Lesson One, Don’t Think. It Will Only Hurt the Dancing

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Borrowed and modified a quote from Bull Durham to fit this post.  Shall we just give it all away and say the rest of the week went really well.  I guess I just need to call myself out from time to time on the drama and self-defeating behavior.  The voices were still there but they weren’t as loud and I didn’t listen to them as much.

So we worked on the open Waltz and Tango routines first.  I was doing my little mental run through and then I told Kid T that I remembered about 80% of it because that’s just what I do.  But then we did the routine and I basically got all the way through it.  And the good part about that is that we could then stop and focus on a few of the rough parts and we actually put some concrete fixes to those parts.  I still have to remember to do them consistently.  At one point, after having gone through it a few times, Kid T turns to me with a big smile on her face and tells me “see how much better things go when you don’t think too much?”  Yeah, I think she enjoyed that moment.  Trust the body and not the mind.

Tango was almost the same story.  A few more glitches but nothing that required stopping in the middle to reset.  Again, we picked a few rough spots and attempted to smooth them out.  The next day we worked on the open Fox Trot and Bolero.  Fox Trot went very much like the Waltz and Tango.  Just allowing my body and muscle memory to do the bulk of the work and the routine came together.  The Bolero was a bit stickier and I started into my thinking mode again because I just couldn’t pull certain pieces from muscle memory.  But, I managed not to get too far into my head and didn’t listen to the little voices telling me I was never going to get this and it didn’t look anything like a Bolero.  OK, maybe I listened a little but I didn’t take them as seriously.

That leaves Mambo for next week.  Showcase is still three weeks away and I’m feeling much more secure about all the routines.  We’ll see what happens when we hit the two week panic zone which is coming up.

One of the days I was at the studio, I was there a little early for my lesson and it was just OwnerGuy and one of his students on the floor.  Kid T and NewestGirl (Warm Body??) were sitting at one of the little tables and rehearsing their lines for getting people to take more lessons.  Probably should have done this in a back room but there wasn’t anyone there but me and I’ve been hooked for years so maybe they figured it didn’t matter.  While there is some truth in what they were saying, it was still a sales pitch.  Yes, I know that the studio is a business and it stays in business by selling lessons but, it kind of shatters the magic just a bit to see them training in selling.  Kid T did try to convince me to take another couple of lessons leading up to Showcase but I turned her down.  Did compliment her on being willing to take more of me right in the middle of maximum panic where I’m pretty sure I’m a real pain to deal with.

Had a bonus lesson at Studio B tonight so I was dancing every night.  That Showcase is the weekend before the Famous Franchise but it is a much smaller event and we are only doing the two routines.  We started with the West Coast Swing and only devoted 15 minutes to it because we did two clean runs to music and sometimes you quit on top.  Gave us more time with the Salsa and it was well worth it since she was able to give me some better instruction on the intro where she comes in to basically sit on my leg and it made it much cleaner.  Then, she changed the ending so rather than a free roll in which was unpredictable, we make contact and I roll her in for a dip.  It was much easier and should be more reproducible.    And it looks pretty cool as well.  I know I’ve mentioned before how much I hate becoming a sweaty mess but, when it is because you were working hard and had a very successful lesson, it isn’t so bad.

Now, I just get to rest over the weekend.  Monday I’ve got my normal lesson at Studio B and then I get to head to the Famous Franchise for a coaching lesson later in the evening.  Two studios, one night.  Should be interesting.  As long as I remember not to think.


  1. You’ve posted so many great thoughts! I am working my way through this treasure trove. So far, I love it all and a lot of it I am nodding at or making mental notes for when I face myself feeling tested… Thank you for sharing so much for so long.

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