As I get back into the swing of things, I wasn't about to let Largo leaving stop me from moving forward with my getting back on track. Not a chance! I promptly selected my next pro and it was time to get cracking!
A little about him, his favorite Style is International Ballroom (formerly known as Standard), he's European trained and has had a very successful upbringing in ballroom. He's still young so he's got his whole ballroom career in front of him stateside. He also has a wicked sense of humor and I've heard he's a very dedicated instructor from some of my fellow students of dance. Fortunately I have had the opportunity to dance with him at some parties recently and I had an idea of his leading style.
Somehow we found my book, the one that says what steps I've learned and everything... it is WILDLY out of date, it has a big X through Waltz, a line through Foxtrot and probably hasn't been updated in nearly a year and a half, which I mentioned, my pro was clearly unfazed by this.
We opened with a warm up in Hustle, I tried to not warm up with a Hustle but it is kind of built into the Fred Astaire lesson plan that a warm up happens with Hustle. I'll have to work on that for future lessons, I prefer to warm up with Salsa or Mambo or just about anything except Hustle. I appreciate the wanting to get the blood flowing and all that, but I'm kinda over hustle, unless it's at a party or something.
Next we started chatting, we all know I could spend my whole lesson chatting and dancing, only we weren't dancing. I don't even remember what we were talking about, except that I kept asking him what he'd been told about me. I know there was some kind of back story given, despite what he had said. After a bit I noticed we were just standing and talking, so I looked him dead in the eye...
"Can you talk and dance at the same time? I know I can." followed by holding up my arms in frame and a big smile.
So we did some Rumba Basic while we chatted... I asked "You know I don't compete right? I don't have the money for it and I'd rather put what I have towards lessons." He nodded like he understood, and then without missing a beat.
"Ok, How about June?" (June is a big inter-regional Fred Astaire competition).
I didn't respond but Ha! Oh yeah.. I think we'll get along ok.
We worked a lot on Rumba, I think it was mostly because this was the getting to know you lesson, we also did a little Fox Trot, where I learned my new pro preferred Smooth to Rhythm, but was going to be competing in Rhythm with his partner who prefers that style. Now personally I would like to think that if I preferred a particular style I'd get to compete in it, but I guess that's just me. It was nice to hear what his competition plans might be though.
I also mentioned several times that things were different, which I do, I mention things seem different to me so that my instructor knows what kind of learning curve I'm on with the leading and following. Now he tried to apologize and change his leading style or something, which was not what I wanted, and I told him as such. Any pro I've worked with will tell you the first couple of lessons are filled with my stating "Well that's different." I'm more than happy to adapt, it only makes me a better follower anyway.
I also mentioned that I write, which went over pretty well.
"You did hear that I write about my lessons right?" I inquire between Fox Trots.
"No, what do you write?" he retorts.
"About lessons, about stuff I do with dance, a bunch of stuff."
"Oh..." looks at watch "...so how much longer do I have my job?" he jokes.
"Ha, very funny! No, actually most people get a kick out of it..." I then went to describe the number of readers I have and how long I've been doing it.
"Ok, you write, then I will Act." He says, followed by a little gentlemanly bow, which I thought was adorable.
"Go ahead, try...see how long you can keep that up."
During one of the rounds of Foxtrot I noticed I wasn't doing heel leads and I caught myself. So I told my partner... "Ok, if you ever catch me not doing heel leads you have to catch me because I haven't worked on smooth a lot so I'm still working on that."
He looks at me dead in the eye "Well, since you don't compete it's not so important..."
"Oh no, oh no you don't! It doesn't matter, I want to learn how to dance, and if heel leads are the proper way to do this, then that's what I want to learn."
In that one statement about heel leads not being important a seed of doubt was planted. If he's not going to take me seriously then I don't need to work with him. I tried to leave it alone, but it's stuck with me. We'll see... this was only our first lesson together.
The rest of the lesson ended with Waltz to a song he mentioned that he really liked... It also seemed to go ok from my side of things as far as following. We also ended up with a bit of an audience from the work out class that had just disbursed and one of my friends being slack jawed that I was waltzing. I also caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror, and cringed. UGH.
The lesson ended pretty well, I have another scheduled and I'm working on my plan of attack so that I no longer cringe when I'm in front of the mirror. Life is almost back to normal since the fire so it's time to get back to it.
Anyone have any ideas as to a good nickname for my new pro? I have a couple of ideas but I'm not in love with any of them... tell me your ideas!