes late.  I was all accommodating because that’s just who I am and because we are all in this together.  And he couldn’t spare a minute of his time to help me through something.  This after being all “I’ll help you get ready” when he wanted me to sign up to do country dances at the Big Dance Event.  Yeah, like I believe that promise now.

Sorry, that seems a little petty to be that pissed off about a small thing.  I can be a little overly sensitive at times.

Next week, we get to demo the Country Waltz.  I’m having trouble with this dance.  Not the steps or the timing because I can do the dance.  I just can’t feel it.  It doesn’t really speak to me.  I know this is going to sound a little crazy but I need to let this out.  I’ve said this before but one reason I really enjoy dancing is that each dance has it’s own feel and that by doing multiple dances you get to experience a range of emotions and feelings.  Country songs can be a little too schmaltzy (even for me) but the one we’ve picked doesn’t have that feel.  But the dance doesn’t really fit the feeling.  Maybe it is the lack of rise and fall, I don’t know what’s missing.  Maybe it is supposed to be stoic cowboys who repress all their feelings.  Like I said, this doesn’t make any sense but there is something missing.  I did a Country Waltz many years ago with The Statue and I could get caught up in the emotion of the song.  This one, not so much.

I have my thoughts on this.  Again, this is going to sound crazy but I’ve already started down this path so why stop the crazy train.  With Kid T, it seems like she only really gets into things when there is some darkness or quirkiness to the song.  I felt something from her in the Peabody and Viennese Waltz routines.  With Peabody, she loves the dance, so that helped as well and the Viennese Waltz was by a singer she really loves from a movie she enjoyed so I could tell she was into it.  I’m not getting that sense here.  It is like she’s just there to teach a dance so we can do it for Showstoppers with no real connection to the song or to me.

At the end of the day, we’ll do the dance and it will be good.  But I find more satisfaction when I can really lose myself in the music and dance.  Haven’t been able to do that here.  (Does any of that make any sense?)

Well let’s just end this with a little musical number.


One comment

  1. Wall – I can relate to your pique re Owner Guy getting pissy about helping you out. I, too, have been subjected to simply awful customer service at my studio. What with the $$ we drop at the F.F., I think we have every right to expect better. But, that’s not how it is, and I’m sure students at other dance organizations have similar experiences. Feels lousy, though.

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