Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Lesson with RT... Strength is NOT an Asset and Cuban Motion is NOT my Friend!

UGH! Tonight was one of THOSE lessons... one of THOSE lessons that makes the student question why they ever started in the first place... because it will never be right. Thankfully I'm experienced enough in these lessons that I'm not going to quit dancing... I'm just going to run to the corner for a minute, lick my wounds, and try and jump right back into the fray.

We warmed up with Hustle, where I was told I was being too strong, that I should follow with just the pressure in my fingertips. *Sigh* That hurts... that hurts a lot. It's not RT's fault, he doesn't know that saying something like I'm using too much strength cuts me to the core. It's one of the two or three things someone can say to me that just devastates me. I've been trying to be brave about it... he's said it to me in the last few lessons, and I was really proud of myself that I didn't react, except to try and improve... Today, must have been a bad day... cuz as soon as he said it... I was crushed.

I tried to explain to him that I was really sensitive to my strength... I've been too strong at everything... both parents had their own way of telling me I was too strong for my own good all throughout my life...that being that strong was not the best quality to have for a girl... and while, yes, I'm a grown up now...and such things shouldn't bother me... you know what?? Screw that! Sometimes things just hurt! Anyway... I tried to explain without going into such great detail, that I was sorry for being too strong, and that I was sensitive to his saying that. I don't think I got my point across... he didn't seem to understand. I did show improvement in the tension of my following though. I really wish we would have started working on my using less strength in my Hustle before I started to think it was an asset to my dancing, Instead, it remains the curse it's always been.

Once warmed up, RT asked about my lesson with Largo, I told him it was good. He seemed pleased with that... I'm sure he found out about my lesson either from Largo himself or from my post because that's where the questioning ended. RT suggested Rumba and I said that was fine. I didn't realize what was about to commence was one of the MOST frustrating lessons I've had in a year at least! I was informed that I am now on "Senior Level Bronze" which means I get to learn the back half of the FADS Bronze Syllabus... or at least steps 6 thru 11... so I'm told. Great... new steps and elements that can't be a bad thing... Right?

Well that depends on your learning curve and frustration level... which for me, after having the wind taken out of me with the Hustle discussion, was pretty low. But I tried to behave... We worked on the Rumba cross sequence I wrote about as "easy to follow" in my lesson with Largo. We worked, and worked, and worked... for the ENTIRE lesson... over and over and over again... I don't mind the drilling... what I HATE is that I hardly improved at all in ANY of it!!! Seriously! We broke it down, we worked on the Cuban motion, we worked on some weight transfer and balance... we worked on the Spirals...then on my feet being positioned right... and THEN on making my steps smaller. I would try and voice my frustrations.... I explained that I wasn't complaining... I was venting...(I need to vent verbally, or I end up venting physically... and that does no one any good) which RT didn't believe... or listen to... so that's fine... I could feel that I was becoming frustrating to I tried to tell myself to shut up... but that only made me feel more angry.

At the end of the lesson, I just sat on the couch for a minute.... questioning the whole thing... I should be better than this by now... it shouldn't take me an entire lesson to NOT get a step at this point... I should have a better grip on Cuban motion by now... UGH! As I was sitting there... trying not to be angry at myself... RT shouted "8:45 Kat?"

Oh! That's right... RT's technique class! Do I really want to work on this again today? I thought... my response back to RT was a very flat "I don't know, I haven't decided yet."

"Wow." Was his response, indicating to me that he now understood that I was frustrated, but he didn't know why.

I then got up to leave, and was so busy yelling at myself in my head that I missed saying good bye to RT. I drove around for a bit... talked to Jem on the phone about the whole frustration... then decided that if I was having SO much trouble with the silly Cuban motion bits today... no matter how angry I am at myself, it would be really stupid for me to miss another opportunity to work on it. So in the end I went... and I felt a little better about it. But I still wanted to hit something when it was over.

At one point I was explaining that I had just had one of THOSE lessons to one of the other instructors... and he said "You've always been like that, the minute you don't get something right away you get upset." (I was surprised, I hadn't taken a lesson with him in over a year and a half!)

Yeah... well what I'm being asked, in a lot of cases, shouldn't be that hard for me to YES I get upset with myself! This instructor did make me feel a little better about it after he explained that he and his partner had a 40 minute training session all about properly raising their arms. Yep... I did feel a little relieved that the pros go through the same detailing frustration that we students go through. (On a much more refined level of course... but it's nice to have that commonality)

But I still should have been able to pick up on that Rumba sequence faster.

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