Hi gang! I am so sorry... silly things like work take me 1/4 way around the globe (well maybe not that much) and I run out of time and energy to update you!!!
Since my last lesson with Largo I have had two Routine practices with RT, so I'll just write about them both in one post so everyone can be updated appropriately.
My second Routine practice was rough. Oh MAN was it hard! I had a terrible week that week, and there was nothing in this world that could get me to snap out of my bad mood. I even forgot my DVD at home... I was fully prepared to have disappointed RT...I'm more responsible than to leave my DVD... the one and only copy... at home when I'm supposed to bring it to practice... Instead I get a quiet "That's ok...these things happen, let's see if it's still on the camera."
It only made me more angry that he was being so calm... It is very rare that I get angry, I do feel a lot of emotions a lot of the time I live my life "out loud" in more ways than one. But actual anger is something I don't often feel, and when I do it almost scares me... I have no idea what it does for those around me.
Turns out it is still on the camera, so we used that. I must have been flashing with neon lights all around me "DO NOT MESS WITH ME TODAY." Because RT was very calm with me... We opened with a bit of Salsa, per my request, and even THAT couldn't snap me out of my funk! Can you even imagine the funk I was in that a Salsa couldn't fix???
RT put his head on my shoulder a few minutes into it, "Can you please try to not be upset right now? Why are you upset?"
"I'm sorry, I really am... I'm just angry right now... just plain angry... I have no explanation for it. I will try to be better, *sigh* lets just keep dancing." I said with all the emotion of a piece of cardboard I was trying not to yell. (Even writing about it two weeks later I can feel the anger I felt that night... it was no good all around.)
So we kept up with the Salsa, and we worked on the Miami Special AGAIN! Which did not help my mood at all... I HATE HATE HATE it when I have to keep reviewing what is apparently so simple and I just can't get it right at full speed. I rush though it... I know exactly what I'm doing...but I can't seem to stop it. Oh... I was angry!! RT just kept calmly explaining what I had to do for the millionth time... I took a deep breath and did it AGAIN. I did show improvement, and we did it again so that I could continue my improvement... This was turning into way more Salsa lesson than I had intended... I was growing frustrated at every single little thing. I was supposed to be practicing my routine! At one point RT got forehead to forehead with me and asked me very quietly to calm down, while that did keep me from seeing red, I was still upset.
I showed some improvement, but I must have still been radiating anger because I could feel RT keeping to himself, we then turned to watch the recording of my routine. I hadn't practiced...not one second... I told him as much. I was angry that I hadn't practiced, I was angry that I was having a bad week... I really should have just walked out....but we plodded on...
After the first few measures...that I only barely remembered... I don't know exactly when it was... I seem to remember a rush of what bits of my routine I did remember coming back...and something clicked... we tried it again...and it felt better.... I made it a little farther into the routine...and the dark cloud suddenly broke and I was dancing with RT... I wasn't on cloud nine...but at least I was smiling. We made it to about the same point as in my first practice, but this time got it up to some actual Cha Cha speed which was GREAT. Now I really have an idea of where this routine is going! I left the studio promising to rehearse more before my next practice.
Practice #3 was a mere three hours after I had landed from another business trip to Alaska, and I was in a MUCH happier mood. I hadn't had the opportunity to practice much, business trips are like that unfortunately. I did however review the video for nearly two hours straight on the plane ride home. It's definitely not a good way for me to learn something, but review can't hurt.
This time we started right away with the routine and RT and I both remembered a good portion of it without reviewing the DVD first. We then pretty much sailed through the first few measures and worked on the bit where I put my leg on his hip. We've decided that rather than have me place my leg on his hip, we're going to do more of a leg crawl up to his hip... fine... but before I do this leg crawl I have to shift my weight back and forth while he spins in front of me and once he gets in front of me I quickly draw my leg up to his hip... Well I was working out the timing in my head for my shifting back and forth... I thought I heard the count for me to put my leg up...only I must have spaced out because instead of leg to hip...it went a lot more like knee to butt.
I knew what just occurred wasn't right but it took me a second to realize what just happened... I didn't see the look on his face, man that must have been priceless...but he did kind of jump forward and we both just started laughing hysterically!
"You kicked me!!!" RT says between laughs
"No... I kneed you, lets just be glad we're both facing the same direction there." I retort.
We actually found our composure very quickly, mainly due to time constraints and practiced that move a few more times. RT keeps telling me that bit is going to be fast... I need to make sure I've really got this down or that whole leg crawl is going to be one of the weak spots in the routine.
Then we picked up on learning some of the new measures, there's a part where I bend back slowly and then pop up real fast, and a cha cha box kind of thing we do backwards where we're both worried about my stepping on his feet... we drilled that one a lot. I think it won't end up being an issue.
We worked all the way up to the part where I'm supposed to do this little split kind of a thing and my head just went NOPE NOT HAPPENING. Not that I can't do the splits I can... most days... but more that I don't like the way RT would have to support any part of me while I do them... I was thinking it would be more of using him for balance, but no... if this particular move goes wrong...and with my balance anything is possible... RT is going to come crashing down with me. Nope...not happening at all.
"Ok...we're not going to work on this right now." I tell him as we get up to that point.
"Why not?" He asks.
I start to think that maybe we can... and I say "Ok look..if we try this and I slip, because I currently have no traction in these shoes, you have to PROMISE to let me fall." I tell him.
I know I can recover crashing to the ground...it wouldn't be pretty, but I can do it without damaging myself...but RT is the kind of lead that looks out for his follows... even if he promised to let me fall I don't actually believe that he would do it. Which means I'd go into a split way too fast because he'd be keeping me from falling forward and he'd likely wrench his lower back because I don't care how much weight I've lost... I am still a good bit heavier than RT can safely carry.
We discussed exactly how the step would work, which muscle groups would be working where... (You've never heard a more serious discussion about squeezing thighs together I promise you) ... we even danced into position a couple of times... and nope... I couldn't do it. Then to prove my point I showed him where I was losing control with the traction of my shoes... I started to do the splits and almost immediately had to recover because I was sliding to fast... THEN he understood and didn't ask me to do it again. It also happened to be the end of the practice session.
RT and I sat on the bench for a minute, I told him when I said I could do the splits for a routine, that move isn't exactly what I had in mind. Of course I didn't have that conversation with him... I had it with TNT... and I think something got lost in what I said I wanted. RT said we could change it, which I declined for the moment. I don't want to make any rash decisions about changing big parts of this choreography. Perhaps next time I see him I'll ask him to come up with a few replacement options that still look cool.
The best part is, we've almost made it to the end, and I think I almost have it memorized. Of course don't ask me to do it in front of you...but when I'm being lead through it (which is the only time that counts) I'm remembering it quite well. So far... I'm pleased.