No Check No Progress

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On Tuesday, OwnerGuy brought up the subject of a progress check.  I found out yesterday that he selected Waltz and Cha-Cha for the check so that’s what we were going to be working on.  To the outside world, a progress check is just another set of trained eyes at the studio watching you and giving some feedback and/or pointers.  How are you coming on your dancing?  What are the next things you should be working on?  All mostly harmless stuff.  I mean they are in the business of keeping you as a student so no instructor would come out and just tell you that you suck.  Right?????

So why would one fear something that will turn out to be mostly benign.  Well, first, there is the fact that I hate being judged unless I’m in performance mode.  I hate the whole – “go out and dance” and “show me what you’ve got”.  And it isn’t like I hate tests.  I used to ace tests left and right.  Never had an issue there.  This is somehow different.  Then again, I’m just a giant dancing ball of insecurities at this point.  I mean we’ve just gotten to the point where we’ve finished all the closed routines.  I’m still working on a connection with JoNY.  And what is the baseline for progress?  Shouldn’t I be better than I am right now?

And here’s the other big issue.  See, I guess the rules are that the progress check has to be done by someone who isn’t your regular instructor.  Must be to provide an “unbiased” look.  Well, do you see the problem??  OwnerGuy is my main instructor so who does that leave to do the progress check???  If you said Z, you are a winner.

Short interlude since I realize I blew away the cast of characters and much of the past history of this blog.  So let me explain.  No, there is too much.  Let me sum up.  Z was my instructor for many years and many competitions.  But our personalities were too different and we weren’t a good match.  It ended and it ended ugly.  We sort of talk every now and then but nothing serious.

Kind of like having a bad break up and then having that person give you dating advice.  Well maybe not but that seemed like an appropriate analogy.  So I guess this happens sometime next week.

Anyway, as for the lesson, the Cha-Cha was a bit rough.  There were new parts that OwnerGuy added on our last look at the Cha-Cha which we hadn’t really practiced.  I don’t think there were any major tweaks.  He just wants more leg action and we’ll come back to that point.

With the Waltz, he had to have more shaping so there were sections where he was getting me to change my head position to great the pretty shapes he wanted.  He gave me some stuff about leading – like the first step of the lady determines where she is going.  Which seems obvious but it kind of means you set up a step by where you finished the last so we had to work on that.  On the ladies check and pass, he made two changes.  First, he wants us to explode away from each other more after the first turn to create the stretch which helps momentum.  On the last part, she’s supposed to come around me and I was trying to progress down the floor and that wasn’t working so he told me to take my first step sideways and towards her which gives her room to do what she needs to do.

I mentioned my legs and I don’t know what the deal is but they just felt like lead.  For a smooth dance like Waltz it wasn’t much of a problem although it wasn’t moving as much as OwnerGuy wants.  But it was a struggle to do the Cha-Cha and the Swing I tried at party lately.  I did some bike work earlier in the day but that doesn’t seem like it would have worn things out.

Oh, and as you can see, I did stay for the group class and party.  For some reason, we had a severe imbalance with the ladies outnumbers the guys for the first time in forever.  So I danced with four of them but left about half way through the party because I was starting to become a mess and that’s when it is time to leave.

The studio has two new interns.  I’m not sure how long they will stick around but one of them got to teach the beginners group last night and OwnerGuy said it was time to bring them more into the studio.  See, when they get new instructors, they tend to keep them out of sight for some period of time as they complete some basic training.  So, unless you were there during the day, you’d never know that he had two in training.  New eyes are always funny.  One seemed to like how JoNY and I were moving our Mambo on Tuesday.  As I said, they are new and this is to be expected.

Just a random little note about something completely different.  Before the lesson, I heard a bird bounce off the window over our front door.  This happens a lot.  Think they start chasing insects and can’t stop.  Most of the time, they hit, bounce off and fly away.  Yesterday, this one stunned himself a bit because I walked by the front door and saw this bird just sitting on our front porch.  Had to get the bird app out because it wasn’t one I recognized.  Turned out to probably be a Yellow Billed Cuckoo.  They are insect eaters who don’t normally come to feeders so you don’t see them that often.  Well he hung out for about 30 minutes before he felt composed enough to fly off.  Its always better when they fly off because that doesn’t happen all the time.

OK, the weekend’s here!  Talk at you later.


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