I am VERY pleased to report that my workouts at the gym have been paying off... over the last two weeks I have had a few pick up lessons with one of my favorite city pros. I've known this pro for about two years now... I almost always go to his studio parties, and love any time I get to have a lesson with him.
He owns a very small but very reputable studio that primarily deals with my all time favorite in the whole world SALSA! I just couldn't go another day without dancing with a partner... and this professional is very cool and easy for me to follow. So examined my budget and found that I could swing a single lesson, dropped him an e-mail and I was booked.
Oh to dance again!!! I missed it so! We worked primarily on Salsa (he's been teaching for over 18 years... he knows all the tricks) and had a blast. I was so excited that I wasn't out of breath and I felt like I was following ok, I was picking up on new steps quickly. It was validation for all the days I've gone to the gym and bored myself to death with a work out. YES!!! My mission to at least stay on the same level while I'm not in regular lessons with RT and Largo is working!
This professional also happens to like my Waltz... I know.. crazy right? I had taken group classes of his in American Smooth and Rhythm (DVIDA Syllabus) last year and for whatever reason he's always liked my Waltz while I always feel like my following is being tested. But, I got through all of the Bronze DVIDA steps...even the natural turns...which I have to tell you.. are anything but natural.
In addition to that we also covered DVIDA Cha Cha, and Rumba. Can't have a lesson without a Rumba... RT taught me that! It was a blast!!!!
I was then blessed to have another opportunity to work with this professional... this time with a practice partner. I have a great practice partner... unfortunately since I'm out of the Fred Astaire studio we don't get to practice much anymore... but on this occasion he humored me and came out for a couple of lessons. We wanted to work on Salsa (of course!!!) and boy did we. We both learned a TON about music, timing, leading, following and some new steps too! When that was over... my practice partner bid the professional and I a good day and had to head home... but there was still some time left in our lesson, so the professional asked me for a waltz.... too funny! Waltz we did... all around the floor to three songs in a row... I really felt like my following was being challenged, but I think I did ok!
Then it was my choice... and I broke all protocol and said "Well if you really want to see me suck at something let's work on Tango..."
I have never asked to work on Tango... I don't know what I was thinking... but actually it went a lot better than I thought... I can basic, corte, that was all the same... then we got into some steps I've never done before... like the Ochos... there are two things people think of when they think of Tango as far as what it looks like... one is the Corte where the lady extends her leg back and looks over her left shoulder... that's typically in photographs of Tango a lot. Then there are the Ochos which is the step where the lady flicks her heals as she kind of swivels in front of her lead. (first Tango Image is Corte, second is Ochos). I actually had a TON and I mean a TON of fun with this Tango...
Every time I would be lead into something I'd never done before if I finished it and was still standing I got a funny surprised look on my face (you know.. my Tango always comes with comic relief) and every now and again the professional would look over and see my face and start to chuckle. I enjoyed that... I really like that he has such a great sense of humor. Oh I also did a throw out step that was different than the others I had done before... and the greatest part was...we just danced... for five songs... and if I didn't get something.. there wasn't any correcting..there was just a basic step...and then we'd try it again. I was being left up to my own devices as to how I was going to learn it best for me. LOVED THAT!!!
After FIVE Tangos... my knees were fine, my hips were cool, my feet were showing minimal signs of stress... my shoulders however were NOT... which tells me two things.. I need to do this more often.. and if my shoulders are hurting I'm not holding my frame right... so I have to work on that too. Although...maybe I don't suck at Tango....
Last song of our long stretch of lesson... my choice again... I thought about it.... and since I didn't know when I'd be coming back to get a good quality Salsa in... I picked that... I was a little tired I'll admit.. but in much better shape than I thought I'd be... my legs and ankles in particular are MUCH stronger than they were a month ago. I had SOOOO much fun! I'll have to absolutely continue visiting this studio regardless of what happens with my "home" studio.... I just wish I were employed again so I could visit both and I wish I didn't live nearly an hour drive from this one.