Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A Shine Filled La Rueda, and a Lesson in Leading

Photobucket Sunday brought more dancing! The Capitan and I decided to try our hand at another La Rueda lesson at Dance Connection. (For more detail on La Rueda, read about our first lesson.) I have the sneaking suspicion that she and I may be making some fairly regular appearance at this studio. We arrived and our instructor let us know that the couple that accompanied us for the last lesson would be arriving about half way through the hour. While we waited he asked if it would be ok to show us some Shines for Salsa, which we agreed would be fine.

Shines are steps that can be done in Salsa when your partner and you decide that you want to show off a little. They are done independently of the frame and some of them are quite complicated. The Capitan and I are not really at a point in our Salsa dancing where we feel comfortable in a Shine situation, but it's good to know because the two of us will get there someday. So we worked on some Shines, which I can pick up on... not as quick as I'd like, but then I never quite seem to be able to do much as quickly or as nicely as I want. I have worked on some Shines in RT's group class and at least one of the Shines we were shown on Sunday was VERY close to one I had done before and I kept doing a combination of both. There was a battle going on in my head, I was standing in the Dance Connection Studio, but the imagery in my head was that of RT's group class. Eventually all of me did show up to the same studio and then I started feeling pretty comfortable with the Shines we were working on. One is even going to begin making an appearance in my cubical at work. (I often practice small dance steps in my cube when work is slow.)

Our fellow La Rueda classmates arrived and we reviewed some of the basics and were learning a few new terms and steps. I asked our instructor where we could go out and actually do this fun social dance style, and the answer was basically Florida! Too bad there aren't any La Rueda clubs around. Well if I'm ever back in Florida I know what I'm looking up for evening activity. We did our best at a real La Rueda circle, but the numbers were one off... Three gals, two gents...which is ok... the odd woman out can practice the basic and still participate in the "group" calls. About 15 minutes before the end a guy in his 20's/30's showed up, apparently early for his lesson. Our instructor invited him to join our Rueda circle and we were off with a complete set! Our Rueda lesson ended and the instructor presented The Capitan and I with a great opportunity!

I guess this young man's dance partner was unable to make it to his lesson, so we were asked if we would like the play the part of his follow for his lesson. Heck The Capitan and I usually just grab a late lunch after La Rueda, so sure! I asked The Capitan if she wanted to dance, and she agreed. I was very interested in this lesson, it was the first time I had ever seen what it's like to teach someone how to lead. This guy really wasn't bad! He said he'd been taking lessons for about three months, and I was impressed with his library of turn patterns. He was also a fairly quick study with some new steps. So impressed was I that when the instructor asked me if I wanted a turn to be the follow I actually declined. I would have jumped in there if The Capitan wanted a break, but she was following so wonderfully and this was after all this young man's lesson, not ours... I was afraid that if I jumped in I would have required too much instruction myself and I didn't want to take away from a lesson that I wasn't paying for. I was honestly happy to watch the technique used to show someone how to lead. Someday I hope to learn how to lead myself, but I figure I'll get good at the traditional gender role of following first.

In two hours The Capitan and I learned three Shines, participated in some fun La Rueda, and helped a nice guy progress in his own dance education. That additional lesson was a great surprise! Also, The Capitan and I decided that if there is one single guy taking lessons at this studio...there are likely more... so we just may have to pick up Dr. Jem and hit a social party at Dance Connection. We are after all, always on a mission for guys whoPhotobucket

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