Thursday, January 3, 2008

This Week's Lessons... Thursday... Rumba

Alright! My kind of short week... two lessons back to back! Tonight's instructor is RT... who immediately suggests Rumba. Uh oh, I know what that means... It's going to be a technical lesson. Mainly because, he likes the whole break down of everything, and my Rumba technically SUCKS! :)

We open with some basic, and my being lectured for anticipating and not settling into my hips right... which he is COMPLETELY right to do, I don't fault him one bit. My problem is that for as badly as I want to do it right...that requires (for me anyway) to let go of nearly all my self consciousness and simply work on the step or motion at hand. This I find nearly impossible to do, it's one of those things from my old self that is hanging on and not allowing me to just let go and DANCE!

Anyway... all of this my being uncomfortable and everything makes me VERY defiant as a defense mechanism, but RT is used to this by now... I've told him before "You know, it's ok to tell me to shut up." Being the consummate professional he is, he NEVER takes advantage of that, instead he just kind of brushes past my protests and pushes on with the lesson. Tonight I called him on it... I said "You know I 'love' your version of 'Shut up Kat'." Well that went over like a lead balloon...but the lesson pressed on.

The first part of the lesson was really all about arm styling, ugh! I have to work on it more so it feels natural, sometimes it feels natural, then my mind tries to grasp at that tiny straw and bring myself into the dance... only problem is RT is just as excited as I am when I've shown improvement and breaks my concentration with a "That's right!" or "Yeah!"... which I appreciate, but I'm trying to convince myself that I can actually DO this... and my concentration is very easy to break at this point.

We ended the arm styling portion of the lesson, and RT started to lead me through something I didn't recognize. I said "Wait, I don't know this!" to which he replies "Yes you do, you did it yesterday with [Buddy]." ... Figures, I noticed RT didn't have a lesson, I failed to notice he was watching mine.... grrrr... I know how RT watches things, he rarely misses anything... and I can assure you that I wasn't hitting any of my finer points right on last night's lesson. ACK! Ok... so we go through the "Rumba grapevine" kind of step from last night... and my mind did end up remembering part of it... we go to the open break kind of thing and then come face to face and our hands meet... then we do it again...and RT's hand isn't there for mine to meet... ummm... ok... it doesn't ever take much... I'm lost again... he says "Put your hand on my chest." I was thinking I don't remember doing that yesterday... but I just said "Oh, ok so if your hand is not there then I put my hand on your chest... ok... OH WAIT! This is where I shoved [Buddy] yesterday! I remember now!" RT found the idea that I shoved Buddy when he wanted me to put my hand on his chest all Rumba like (aka "sexy like") endlessly funny. What I found funny is that once I knew where my hand was supposed to go, suddenly his hand never showed up there for mine to meet... so hand on the chest it was... it was tough to resist grabbing his tie and tugging... but he was being all serious teacher RT, so I refrained... I'd been giving him enough trouble with the mouthing back tonight anyway.

OK... as if the above wasn't "fun" enough... turns out my Cuban motion is ALL off... I don't wait before I settle into my next hip... what a surprise... RT says "I like Rumba to Bolero music for you, gives you lots of time to move." UGH! Again... No no no... slower music.... (as if a Rumba wasn't slow enough) Bolero is super slow... which means I need to slow my head down and REALLY focus on movements draw everything out... this requires MUCH more muscle control. And allows us to focus on the aspects of my figure and movements that I'm NOT comfortable with... I suppose though if anyone is going to get me through it it's RT... He's seen me through 108lbs and some crazy personal stuff... so away we go... Rumba to a Bolero beat...

Thankfully that didn't last long... it did however help RT figure out EXACTLY what I'm not doing right with my settling, and he commenced with my LEAST favorite part of the technical lesson... the drilling, it's not the drilling so much as the room full of people when I'm doing it. Tonight it was drilling on shifting weight on my feet FIRST, and not settling into the hip on that side... this is done by pushing off with the weighted foot, onto the other and not moving my hips AT ALL... until the shift is complete and THEN I get to kind of roll into my next hip. Now I'm all for drilling at home, and for all the seeming complaints that I do during my lesson I'm glad RT takes the time to put up with all of it and show me these. That however does NOT make it any easier to move my nonexistent hips, although...once I realized it was mostly ankles to start...and primarily knees after that... I think I'll get this thing.

Someday I'll be able to suck it all up and just put all the insecure BS aside and get it done in my lesson. (I can do it with so many other things, why not this?) As it stands right now I can do it there...but only if I put my head down and kind of move my mind to a different place... I have to see it happen in my head before I can get it to happen in real life. This weight shift, hip settle thing is TOUGH for me to see... I'm also trying to get the feeling down, I don't want to rely on mirrors to tell me if I've got something right. Oh well, looking forward to practicing that in my kitchen for the next several years. :)

The lesson ended with a brief discussion on my year's goals for dancing and the next 70 lbs, it was really more of a debate over what I can and will expect from myself... Sometimes it's tough to talk to someone who's never had to lose a pound about what actually has to happen for me to drop the next 70... But... it CAN be done! I just haven't finalized the plan.

There's going to be some tough roads ahead in all aspects of my life... but I think it's going to be a GREAT 2008!

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