Sunday, September 7, 2008

This Week's Lesson... Warning: Insomniac on the Floor!


Oh, sorry... I haven't been sleeping much lately... I get some seasonal insomnia about twice a year. My Summer to Fall bout is going on at the moment. Thankfully I think it's pretty much over, but WOW... Dancing while exhausted is not recommended for the faint of heart!

This week's lesson with RT was on Thursday, when I arrived at the studio I hadn't slept more than two hours a night since Sunday. I had still attended all of my favorite group classes, but when I walked in on Thursday I was pretty much a Zombie. The studio was pretty quiet too, lots of cancellations because of a big rain storm we were having. So I put some loud music on my MP3 player and tried to wake my brain up with that. As my lesson time approached I, put the music away, turned to watch a lesson that was finishing up. As I'm thinking about random things I do a mental check of what I had eaten that day... I couldn't remember what I had eaten for lunch... it didn't take long to figure out that the only thing I had for food that day was a cup of coffee at about 9am. Oh well.... not much I could do about it just then, my lesson was about to start.

RT came across the floor and saw me with my head resting on my hand watching the dance floor... "Hi Kat! How ya do'in" he asks brightly, followed by a quick" ... Are you okay?"

"Yeah, Fine... just tired..." I reply quietly.

"Ok, lets see if we can wake you up." He says as he escorts me across the floor.

First dance up was Salsa... it was by all means TRAGIC! I couldn't keep time, I couldn't spin, my stomach was suddenly threatening to turn inside out on me! I was hanging on to each step by a thread. I had to wait for this to pass... I ruined a few spins, lost timing, and then stepped on RT's foot. "Oh, my God... I'm sorry, I'm gonna kill you today..." I say while still trying to dance.

"Yeah, you probably are..." RT jokes "What is going on?" he asked.

"I'm sorry, I'm just really tired...let's keep going, give me a minute...I'll be fine in a minute." I state. Now RT knows...that doesn't mean go away and leave me alone for a minute... that means keep me going and at some point my brain and body with catch up with each other... so that's what he did... we just did Salsa for a minute or two.

We were dancing and RT was cracking some jokes... one liners... like I usually do... I just kinda looked at him (when I'm tired, not much is funny), he would tell me it's a joke... and then I would agree that whatever it was could be funny... I wish I could remember what he was saying... I'd probably find it really funny now. My not laughing at something is pretty uncharacteristic for me... I pretty much laugh at everything... so we were dancing, and I hear...

"Hey, where did the Kat that I know go?"

I just told him I was tired, that I hadn't really slept since Sunday, he asked what I had been doing... I told him it was a seasonal thing, but I was hoping to wear myself out enough to be able to crash when I got home...

I'm pleased to let you know that I did seem to pop out of my exhaustion towards the end of the Salsa, I was back to controlling my spins (our constant project) and my following improved. While it wasn't the best following I'd ever done... it was reasonable enough for this lesson. We worked on a new cross-body lead, and another series of elements that end in a double Coca-Cola turn... This series I like... I just have to nail that Coca-Cola turn... it's a source of irritation.

Salsa over it was on to Rumba, for whatever reason it seems that I'm not working into the floor as much as I should. I can tell you why... it's because when I dance I tend to "pick myself up" if that makes sense... I don't push myself into the floor like I should, I in fact do the opposite... Which now that I'm trying to become better is a problem... hmmm... another thing to work on. But the Rumba seemed to go well.

Then it was on to Cha Cha. We started out ok, I was again reminded to push into the floor... once I did it made the faster spins a little easier to control. (Once again, RT gets to be right... *sigh*). We worked on the timing on the Cha Cha step I mentioned last time... I till have trouble with the whole hip pop, and then coming back around to him in time... I really want to get this one, it could be fun. By this point I was feeling almost my old self again. Which made both me and my instructor happy.

On to West Coast Swing... I've made a lot of progress step wise in this dance... and a smaller amount of technique improvement. I've got a spin now that comes out of a whip to end in a coaster step... that one took a lot of drilling for me to get... I also have a few other passes we've been working on. However, I made the mistake of telling RT I liked his style of leading West Coast better than anyone I had danced it with... and now he's using it against me... it is SO unfair when he does that!!

Here's what happened... I have a habit of popping up instead of keeping myself lowered and absorbing the coaster step into my knees, mainly because that requires that I use my knees, which we know I instinctively avoid doing. So RT is reminding me for the MILLIONTH time to keep myself lowered. Then he says "Hey, if you like the way I lead West Coast then you're going to have to keep yourself lowered." with all the seriousness I've ever heard. I just rolled my eyes...then kept myself lowered the best I could. On the one hand, I know RT wouldn't keep any dances I like away from my lessons, on the other... I really should do a better job of listening to him. So I lower myself at the knees...and the dance improves... It's not that lowering myself for these dances hurts... most of the time it doesn't... it's that I'm continually ANTICIPATING that there will be a shot of pain at any moment... and that's what keeps my legs too straight. I need to fight the instinct and improve my dancing.

I followed up the lesson with two group classes... International Latin (lets just say I can't move at Jive speed yet...but I'm glad the class is back.) and the Ballroom Work Out Class.... I never walked out of that studio more sweaty ever...and it absolutely helped with my insomnia... for that night anyway... we'll see what this week brings.

My dancing world is about to change a bit... I have a new addition to the team... you'll hear more about that tomorrow. :-)

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