Two minor follow up from my last random notes. First, the cold is actually better today. Maybe it was the Zicam, maybe it wasn’t. Still going to keep taking it for a bit because I’m not 100% but at least I don’t sound as congested as I did. Secondly, I’m typing this on my new keyboard. The wax encrusted one is gone. The keys don’t randomly stick but it will take a little getting used to.
Monday was a good day. We worked with the coach again for the first 30 minutes. He finished up the Tango choreography. When I got there, he and Mindy were going over it and I watched for a bit and then we tried to get through it. It starts with us in kind of a lunge (he called it a chair) and then we change weight to the back foot and I’m supposed to look back over my shoulder at the audience but not move any other parts of my body. We do that twice and then I let her out and we end up side by side. There is a little step through and a check back and we end up facing each other in a double hand hold.
Then we do a step I only know from Waltz where we do a crossover like but we are more turned away from each other. Then we come back face to face and repeat the process. He suggested we could rotate that so it didn’t look so flat and that worked out. Then I come around her and we do these points and things where I’m supposed to rotate my frame out and then in while keeping my head in place. When I move my left arm out, I point my right foot and then when it rotates in, I point my left foot. The back half was easier to do than the front half. Then we do a little swing and end with her rolling into me.
None of it is super complicated but the trick for me is adding in all the little flourishes I was seeing him do. Head changes and shapes and things that added some levels to the dance. He said something interesting which is that he kept the ending a little simpler because we’ve already done a lot and when we do it at Showcase, we’ll be tired towards the end so keeping it simpler will help. Small thing but it makes a lot of sense. Again, working with this guy has really been good. He knows his stuff and he’s good at breaking it down and his enthusiasm is just off the charts but not over the top. I’m looking forward to how these routines turn out.
Wish I could say things at the Famous Franchise went better than last week but they actually went worse. Ever just totally blank on something? I started the Rumba like I always do and shortly after we started, I just couldn’t remember any of the new stuff. I mean nothing. I tried to pull it out of memory but I had some serious faulty and corrupted sectors. Then, when Kid T is trying to show me what we were supposed to do, it felt wrong and alien like something I’ve never done before.
It was kind of hard to stay motivated because it just frustrated the heck out of me. And then the more you try to dig something out of memory, the harder it becomes. Then, I go to overthinking and hypercritical mode and nothing feels right. Its the whole failure cascade. One thing goes wrong, then another and then another and then you are standing on floor wondering what the hell you are doing there and wanting to do nothing more than just run screaming from the studio. (Maybe not screaming but its close)
And I have to give Kid T a lot of credit here. She stays calm and patient and deals with my total frustration and tries to stop me from retreating into a hole in my mind and just beating myself up for not remembering the stupid routine. We skipped the part I totally blanked on and just went forward until she found something that struck a chord in some part of my memory. Then, we worked that and worked the steps just around it and they came back and so on. By the end of the lesson, I had managed to do the entire thing and it was feeling right again. Of course, I was then spending time beating myself up just a bit for getting so frustrated in the first place.
She does keep reminding me that I’ve done how many Showcases and how many solos and if I can make it through those, then this little check out is really nothing. I have no real counter to that although it doesn’t stop me from trying to think of one. At the end of the lesson, I looked at the actual steps they expect me to know to check out of Silver II and they mostly aren’t the places I’m getting stuck. And I know that the Famous Franchise isn’t really going to hold me back and make me repeat Silver II. On the other hand, I don’t really want a pity pass. For it to mean something, I have to feel I’ve earned it. On the other hand, I also can’t set expectations so high that I can never truly “earn” it.
Seriously, it is just a couple hours out of my life on a Saturday afternoon. Maybe I just need to stop making such a big deal out of it.
Off to another lesson today. Rumba again but also Swing and Cha-Cha.