Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Tango Lesson and a bit of Reflection...

Well dear readers tonight's lesson taught me a LOT. And to be honest it's a little tough to write about, but as has been my trend for the last several weeks, ya'll get to read about my trials and joys while I'm on this journey... Tonight's lesson falls in the category of "trial".

Working with the usual instructor again we decided to work on the newest addition to my dance resume... Tango! I was nearly immediately struck by how different instructors can be. Tango with my usual instructor feels COMPLETELY different than any other leader I've had for this dance (granted there aren't many, but I've managed the basic around the floor with a few others in my time.)

My instructor asks a lot more of me than others I've worked with, he calls me out on foot placement instantly, and is relentless until I show improvement... we don't get to do the actual dance until some much needed drilling has been accomplished.... then once in frame he doesn't let go until we basic our way around the floor several times... despite my crack ups and horrible mistakes....which make me embarrassed and generally will send me into hysterics because I'm angry at myself for letting him down (laughter often covers frustration during my lessons). I really only want to come up to par, and do him proud... While this lesson was full of that tough brutally honest, yet politically correct, criticism that I've come to appreciate from my instructor... I think I may have done ok...even by my own standards... Someday I'll make him as proud to be my instructor as I am to be his student, and he won't think all this hard work has been for naught... but until then we drill and drill again...

Ok...back to the lesson...Tango is VERY different from all the other smooth dances (ie: Waltz, Foxtrot, Quickstep etc..) it's much more dramatic and the movements are very staccato, not to forget that I've mentioned the lack of distance between leader and follower in the frame before. (just try walking backwards when someone is walking forwards with one leg between yours it's...interesting) The dance is just overall intense...which I love and hate all at the same time. (I suppose that's a great thing for Tango, maybe I'll channel it when I get more proficient at my steps.) So we worked a lot on the basic and the timing (which I admit isn't that difficult once you get it) I did feel myself slowly improving as the lesson progressed. My promenade still needs a lot of work.... My instructor kept telling me it was better (we have a standing rule that the word "perfect" is not allowed), but I wasn't very accepting of the praise... I KNOW when it feels right, and that was only almost it... I HAVE to work on toe releases and heel leads and keeping my knees bent and trying not to smile (I'm kinda smiley in general) and not turning my whole body out for the change to promenade position...Once again there's a lot more than one realizes to become even kinda good. This lesson was only fun because dancing on any level is fun, but this lesson was a lot of work too.

I have at least one more lesson on Thursday... I think I'm on the verge of something big with my dancing skills...Over the last month or so I really feel that I've hit a turning point... either that or I'm sniffing glue and it's all just a terrible illusion... but seriously... my single turns are getting better and I've even managed a couple of doubles in the faster dances...(on time and everything) and yes...even I have managed to spin or pivot pretty well while heading in an overly left like direction! (Something I've been struggling with since day one.) It seems that I'm picking up on new things a little quicker too... I don't want to loose the momentum...

SO...yeah the usual instructor gets me to think a lot... not only about my dancing, but why I'm dancing... I dance because I love it, I'm losing weight because I dance... I want all you non-dancing people to get out there and dance because you'll love it too...not because it's good for you, not because you're looking for the next big thing out there and want to catch the wave... You'll LOVE it for what it is... it's expression, and performance, and feelings, and music... it's more than words can describe... it's DANCE. All the rest are just perks that come along with it. Your perks may be more energy, maybe meeting all the new people, or getting to let loose on your competitive side and enter a competition, or even just the opportunity to get dressed up once in a while. There are millions of good things that come out of dancing... so much more than I could ever express.

As always... I'm counting the hours until my next time on the floor!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey Kat!
OMG... THANK YOU!! Your journal is so touching and inspiring! You're really brave to put your feelings "out there" for people like me to read. I've never thought about ballroom dance lessons, but do you know of any studio's in my area? I see your e-mail... I'll send you a note. Thank you again... I can't wait to continue reading!