Saturday, November 15, 2008

Lesson This Week... RT... Rumba in Reverse

This week' s lesson was with RT, I had no idea what he had planned, nor did I really have anything in mind to work on. We opened with a little Rumba...

"Hey how long has it been since our last lesson?" RT asks...

"Week before last, like always because I work with [Largo] now..." (I work with each teacher every other week, because it's hard to keep payments on two lessons a week up.)

"Really? Huh... feels like it's been three weeks."

"Nope... same amount as always." I respond as if it were normal... but I desperately wish I could dance with both instructors every week... and since RT never seems to mind the schedule I keep I was really curious why he as asking... but I didn't want to pry. So we just continued with our Rumba...

Maybe two steps after our mini conversation we broke and RT started pointing out some technique. My immediate thought was that we'd get through the technique and then get to some dancing.

WRONG... Oh I was so wrong!!

RT started working with me on my Rumba walks... we immediately settled on the fact that my forward Rumba walks were ok... just some minor tweaking on my footwork. Which is GREAT! Then we started working on Rumba walks backwards... which apparently I do all wrong.

"Ok take a step back with your right foot..." RT instructs " bring your left hip back."

My mind went blank... totally blank... you could have asked me my name and I wouldn't have been able to answer.

"Wait..." I say completely puzzled "You want me to do what?"

"Your left hip...back." He states.

I couldn't even imagine how that would work... if my right foot is back, how in the WORLD am I going to get my left hip back there too?? I just kind of stood there with a puzzled look on my face trying to get my left hip back, but only my right hip would comply.

"No... you can't settle into your other hip yet... the left one has to go back first." He says followed by taking my hands and leading me backwards slowly, trying to push me into the right position. It wasn't working... not in the least. I kept taking the step back and immediately settling into the same hip I was stepping back on.

We kept working... and RT even had me working up against the counter to create my own resistance... I was growing more and more frustrated, and I tried desperately not to show it. The words simply weren't translating into something that made sense to my body! RT could have told me what to do in a foreign language and it would have made the same amount of nonsense to me. At one point he was trying to explain for the MILLIONTH time what I was supposed to be doing and feeling while trying to step back and push the opposite hip back... I fired off a few of my one liners... whenever I'm trying to mask actual emotion... is when I get funny. RT keeps telling me it's the same as forward Rumba walks... but it's SO NOT!

"Clearly I must have never ever done this right before EVER or I would have some point of reference in my head for what to tell my body to do!" I tell him...

Suddenly my brain just snapped... being funny wasn't going to get anything done... So I stopped, ran a frustrated hand through my hair and stated...
"Look, I know...I'm trying to be funny... but I'm FRUSTRATED... the angry kind of frustrated!!"

RT looked at me with a little bit of surprise and responded "Awww... (he hugs me) you haven't been frustrated with me in a while."

"I know... but it's not you this's the stupid step... *sigh* ok... lets try it again..." I say as I look at the clock and realize my lesson is almost up... I then take that look and give it to RT... who is apparently not phased by the fact that all but 10 minutes of my lesson have been devoted to this Rumba backwards stuff!

After a few more minutes I did start to get it ok... we tried with my forward walks...then immediately switched to backwards...that seemed to help a little. Then I was just about done... I was ready to walk off the floor and just chalk this up to I need to practice... I didn't say anything...but I think RT realized the state I would be in if we didn't get any dancing in.

CWS was also on the floor teaching one of his students and had put on an East Coast Swing. RT decided it was time to start leading me in that... with a sigh of relief we were off...
Then in typical RT style... during a Really Technical lesson... the technique wasn't done yet! RT starts to remind me to bring my foot in before I do my rock step which improves either the hips or some other technique focused part of the dance.... In the meantime CWS keeps shouting at me

"Hey Kat... It's your favorite dance!"

"Hey Kat... Are you enjoying your East Coast?"

I shouted back some smart alic response. CWS likes to rub in East Coast being my favorite dance because that magazine article that was written about me states that it is.

RT is confused by all of this because he's not listening...

"What's he saying?" RT asks mid dance of course... :-)

"Nothing, don't worry about it... [CWS] won't let it go that the article says East Coast is my favorite dance, even though I keep telling him I'm more of a Salsa/Cha Cha girl now." The last bit I kind of shout over my shoulder so CWS can hear it...

So CWS chimes in.. "Nope, East's in's your favorite dance!"

"Yes, because everything you read is true right?" I retort.

RT and I finish our swing and I actually get, understand, and can perform the adjustment to my rock step for my East Coast Swing.

This lesson was frustrating... one of the MOST frustrating ever...but it was also a break through... because most of the time when I have a lesson like this I walk out of the studio feeling like I never should have started dancing... THIS time I didn't have ANY of those feelings... it was simply... Ok...something new for me to work on... I don't have any idea if I'll ever get it... but I've got to practice.

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