I’m going to say that my mind was kind of blown last night. This was really the first lesson I’ve had with the instructor who needs to be named. Our previous lessons were more around getting the Quickstep into shape for Showstoppers. Then we had the coaching lesson. And then we had Christmas break.
It is actually hard to describe the lesson in words but I only have words so I shall try. It is hitting me right between the two halves of my personality. In describing certain things with dance, it is all about getting your body to do things that maybe it has never done before. And so the first response for me tends to be the analytical over thinker who needs to have it broken into details but, even then, feels that it isn’t possible to do. That part of me just runs down the list of all the body parts that are sub optimal and concludes that I certainly can’t do what is asked.
But she was very much like the one coach I had who wouldn’t give details but just said go try it. There was a lot of metaphorical talk about growth and transitions. Flowers and butterflies. Review of the ponds and lakes that the coach used. And there was some hard science (physics). Talk of breathing and doing that through various parts of your body. As a concept, it was about the energy needed and allowing that energy to flow and grow.
So one half of my mind was being analytical and thinking that this was kind of new age junk. But the other part of my mind was more intrigued. Like there’s this next plane of dancing but you kind of have to undergo your own transformation to get there. A world where you can stretch farther than you thought and control this magical energy to just make the moves flow and breathe.
At the end of the lesson, she called this “Dance Magic”. Since I can find magic in a lot of things, this again appealed to the more artistic side of me. It is like I need to shut down the analytical part of me and just give myself over to other side. Embrace the magic and see where it takes me. (Can’t believe I just said that). But these are types of thoughts and feelings that the lesson evoked in me.
So the entire lesson was just the first wall of the Quickstep and trying to figure out how to make it live and breathe more. The trickiest part being the natural spin turn where the energy needs to transition from the left side to the right side and then back to the left side. But, at some point, there needs to be opposition and that’s where the head comes in. That’s the hard science physics part underneath the magical energy in the elbows. (Don’t worry if it doesn’t make sense, I’m still trying to figure it out myself)
Was I dancing better by the end of the lesson? I don’t know. She said things felt better.
Random interjection here but it will be relevant. We have a new male instructor. Young guy who also competes in Standard so he’s learning the Famous Franchise way. I guess my instructor sort of recruited him so he knows her best. Anyway, he was at the DJ booth watching our lesson the entire time. At various points, he also flashed a thumbs up sign so perhaps I was doing something right. If this guy hangs around, he will also need a name.
At the very end of the lesson, he asked if we wanted a Quickstep. She said “of course we do” and then got on me for my lack of enthusiasm. To be fair, I was kind of worn out but it was good to end just doing it one last time. We will have to work on some understanding because I tend to be more low key so you won’t see me jumping for joy a lot of times. I can be enthused on the inside but I’ll come across more blase on the outside.
So let us just leave it at the next several months will be interesting.
I decided to go ahead and attend the group class since it was right before my lesson and I would get grief if I missed it. Besides if I attend a certain number of group classes, I’ll get a fabulous prize. I mean I’m already at the studio three nights a week so I might as well take advantage of it.
I said they are doing things a little differently this year. Wednesday groups are themed as well. It is supposed to be lead/follow but they decided to give us a Swing amalgamation. We’ll spend the first two weeks learning it and then the last two weeks working on some lead/follow for various parts.
They did divide the group into lower and upper Bronze but the ultimate goal is to bring everyone together. Since I’m in Silver, I knew all the steps in the pattern which was an advantage. I’m curious to see what happens when we get to the lead/follow stuff because most of the ladies I was dancing with were still doing their own thing. Which is likely because most of the guys who were leading weren’t really doing that.
So it was a weirdly unique lesson last night. I’m still processing all of it but the more I think about it, the more I liked it. May not have shown during the lesson but I need time to absorb certain things. And I’ll wrap it up here.