Saturday, May 17, 2008

Last Week's Lesson: Learning Control and RT's Observances

Before I begin on last week's lesson, I would like to take a moment to remind my readers that I write everything from my individual point of view. I do not consult RT, Captain, Jem, or anyone else about what I write. It is factual in the way that all these events did actually happen, but I am only able to present them from my side of the story.

PhotobucketLast week's lesson was total craziness! I came rolling in from an appointment, I was almost running late! I have clothes in hand to change into and I brush past RT who was teaching one of his couples. He stops me to ask me how it went... I try and push past him to the changing room because I only have a few minutes and he's in the middle of his lesson. He won't let me pass until I tell him the appointment went well. I thought it very sweet of him to be concerned with my life off the dance floor.

Once changed and back up front, RT picks me up for my lesson and we walk to the music machine where he selects a Cha Cha. My appointment had me totally in mixed up, anytime my usual schedule is interrupted by something like that it takes me a second to regroup. The first part of the Cha Cha was pretty bad, I was actually stepping on my own feet! After a bit, I was recovering and we started working on a step known in some circles as the Turkish Towel (the name FADS calls it escapes me at the moment). This step involves the follow going behind the lead and peaking out on one side, then the other and ending in a rotation stepping backwards. Anyway, we work and work especially on the ending. I was getting a little worn out, but I push forward. I wasn't winded, but I think it was just my reaction to the day. After showing some good improvement we journey over to the music machine and I pull a surprise by sitting on the bench.
"What's that? What are you doing??" says a shocked RT.

"Ah! I'm getting tired!" I stand up "Ok, I'm over it, lets go!"

RT selects another round of music and we're off... we take our place on the floor and he's looking at me...
"Look at you!" he proudly states.
"What?" I have no idea what he's talking about.
He pats both of my upper arms firmly and states "Look at you! You used to be out here!" as he moves one his hands from my arm out about a foot.
I look at his removed hand, "Well, I was never quite out THERE!"
"No, seriously, you're like (he searches for a word) like normal size now!"
I throw him a look that tells him he's crazy "Normal??"
He thinks about it, and gets an apologetic look on his face while trying to search for another word to use. I know what he means, and I know with three active fluent languages running around in his head it's tough to think of the right one.
As he's fumbling over his wording I tell him "I understand what you mean, and thank you, but 'normal' maybe isn't the right way to say it." Who are we kidding... I had a huge smile on my face!
He selects another Cha Cha, now our third, and we're really cruising through this dance! RT is leading every step I know. At one point another instructor (one of my biggest supporters, she's so sweet!) actually stops with her student to watch. At that point RT accidentally brushes my head with his arm during a pass. He says sorry, I remind him that my head has always been in the same spot, but hey it happens! That Cha Cha over he wants to work on the swings.

But before that, he's not done explaining his sudden realization of how much smaller I am than when we started. He whips me around into a cuddle hold. "Look! When you started I couldn't get my arms around you, now look!" (he moves our hands that are linked in front up and down) "We have all this space now! We never had that before!"

I'm totally shocked! Where did all this come from? What prompted him to point out all my physical changes during this lesson? He then asks "How much this week?"

"Two." I state.
"So, you're at 120 now?" (meaning 120lbs lost since day one)
"No, 117." I tell him.
He looks at me....somehow he's able to add up everything in his head from my last few reports. "Are you sure?"
"Yes, the winter was rough, trust me 117."
"Ok then three more and you've hit 120!"He exclaims! "That's amazing! I want three this week!
"I can try for three sure." I respond with much less enthusiasm.

We then pick up with West Coast Swing, in a step that is a variation on the whip. I wrote about it before, it's the step where I completely ran past him because I didn't know the lead for it. We worked really hard on this step, I'm having problems being able to let go and just do it. Mainly because when the lead starts, RT has his hand on my back and puts a little suggestive pressure to have me pivot 180 on one foot, then RT is suddenly right in front of me and I'm supposed to step right into him. Every time we do this, I have visions of some terrible dance collision in my head, that keep me from being able to continue. Thoughts of how I'm going to explain some terrible injury my screwing up this step has caused him keep dancing in my mind! I explain this to RT, he chuckles...
"We won't crash I have control over where I'm going." He informs me.
"Yeah I know, but I am not completely in control of where I'm going, which is a problem."
(We're not even going to get into the the possible black eye I could cause him once I start using my arm at the start of this move)
"Don't worry it won't happen."

RT then runs off to find my favorite gal instructor to show me how the move works. Watching her feet definitely helped. I thanked her, and we were off trying it again SEVERAL more times. In the end I believe we settled on my getting it right nearly 20% of the times we tried, and I guess we'll try and move up from there.

PhotobucketNext up East Coast... this was really more for fun I think as I really only have to perfect some technique within the steps that I know. We're dancing away, and RT leads me into a cuddle hold and freezes... this is a really snug cuddle hold, almost like a hug, and he says it again... "Look how easy this is now." and he picks up the dance again... we do a few spins and back into the cuddle hold "hug style" and he freezes again!
"Yeah ok, your arms must have gotten longer." I state.
He just looks at me, in that silly way he does when I say odd things like that... knowing he doesn't have to provide a response.

The swing ended and we cruised over a quick Rumba, this time only because we do one in every lesson!

The last two dances of the evening were Salsa. RT said something about really liking the tension or something in my following.... which was great!... It did feel like we were connected more on this night. Then he starts the spinning...single spins...which I was going around way too fast. He reminds me to slow it down...which I'm very pleased I was able to do! So my single spins were showing immediate improvement! I just have to remember to control them more often... I'm usually just so interested in getting them out of the way that I get back to basic too fast!

PhotobucketThen we're dancing and he says "Multiple spins"... he always says this stuff at a point where I don't have quite enough time to process it before I'm doing it! His arm goes up, and I keep going round and round. I know I was doing the action of spotting, but my eyes weren't focused, for whatever reason my head went to another plane or something this time. I THINK I made it around 6 times before I said "Ok, done now!" I wasn't really dizzy until I stopped...and it took me a measure or two to recover. We finished with more leads off his body and a few more spin related steps and we called the lesson complete.

As he's walking me to the edge of the floor he starts reminding me that I MUST drop three pounds this week, he was being very insistent about it. I said "Yeah I got it three pounds!"

I sit down to change my shoes and one of the students I've only seen around a few times says to me "Wow, he can be demanding can't he!"
"Yeah, he can, but I kind of need it." I respond and shrug.
"Oh, I know... I've read your blog." She tells me.
"Oh great!" I happily reply and I then inquire as to who she is. Turns out she's one of my regular readers! I was so happy to have spoken with one of my readers! I do hope she enjoys the blog.

On my way out I remembered I had to tell RT something, and I ran over to tell him before I forgot. Almost immediately we were back on the topic of the three pounds. Then... out of nowhere RT pushes me! It was almost one of those pushes you see people do before they start throwing punches!
"What are you doing?!?" I demand!
"Look! I can push you over! I couldn't do that before either!" He happily excliams, then pushes me again!
"Yeah I got it, but don't you push me enough all over the dance floor? Is this really neccessary?" I inquire, and I am met with another push!
"Three pounds Kat, you promised! Next week 120!"
At this point I can't help but laugh!
"Yeah ok, I'm leaving I'll see you next week!"

I don't remember promising... but I'll honestly do my best. Sometimes I wonder what I got myself into!

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