Rest Day with Coaching Lesson

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Today is going to be a bit strange. I’ve got a coaching lesson scheduled at 12:15 so I’ll be in the studio at a very weird time and trying to get my mind wrapped around dancing at a different hour. My original plan for the day was to go to the gym this morning but my body was sending me some different signals so I decided to skip the workout.

I have good knee days and I have bad knee days. Things sometimes make the arthritis flair a bit more than usual and yesterday I was noticing that. I don’t know what I did on Wednesday but it seems something put a little extra stress on the knees and they didn’t like it.

Sometimes this is more real than you think.

I was doing some kind of single leg exercise on the TRX. It is probably close to a single leg deadlift (I knew I should have paid more attention when the trainers were telling me what I was doing). Basically, you stand on one leg with your hands in the TRX straps and hinge at the hip so your one leg goes out behind you while your upper body and arms lower with the support of the TRX. It works the legs and also helps with balance which is kind of important for dancing. Maybe it was just doing it two days in a row that was the problem. Or it might have been something else I added. We’ll see how things respond.

Plus there were other parts that were popping and cracking. I swear sometimes I sound like a bowl of rice crispies.

Last night’s lesson got moved so JoNY could work with Tex and the coach in my usual slot. He spends a lot more money at the studio than I do and money talks. Its just the way it is. So we moved our lesson to the normal group time. And it is nice that OwnerGuy has installed the curtain to divide the studio because the group classes were huge and we were able to work in relative quite and privacy. There was another student getting a coaching lesson but she was working on a rhythm dance so they basically stayed in one spot.

We spent almost the entire lesson on the West Coast Swing routine. Things were finally starting to click. It took doing it multiple times in a row and doing it slowly so I actually had time to think about what I was doing. The choreography isn’t especially difficult but there’s just a lot of fast action and it is easy to get confused and lose my place.

But I’m pretty convinced the learning in dancing helps to keep the mind young. I’ve read a couple of things about how keeping your brain engaged helps to delay some of the issues that happen as we age. That’s why dancing is so good for you. It is a physical and mental workout.

JoNY had also taken the song and slowed it way down so we could dance at a better speed while still trying to stay on beat and hearing the parts we needed to accent. I’ll admit that is still a blur because I’m still at a point of just focusing on the steps and the timing so I’m not really able to focus on the song itself to know when certain movements align with certain parts of the music.

After doing it slowly for a few times, JoNY was feeling adventurous and suggested we just try it to tempo. I mean, what’s the worst that can happen. Its not like we’re going to open up some rift in the time/space continuum. (Sorry got a little Star Trek on you). As it turns outs, working slowly was a big help because we actually managed to get through the thing twice to speed. Was it perfect? Of course not. I’m trying to learn not to expect that. The good news is that it proved it is doable and we have a lots of time to polish up the finished product before Showcase.

As I’ve said, my pop culture references are all from a different era.

Stayed for the party as well. Tex had skipped out after his double lesson but the coach stayed on the floor for a few dances and there were a couple of new instructors so the ratio worked out about right. I did sit out the swings just because it is a little bouncy and my knees weren’t in the mood for bouncing. The floor was super crowded which is a good thing for the studio but not a great thing for dancing. Lots of floorcraft required during the smooth dances.

I don’t know when the light bulb goes on for people when it comes to a social dance floor especially during the smooth dances. I mean I get part of it. You take lessons and you’ve got all these cool steps in your toolbox and the party is the chance to practice those. But doing a corner step in the middle of the floor isn’t always the best idea. And in a crowded floor, you may start something that is going to require you to cross the paths of multiple people. Plus, there is line of dance. I mean you expect some chaos but it should at least be organized chaos.

To be clear, I’m far from perfect and I was certainly there as well. I see these guys and they are basically laser focused on just the step they want to do and it doesn’t really register that there are other couples on the floor. Which is why I tend to stick to steps I know well and steps I can bend and shape as the floor demands. Eyes up and out – always scanning. And I don’t know how and when they actually teach that or if it just something you pick up gradually as you dance more and more. Just makes me curious, that’s all.

Well I am going to do a little exercise today. I think I can stick with the things the physical therapist wanted me to do. That’s at least something. Then, it will be off to dance and then a long weekend to enjoy what is always considered the end of summer.

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