Dance Crossroads

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Last night was my first dance lesson in about three months. Life in the studio is a little different. They had drawn the curtain to partition the dance floor so one couple used the small side and there were two of us on the larger side.

The studio doesn’t require masks (except for group class). But if you are more comfortable with a mask, then your instructor will wear one. So one older couple was masked up. Mini wore a mask even though I was mask free but there are reasons why so it isn’t a problem. Our lesson was apart but the other couple on the floor took up frame a couple of times. So we’ll see how that goes.

Our focus was on Standard Waltz and going over what we had been working on before the ‘rona took over. For me, practicing without a partner is still not the same but it still turned out to be useful. I had to remind myself multiple times during the lesson that I need to have the proper posture even if I’m just doing this without a partner.

There are several steps that are a little tricky. We’ve got the two whisks where you need to be up on both balls of the feet. Holding that position and maintaining balance is a challenge for me. Even with the work I’ve been doing, I guess the ankles just aren’t there yet. Then, my mind gets into this pattern of thinking I need to be up all the time and I forget the whole rise and fall part of Waltz.

All in all, it was good to be back in the studio again. Even though I woke up at 3AM and needed to apply something to my aching knee. I did wear a hat to keep my hair under control. I’m still undecided on the whether to get a haircut now or hold out for another month when, if all goes well, the masks may go away for places like that.

Also, when I got to the studio, Z said we should talk. On the phone, OwnerGuy told me that she was willing to work with me on completing Silver III. Well she tells me that he told her I was considering working with her. Kind of feels like he may have set this up. And she wanted to talk about it which is good because I wasn’t going to jump right into it anyway. The problem is that I don’t do good in these type of situations – I need time to really develop my thoughts and what I want to say. So I said very little.

So, during the course of the conversation, she said a couple of things that struck a bad chord with me. One was about how she’d enjoy doing Bolero with me because I wouldn’t make her go as low as her other advanced students. It was meant as a joke. I realize that. I just didn’t find it funny. I mean I do what I can with the body I have and the limitations I have. But I give you all I can. If I was half-assing it out there, then I wouldn’t come back from dance lessons with aching knees. Again, I didn’t ask to be given the gift of arthritis. I would love to be able to lower more and push out of my right leg. But it just isn’t going to happen.

And, then I had another realization. Maybe I am just being a bit hyper sensitive to something that was meant as a joke. But it also tells me I’m just not at a point where I’m ready to deal with more of that. At the end of the day, our personalities just don’t mesh well enough to form an effective student/teacher relationship. It has nothing to do with her skill as a teacher. It is like coaches I’ve worked with. Sometimes it clicks and you get a very productive lesson. Other times, it doesn’t.

If you believe MBTI, there are 16 personality types. Some pairs are going to get along better than others. It is just the way of the world and not something you can easily fight against.

So where does that leave me? If I walked away right now, would I regret not completing Silver III? No I see that being the case. The levels just don’t have that type of importance to me. I can at least keep working on the standard dances. Maybe, in time, there will be an alternate solution and I’ll get back to the other dances. If not, then I’m still dancing and learning something new. I can live with that.

5 comments

  1. I don’t think you’re being hypersensitive about Z’s “jokes.” They’re insensitive and inappropriate. From reading your posts all these years, even back when you were dancing with her, it sounds like it is in her personality to tear people down in those tiny ways. I admit I used to tease people like that, and thankfully I became aware of how negative it was and made efforts to change. Of course, you’re under no obligation to help her see the light. Keep dancing with people whose company you actually enjoy. 😉

    1. To be honest, my brothers and I can be quite merciless to each other so I’m no angel when it comes to sarcastic remarks. But I’ve learned it doesn’t always translate well when you don’t have the family connection.

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