Pivot Power

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I didn’t do a post after my double lesson on Tuesday because I’m kind of in a strange situation.  It’s not that I don’t like the lessons and we did a lot of work but there just wasn’t really anything there to talk about.  Nothing really new or exciting or interesting.  Never the less, I will just turn on rambling mode and see what happens.

OwnerGuy was off being CoachGuy at another studio so it was just me and JoNY for the two lessons.  So the initial thought was that we would take a shot at working on some of the comments we received at the last Showcase.  The first lesson was rhythm and we went through Mambo, Cha-Cha and Rumba.

I remember when the one coach was here and she talked about moving my spine down the floor which seemed a bit odd but it seemed to mean committing to the steps and getting my head weight where it belonged.  But we kind of didn’t work on that.  Instead, JoNY picked out one random statement as something we could try to improve.  Again, it didn’t seem to fit with what the coach said who kind of gave me an overall theme to work towards.

So we tried to work more on forward poise and connection.  The problem for me when working on these subtle technical things is I often can’t feel the difference between my current state and the desired state.  So, when I get lucky enough to hit on what they are looking for, I can’t lock it in and repeat it.  Plus, I don’t know if JoNY was really picking up on anything because she wasn’t offering a lot of constructive feedback so most of the time I was just hoping things were going well.

The one thing that kind of bugged me was in the Mambo where they wanted my elbows closer to my body in certain parts.  I swear someone told me something different a long time ago but that stuff happens.  The real issue for me is that this is something pretty easy to notice and fix so why wasn’t it dealt with sooner.  I try to avoid thinking this way but it bugs me if I’ve been doing something “wrong” for a long time and nobody tells me how to do it “right”.  It would be one thing if it was something more technical but this is just the position of my arms in an double hand hold.  Not really rocket science.

But I know they do this a lot.  I run into this philosophy a lot at the Famous Franchise.  Today’s lesson is all about “X”.  Then I say but, wait, aren’t I doing “Y” incorrectly.  And I get told, we aren’t worried about “Y” today, we are worried about “X”.  I suppose it fits in some way.  I mean you can work on the roof until you have the walls and foundation.  I just want the whole package and I want it all right now.  Don’t have a lot of patience for the process.

And there’s that old saying “when the student is ready, the teacher appears” and they use some of that at the Famous Franchise as well.  I’ve heard something like “you weren’t ready” when people ask questions.  I guess that’s really the same thing as above – they build in layers and they make sure one layer is solid before getting deeply into the next.

Then we broke for group class which was Waltz.  Strangely, there were two guys and three ladies.  We’ve been better balanced of late but mostly because some of the more advanced guys are skipping group classes.  Well Z is doing this step and it is going OK but there are parts that still feel off and I made some joking comment about not having to do it again after group and JoNY tells me that step is in our Waltz routine.  I swear it felt like a totally different step but, after she said that, the switch flipped in my head and I finally recognized it.  Still, there were subtle differences between what Z was doing and what OwnerGuy had showed me.

Then I had the second lesson with JoNY and we switched to smooth and did Waltz and Tango.  Honestly, I can’t remember what the main working point was supposed to be in each dance.  I know the comments I got about Tango were about getting into the knees more.  Not going to get into my bad knees again but there is only so much of that I can do so we just kind of went through the Waltz and Tango for practice.

The Fox Trot was last and the wheels came off a bit.  There’s a pivot in there that is the bane of my existence.  But it is also highly frustrating for me.  Again, when you’ve dance with as many partners as I have, you done steps with multiple different people and when it works with one but not with another, I kind of have to wonder if I’m really the only cause of failure.  I’m pretty sure I could go through critiques I got with Kid T and find positive comments about my Fox Trot pivots.  So did I suddenly forget how to do them with JoNY.  Don’t really think so.  I mean this is a team sport and there is a part of the pivot she is supposed to drive and that’s where we lose energy.  I’m not saying it is all on her because it is a team.  But it just kind of sets me off when she starts trying to dissect what I’m doing when I’m thinking “have you thought about your part because that could be a part of the problem”.

I kind of assume that part of this is because a pivot really does require both people and it requires getting into each other’s space just a little bit.  Z always wanted thigh to thigh connection which may not be strictly necessary but that was her style.  And I just don’t think JoNY and I have reached a point where we are totally comfortable with each other so there is some pulling away from both of us.  I think that’s part of the reason why the pivots just fizzle out.

Not sure what we are doing tonight.  Probably more of the same.  Again, I think OwnerGuy is not going to be involved so we’ll see what happens.

Now to a different topic that is connected in a way.  I think I mentioned this but the guy I was working with on Tuesday has moved on.  They partnered me with another trainer but I guess they didn’t consider that her schedule was booked on Tuesday.  So we didn’t have a session on Tuesday.  Normally, I have a session with another trainer on Friday morning but I had a meeting moved from Thursday morning to Friday morning (I hate it when work interferes with my workout time).  I couldn’t get in touch with the second trainer but I did manage to have a session today with the one who can’t work on Tuesdays.  Hope that wasn’t too confusing.

Her style is a little different.  She seems to prefer doing work with dumbbells rather than with the TRX or kettle bell which is what the other guy did.  We did get to work on a couple of the machines as well today – that was the core stuff.  But, I digress.  Anyway, we are doing assorted things like bicep curls and tricep extensions with me sitting on a weight bench.  At one point she tells me I’ve got the best posture of anyone she’s worked with.  And still it isn’t good enough for the ballroom world.  I did find it interesting how the dance stuff impacts other things.  Reminds me of the scene in Shall We Dance when they guy sees Richard Gere in the bathroom after finding out that he’s been dancing and tells him that his posture was a dead giveaway.  OK, that may not be exactly how it went but that’s what jumped into my head.

Well that’s all I’ve got for now.  Ramble mode off.

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