Had my physical therapy session yesterday and there was some small progress in my shoulder range of motion. He added another strengthening exercise which gives me five to do and all five use a different resistant band. I do think the shoulder feels a bit more stable but we still have a lot of work to do to get back to where it was.
Then I came home and decided to do some calf raises and some balance work which probably wasn’t the smartest idea because I had my double lesson day as well. Some day I’ll be smart enough to do that stuff on the days I don’t have two dance lessons. The good news about not having to work is that I have time to do the home exercises for physical therapy. I’m actually doing more than he asked for because I’m such an overachiever!
As much as I love summer, I’m not the biggest fan of taking dance lessons when it is hot and humid outside. I suppose it is cost prohibitive to turn down the AC to the point where it actually does something and it seems like it never takes the humidity out of the air. They do have ceiling fans in the studio but it only helps if you are directly under them. So once I start to get hot, it is basically impossible to cool back down and that part of taking lessons sucks.
Of course we started with Mambo and Swing so you get in and do two fast dances and it is game over. Mambo we had touched on briefly last week so it came back quickly. Swing took a little longer but the good news is that the time to pull the moves out of memory is getting shorter. The beginning part of the swing is starting to feel good. We do this step where I come in like a whip but I catch her other arm and take two steps away so we create this negative connection. Then, I do a triple around her to get her into frame and then we start the routine with another triple so it develops a lot of momentum which is fun. I was worried about the banana split because I’m supposed to get both arms up and raising my left arm has been problematic with the shoulder but it didn’t cause any major pain which is a good thing.
We still haven’t figured out the shoulder thing just yet. I suppose it would take some kind of MRI or whatever they use for soft tissue stuff to really know what is going in there. Eventually, that might become necessary but I’m only limited in a couple of weird ways so I’m not sure it is worth it right now. The physical therapist does suspect an impingement of some kind related to a rotator cuff thing. He’s shown me models of the shoulder and where the tendons are and how they can be pinched by the bone. There is also one muscle in my upper arm which may be trying to compensate for the shoulder stuff and getting overworked and stressed which may be why I’m feeling pain in a certain spot when I do certain things.
But back to dancing. We ended with bolero and then I got a break to go to group class which was a Waltz step that DH had done in a group about a month or so ago. They must not take notes because when OwnerGuy opened the Waltz Syllabus, he picked this same step. It actually ends up looking cool. It started with half an open box to a hinge which isn’t much but it gives opportunities for shapy shapes. Then, the fancy part is a spiral turn where the man comes around the lady but gives her a turn while he’s doing that so she ends up in a sweetheart hold on his left side. You then do a passing twinkle to put her back on the right side and it ends with a chasse.
The spiral turn part is what looks cool and flowy like Waltz is supposed to look. Because it also involved my left arm going over my head, I was feeling some small tweaks in the shoulder but nothing that was doing any real damage. This is a good thing because if the shoulder were to limit my dancing in anyway, that would be a major problem. The passing twinkle part felt awkward and I’m sure there was some little lead/follow trick that OwnerGuy didn’t go into because that was the last part of the step and we didn’t get to it until the end of group class. And its group class and you aren’t going to get everything. I get the impression that a lot of people may see Waltz as kind of a boring, old fashioned dance but I do love the way it feels.
On the second lesson, we breezed through the Bolero and then JoNY wanted to work some more on the Argentine Tango. We have our routine but we also put a little pattern together to do in the open heats at the next Showcase. And it was also an opportunity to work more on technique and other finer points of the dance. And this is where dancing in a hot weather gets a little more uncomfortable since Argentine Tango requires a closer hold than a lot of other dances. We finished the lesson with Fox Trot since there is a part after an explosion into some shadow open naturals that has been tricky for us because I need to get a hold of her rib cage. It is still not a totally smooth transition but it is getting better. Oh, she mentioned getting more ankle rise in the Bolero and that’s where I was cursing the balance stuff I had done earlier.
Had my annual eye exam today – rapid change of subject. I always feel like such a failure when they pop that first chart up and ask you to read something. I used to have such great vision but you get old and it goes. This was the first time the doc mentioned the possibility of getting bifocals with some distance correction. He said my distance vision is almost perfect but almost perfect isn’t perfect! In the end, I opted to just go for another pair of computer bifocals which allows me to see the computer screen a little better but isn’t intended for true distance vision. See when it is just reading glasses or computer glasses, I can justify not wearing glasses all the time. If I need distance correction, then I’d probably have to wear them all the time. Yeah, not ready for that yet.
And you get the fun numbing drops so they can do the eye pressure test and the dilation drops which make you feel like a vampire walking out in the sun. They have those roll up sunglasses and I also had my own sunglasses so I used the roll up ones underneath. Like some kind of creature with multiple eyelids. Fortunately, it was kind of cloudy. They tell you that you are OK to drive with dilated eyes except for the Gizmo effect.
Another lesson tomorrow and more physical therapy. I’m still pretty busy for not working although it would be nice if my days weren’t filled up with health related things.
I’ve been testing out one of these for the last two weeks:
So far what I’ve found is that the device does seem to make a difference keeping me cool when I use it during my lessons. It’s also super helpful if I put it on after I finish working out and use it to normalize my body temperature. It doesn’t work quite as well at keeping my body temperature down when I do sustained physical activity, like if I am at a dance party where I don’t sit out a whole lot.
It might be an option that would help you out in the studio if they don’t like turning the AC down to a level that is comfortable for you.