Stuck in the Mud

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Before I get to the dancing stuff, a quick update on the snow last night. The good news is it didn’t stick to the roads so driving was easy and no shoveling was required. The bad news is that it was wet, heavy snow that came down at a very rapid rate and piled up on the trees. Two of my red buds have broken branches that now need to be removed. These trees are old and a bit gnarly so I always worry about losing them.

So I’m not in a good place with the dancing right now. We’ve started on the rhythm dances but, right now, this is just to get me back to where I was last year before the studio had to close and I had to change instructors. It is and endless source of frustration to have to go backwards when I want to move forward. And I get totally frustrated with not being able to just quickly pull out steps I used to know.

I do know I’ve slipped a bit on my note taking so I need to get back into that habit.

And I have to be honest, some of this is because of the instructor and her inexperience with the Silver stuff. It is hard to learn from someone who is learning right along with you. Plus she’s busy training for a competition. OwnerGuy was supposed to be there for us but he’s got some things to deal with and so he’s often distracted on the few lessons he can show up to.

Back in the fall, when I first started and we had OwnerGuy participating more often, things were better. And he tells us we just need more practice and everything will be fine. The problem is that if you don’t have full command of a step, then you could just end up practicing wrong and building bad habits. Which has happened. So when he does show up, it often means fixing the things we had screwed up.

It comes down to do you own the step or does the step own you. If all you know is the basic outline and maybe a little of the footwork, then the step owns you. It is the lead/follow and all the other body parts besides the feet that determine how well you own the step. Right now, I feel totally owned by the steps. I know I’m capable of doing better but I’m just not sure the set up is right to really get me there.

For example, we have a couple of fallaways in a few of the dances. To set it up, it requires getting into the proper position or it just feels like an open box. I’ve not totally mastered this yet because I don’t have the feel down yet. So it means PJ sometimes thinks its an open box and then we’re in the wrong position and things just break down. And then I get frustrated with myself and the whole situation and start wondering if I should really keep doing this.

Yesterday, OwnerGuy was out to teach us Cha-Cha. As he said (and says a lot), the first lesson was just to remind me of the steps and get the beginning of the patterns down. The lead/follow comes later. The problem is that if he now goes away for a week and comes back later, then we might have to go over the steps again and never progress beyond that.

I’ve already expressed my concerns once only to be told that they’d get me to where I want to be by Showcase. Well that increasingly seems unlikely or maybe we have a difference in opinion of what my goals really are. I guess I have to face the reality that I need to talk to him rather than just writing this down.

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