Well I told you I was adding a new member to my dance world. I had hinted at it before, that if I could do more lessons, then I would add Largo as my new "buddy teacher." Before tonight I had worked with him on two/three previous lessons. One as a getting to know the new instructor, and another when RT was taking some personal time. Largo and I are still in the "getting to know you and your leading/following style" of our dance relationship. However, he definitely made me work!
Ok.. now read about my lesson and tell me RT didn't talk to Largo about what I do/don't do for my dancing....
We started with Cha Cha it was pretty good, Largo's leading style is much gentler, for lack of a better term, than RT. (Which I have mentioned before.) So I'm required to hold my own even MORE and be even more skilled at following (which will end up being good for me). We reviewed some basics, Manhattan Roll out (a personal fave) Cupid Breaks (sometimes called a Turkish Towel), and a few others... even the dreaded Roundabout Crossovers (aka "Spinnie Move")
(I would like to take a moment and point out to any studio personel that may be reading, that YES I have paid attention for some of the names of the steps... thank you. :-) )
Then he tried to lead me in a step I'd NEVER done before. When I told him I didn't know it... we then commenced with my trying to learn it. This step starts with a cross-body lead then goes into a slide instead of a Cha Cha... then we kind of bop our hips twice and commence with a regular Cha Cha... Now we know my hips and I still don't speak the same language... although it's getting better. I kept wanting to bop the wrong hip, and use the wrong leg... it was awful. Thankfully Largo still has patience with me. Although I did learn that he has a more "hands on" approach to teaching when explaining isn't enough, something RT never does (more than likely because of my previous insecurities and issues he's always been sensitive to). Anyway... Largo just grabs my hips and moves them how he needs them to go for this step. I have to admit it was nice not feeling all strange about that. I mean yeah ok... my instructor just grabbed my hips...but it's the same way a coach in baseball may need to adjust a player's hips to improve their stance or swing...it's only intent is to make the end product better... and sometimes it's the best way to get the point across. Granted, it didn't really work until we did the step and he put his hand on the hip that's supposed to bop and said "Push my hand away here." THEN it clicked... so YAY new Cha cha stuff!! We worked on my open break arm styling too. Largo prefers the look of a clean line with all arm styling, he and I even discussed that I don't need to perfect my around the head or "shampoo" style of arm movements. This is something I can absolutely agree with him on!
Cha Cha finished Largo asks "Ok so we do Rumba?" and then I see this HUGE smile in his eyes.
"Of course we do Rumba... Oh WAIT... you're waiting for my joke here! What did [RT] tell you?"
RT actually had me stop my Rumba joke (you know the "It wouldn't be a lesson if we didn't work on Rumba" line), because it stopped being funny... Largo was CLEARLY waiting for something of a reaction from me... but he denied it. I didn't say anything after that, we just commenced with our Rumba. We worked on the spiral turn after the Cuban walks, it seems to me that everyone leads the end of it a little different. So I asked for clarification... once that was settled we worked on my having the right timing for it. Largo requires that I keep my own timing for the sharp pivot at the end, whereas RT will actually cue me to turn around with a slight tug. I really should be able to handle the timing of it on my own, so that's something new to work on. We also worked on a kind of Rumba open break, cross step sequence that is actually pretty easy to follow, and also contains two spirals (or at least it will when I remember to do them). Another thing we touched on was a sequence of elements I work on with RT a lot, the one that Jesse had coached me on, Largo even had more good advice for that! It was good!
Our final dance of the evening was Salsa, Largo asked me if I wanted to dance a Salsa, and I was surprised. "You mean Salsa On 1 and everything?" (I don't dance On2 aka Mambo hardly ever) I was excited! (Is it sad when the idea of Salsa without chips makes a gal this happy? I think not!) I have two teachers that will work on my Salsa with me! Woo Hoo! We started, and I was having trouble with the leading, only because I'm not used to it yet. Largo was leading a lot of arm looping and some stuff I haven't done in a LONG time. I even got him in the chest with my elbow because I wasn't paying attention. (Sorry!) We then started working on a newer sequence, one that involves the arm looping and then my being lead into a turn by my right shoulder basically INTO Largo (I'm supposed to duck my head as I spin into and away from him at the same time) Trust me it feels as odd as it sounds. We worked on it, and I was asking questions... I couldn't seem to get the feel of it right. Then as we're standing practicing I just turn and ask him "Seriously, have you been in my position for this step?" He replied in the affirmative, so I reminded him how odd it felt. I felt like I should be pulled away from him being lead from my shoulder like that, instead of pushed into him to duck under his arm. It took several tries...but by the end I was up to speed and spinning just like I was supposed to... well mostly. :)
All in all good lesson, I didn't think it would have been bad, but it was better than anticipated! I didn't go all out with the dancing. I can't yet with Largo, I'm still working on figuring out his lead, as soon as I have that then I'll bring everything up to speed with my hips etc, like I can do with RT. I had good feelings about picking up Largo as my second instructor, I've had issues in the past with other instructors and I really didn't want to have to face that again. Thankfully I'm very certain I won't have to. Now I just have to practice!
See...now after that lesson... it's IMPOSSIBLE that RT didn't tell Largo anything about my dancing. We covered three of my all time favorites that I have the MOST fun with! I picked up some good tips, and even a few new to me elements.
Now I just have to remember that we're still in the "getting to know you" stage... after a few lessons we'll get down to what it's really like working together. I have a really good feeling about this new "partnership" though.