Just Like Starting Over

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Well, the first lesson of the new era is in the books.  How did it go?  More on that later, first a little business to attend to.

Since NewestGirl takes too long to type and stops being descriptive after a bit and because she may be playing a bigger part in this blog, it is time to give her a different name.  Sorry but the thing that flashes in my mind is the scene from Animal House (every guy my age has seen Animal House):

Me:  “Your FDW name will be JoNY”

Random person: “Why”

Me: “Why Not!”

I did some free association on her name and a few things popped into my head.  As with some other names, there are different layers here but I’m not going to explain them.  You’ll just have to trust me.

The first thing OwnerGuy has me do is dance the closed Cha-Cha with JoNY.  How did it feel?  Kind of like we were moving in mud.  Guess that is to be expected.  She doesn’t know the pattern as well as Kid T did and I’ve been conditioned to expect a certain response so I’m a little light on the lead in certain places.

And this seems to be OwnerGuy’s point.  He wants to focus more on my leading ability.  So we broke the whole thing down and he talked about places where I need to do things differently.  We do a change of places which I had turned into kind of like a roll in from hustle and it isn’t supposed to be like that.  I’m supposed to bring her in and then bounce her off me.  This theme came up in multiple places.

It echos what the last coach said when he briefly looked at our Cha-Cha which is that I need to do more leading with my body.  OwnerGuy referred to is as a common center and it is something we need to keep between us so it requires me to make a more conscious effort to keep facing her.  I kind of imagine this bright glowing ball of power that exists between us and the more we keep it between us, the brighter it glows and the more power and momentum we generate.  OK, I can’t help it, sometimes my mind just goes to these places.

The problem was is OwnerGuy kept hitting me with the “how does it feel” question.  Don’t get me wrong, that’s an important question.  But I’ve done the step a gazillion times with Kid T and once or twice with JoNY so my mind is comparing it to how it felt with Kid T and it doesn’t compare.  I guess it did make some of the steps flow a little better but the main feel is like a car stuck in low gear.

Is this going to work?  Here’s the thing with Pro/Am, you are dancing with your teacher which limits what she can see.  Mostly, she works on what she can feel.  Plus, while they make all teachers learn both parts, a guy is going to naturally do more leading and a lady is naturally going to do more following.  So a guy is probably going to have better advice about how to lead.  Plus, OwnerGuy has been dancing for a lot longer than Kid T and so he does have a level of experience that she didn’t.  And, because he’s watching and not actively participating, he can see more and correct more.  In the end, I think he can make me a better dancer and that is always my goal.

But, the FEELZ!  No, I didn’t expect too much out of the first lesson but the process of getting comfortable with a new partner isn’t always fun.  Look, Kid T and were really hitting on all cylinders and every dance was just smooth.  You know that I dance because I just love how it feels and it didn’t feel so good on that first lesson.  I do suspect it will get better but it is a bigger adjustment than I expected.

I realize I didn’t answer the question.  If I was just dancing with JoNY, the answer would be no.  I think this has a shot.  I’ll have to get used to OwnerGuy’s style and JoNY’s personality but it seems possible.

For the record, I skipped group and the studio party.  The male/female ratio was off and, without Kid T, there weren’t a lot of ladies to dance with.  I wasn’t ready to try dancing with JoNY at a party.  Sorry, but these things take time.

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