Last week was my last lesson with Largo. By this point I have to tell you I had really made peace with my decision to take a break from dancing, but this lesson was important. It was our first Danceaversary! "Danceaversary" is a term I've coined to celebrate my yearly anniversaries with dancing... the word "Anniversary" is generally reserved for couples celebrating a year together... and since my relationships with my instructors are very dear to me.. but we are not "couples" I like to use "Danceaversary" :-) But then as I'm sure you know my brand of the English language tends to be my own anyway.
I had purchased Coke for each of us because I like to do a little something to celebrate... and I know Largo drinks Coke... a lot. So as Largo picked me up for my lesson I handed him his Coke...
"What is this for?" He asked.
"Happy Dancaversary!" I proclaim!
For which I was met with a HUGE hug! "I forgot! I'm so sorry!" he said, not letting me go.
"It's ok, are you kidding? With the results you've been putting up with these competitions I'm more than happy with all that."
"Still, I'm sorry I forgot." He states finally letting me go.
"No problem...cheers!" I say as I open my soda and take a sip.
Before we started we chatted a bit about how proud I am of his and TNT's results, Largo does a very good job of staying humble to all the praise I know he's been receiving lately. Just another reason to like working with him.
"So this is your last one yes?" He asks, referring to this lesson.
I became a little quiet, but not sad.. "Yep... last one."
"Awwww..." followed by another bear hug.
I was very thankful for the affection... but by this point we were already a good bit into my lesson... and dancing was becoming MANDATORY.
"So lets dance then ok?" I smile at Largo.
"Ok.. then we'll work on Salsa" He replies....
I love how my pros know all the magic words. Salsa we did..for a good amount of time! Largo and I don't Salsa very often, but when we do have a relaxed Salsa it's so much fun! Everyone has their own way of doing it, and each lead has their own set of things they like to do. Which I love, it keeps me on my toes as a follower, which will only make me a better dancer. So we had a blast with that!
Largo and I move to change the music and he calls for a Mambo.... uh oh...
"We just danced On1... now you want me to Mambo On2 right after that? Are you feeling ok?" I'm worried, I was just listening to the music for the 1 beat... and now I'm supposed to switch to the 2, which I don't do very well...
"Ok.. please pick a Mambo that has a strong 2 beat."
He did, and off we were working on Mambo... I usually ask to stay in the basic for a few measures so I can get a feel for listening to the music differently, I don't know how...but I was pretty much staying On2...(and trying not to let the fact that RT was blatantly spying on my lesson bother me...first time ever I didn't let it phase me... this is progress!) it was pretty amazing if I do say so myself. My biggest issue is with the spins, when I'm left to my own devices to get back to frame or at least facing my partner on my own... my head just finds that 1 beat and wants to go! It takes nearly every fiber of my being to hold through to that 2.
We then started working on some new to me Mambo steps... uh ok.. last lesson.. new steps? Does that make sense to anyone else??? I questioned Largo on it a bit, but he wasn't going to be deterred from his plan... my guess is this was kind of his way of letting me know the learning wasn't over yet. It took a few tries..but I got this Mambo step... I think.
Mambo over, I walk over to where our sodas were and take a sip of mine and ask what he had next for me... he tells me Rumba... ok... so we Rumba... we drilled all the steps I currently know from the Bronze syllabus, which I think now is at least up to 9...maybe I've picked up 10 along the way I don't know, but I was having fun! Shortly after a Rumba drill, I go to the soda take a swig and ask him again... what's next.... East Coast Swing... I still haven't found the swing I used to love... but I'll get it back some day. I figure if I like to concentrate in one particular style, then I should love all the dances in that style. I'll get it back again...someday.
One thing about East Coast though it still will kick my butt faster than anything else... which is probably why I haven't found it the way I once had it... I have to learn to build up my stamina and become a bit lighter on my feet. So now, tired, and getting sweaty I'm running back to the soda to catch my breath...
"What else do you have for me?" I say.. as if I'm not tired at all... I'll never learn why I have to front like that.... I could be panting for air and so dehydrated I'm starting to shrivel and if we're on a dance floor... the words coming out of my mouth are "I'm fine."
"Cha Cha" Largo tells me...
"Ok then..." deep breath, sip of soda "let's do it." Is my reply.
Cha Cha we did, I had a little trouble finding the beat, because I was trying to make sure I could move that fast.. but I managed to pull it off after a bit. Largo also worked on showing me a new to me Cha Cha step... that involves a couple of FAST pivots, some hip bopping, and a spin.... I almost had it... but those pivots are QUICK!!! Something else for me to work on... which is ok... there is ALWAYS something to work on in dancing. After we both felt I progressed we worked on a few of the steps we always do together... If RT and I have Salsa...then I guess Largo and I have Cha Cha as our most comfortable dance. It's just kind of worked out that way.
The lesson ended with another big hug...and that was it, not to dissimilar from other lessons, which was really nice. I have to tell you I, of course, don't want to have to stop dancing... but it's ok that I am. Everything happens for a reason, and just because I'm not taking lessons doesn't mean I'll stop dancing... we already know I'll NEVER stop dancing...
I was fortunate enough to get a brief chat in with RT before I left, it was all up beat and not a single tear was shed... which is good... I don't like crying.
Thus ends the near flawless three and some year run I had with the greatest thing that has ever been part of my life... but everyone needs a break sometimes to regroup and come back with greater passion and determination... besides, the phrase I have ALWAYS lived by is "That which doesn't kill me only serves to make me stronger."
I plan on coming back.... stronger.