Do You See What I See

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Last night, I thought my coaching lesson was at my normal lesson time and then I got there and saw that it was after the master class.   Then I wondered if my normal lesson had been cancelled and moved to the coaching lesson.  So then I had a minor flush of panic until my app told me we still had a lesson scheduled at our normal time.  The coaching lesson was just a bonus.

I wish I could tell you that the regular lesson went well.  Of course, I could always tell you that even if it wasn’t true.  How would you ever check?  There were some positives if I try to see the lesson as half full.  Some of the back twinkles in the Fox Trot finally started making sense and became doable.  Actually, everything was going much better than I expected so it really only fell apart at the very end.  But, when it broke, it shattered into a million pieces.

Can’t really explain it because its lost in a bit of a fog but it was one of the last steps in the Waltz.  After spending most of the lesson telling me that she wasn’t worried about alignment yet because I needed to get the footwork down and telling me that I shouldn’t be worried about alignment, she jumped on me about alignment right at the end of the lesson.  WTF??  Jumped on me is an overstatement since she’s too nice for that.

Now, I could have taken a correction but she starts in on telling me how the step was supposed to move and, I swear to you, it had moved in exactly the way she told me to move it.  In other words, I had no idea what the hell she was talking about.  How do you fix a move when you can’t see a difference between how you did the move and how you were supposed to do the move??  And I mean really can’t see a difference.  I kind of lost it just a bit because I thought I had done it exactly how she was now telling me I needed to do it.  Shall we say the lesson did not end on a positive note.

So then I get to the Master Class which was all Swing all the time.  The problem was she was laser focused on technique and the triples and how to rotate your body while you are doing them.  And how to do some arm styling so your free arm isn’t dangling at you side.  All stuff designed to make the dance more visually appealing and swing like.  But, too much repetitive motion and triples and my knee just started objecting.  It got so bad that I had to walk off the class because I just couldn’t take it anymore.  So I’m on the couch trying to massage my knee through my compression sleeve hoping it would help and generally wanting to bang my head against the wall for doing something like that.

Yeah, shall we say I was not in the best place mentally or physically when the coaching lesson started.  And you would think that would be a recipe for disaster but …. you’d be wrong!

The coaching lesson went much better than I expected.  We started with Fox Trot and ran through the routine once for her.  Then she dug in to fix things.  Turns out that the back twinkles were rotating way too much.  She told me I was working too hard and that I needed to limit the amount of rotation.  There was another step where that was also an issue and she fixed that.  In our shadow hover cross, she gave me a new hold where I get Kid T by both upper arms while keeping a very strong and spread frame.  This way, I can easily move her from side to side.  The last time we did it all the way through which is one of the few times I had been able to do that with that routine.

The waltz took a lot more work.  She changed the order of the steps and the opening to move a step that goes on a long wall to the beginning and then moving the spiral turns so they happened in a corner.  Then, she also changed the step come out of that so instead of trying to pick her up with a forward step into a twinkle, I do a back step and get her as she comes to me.  Subtle but much easier to do.  Like the Fox Trot, the Waltz was feeling 1000% better after the coaching.

Not that I want to find the grey cloud in this silver lining but I also have to be honest about the situation.  It took the second pair of eyes to find and correct things and she even said that was common because your instructor has a hard time seeing the picture if they are dancing with you.  And that is certainly part of it but there is more.  Not to take anything away from Kid T but she doesn’t have a lot of experience choreographing advanced steps like this.  I think there was a large part of this that was her just trying to make something work to fit her vision and I think she got a little case of tunnel vision and was too wedded to having certain steps in certain places.

But, we get one coach a month – tops.  That’s a long time to go between having a second set of eyes looking at what you are doing and making the necessary course corrections.  I really need the progress checks that are supposed to be a part of the Famous Franchise experience but I’m not getting them because OwnerGuy is just too busy with the studio and with his students so he rarely has any free time.

So that’s where we stand.  I go back tonight to see if we can remember what the coach said and get the routines into the order she wants them.


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