Whew... one major hurdle covered! Today I was able to finalize my move in date and ensure that I am in the hotel until my move in date.... so for the time being I can rest easy. Oh goodness do I feel a million times better! I was very tired today though, the not sleeping took it's toll for sure. However I had a lesson to get to tonight, and there was no way I was going to miss it. Dancing has proven time and again in the past to make me feel on top of the world even when I'm at my lowest. So it was imperative that I show up.
Sadly I was running late which puts me on edge, luckily the formation class preparing for this weekend's regional competition was finishing up their rehearsal on the main floor.... whew! Enough time to change shoes and not feel like my pro is waiting for me.
A very tan Rocky waved me over to the floor once it had cleared. He was tan as you'd expect for a dancer competing this coming weekend. There is a regional Fred Astaire competition this coming weekend. There was a hustle playing and other lessons on the floor starting with Hustle, so I figured ok I'll do Hustle...this time. ;-)
Shows me for anticipating, Rocky started a Salsa with a little "ah.. see? I remembered." nod of his head and grin. I responded of course with a big smile!
"So is your week better?" Rocky asks.
"Well if I was in here yesterday (under arm turn) I would have been a crying sniveling mess, (open break) but today is better!" I responded.
I went over the fast forward version of what this week was as we danced a little. Soon the warm up was over and Rocky resisted going to get my book... I wasn't going to fight him this time anyway.
"Ok so remind me of your dances again?" He inquired hand over brow thinking.
"Well it doesn't really matter I want to work on smooth this time." I respond.
"Ok so smooth dances..."
"I don't have any smooth dances as my majors so it doesn't matter, I want to work on smooth."
Rocky paused for a second and went over for my book again...probably to refresh his memory on what I may have learned in the past. I actually helped him look for it this time. Once aquired we set about looking at it... there is a big X over the Waltz section..
I point to it "See, this is wrong now, I think I could like Waltz, and I know it's going to make my ankles stronger... that X is 4 years old! A lot has changed."
"Ok..ok.. so then lets just see..." Rocky goes to take up frame... and off we went.
Holy smokes this kid has an awesome smooth frame and lead! If I didn't actually know how much a really do suck at smooth he almost makes it seem easy! Unreal! We danced around the floor for a bit mainly so he could figure out what I knew and probably to figure out how I follow. There were a few under arm turns and possibly twinkles that made me almost believe I was actually Waltzing! This was just too cool.
We stopped a few times to go over a couple of different sequences, and a few times he would just make a comment like "Oh, sure you don't know this." ... dripping with sarcasm.
"Well I've done it before, I didn't say I hadn't done the step before. I just never spent any real time on it in comparison to Rhythm."
Then there was the Chasse issue. There's a sequence in the syllabus that has a couple of chasse (step together, step together quickly basically). Well he wanted my feet together and I must have been passing so I made the comment that as soon as I get more advanced they'll change it to passing my feet anyway.
In fact Rocky found this very amusing. I guess growing up a dancer it's very funny to think that a Chasse would be any different than what it is, at any level of dancing. Well I certainly won't make that mistake again! At least I was getting laughs. I'm fine with being wrong in cases such as these because I didn't grow up being a dancer. So kids.. listen up.. A Chasse.. will ALWAYS be a Chasse!
There was another directional change could be almost like a promenade and every time it's lead I think my lead is checking his watch... well first off Rocky doesn't wear a watch... but I mention it.
"Ok, that feels like you're checking your watch." I said it very calmly... I didn't also realize we were facing the studio clock at the time, and I believe poor Rocky thought I was accusing him of being a clock watcher.
"What?!? I'm not even wearing a watch on this hand!" he retorts.
I immediately realize what I just did and try to make amends "Oh no, no... that's not what I mean I'm just saying that when you do that it feels to me like you're trying to check your watch without breaking frame... I didn't mean to say you were watching the clock!" Whoops.
Well we picked right up where we left off after that little open mouth, insert foot moment. I can't believe how much fun I was having with Waltz! Not only that but I wanted to learn it! We'd work on a step and I'd keep wanting to drill it until
At one point we were rounding the floor and stopped in the corner and we were laughing about some Samba music that was being played.... I was just really happy to be laughing!
"Ok do you want to hear a joke?" Rocky asked, "It's ok if you don't laugh it's not that funny." He chuckles.
"Yeah ok I want to hear it!"
"What's Beethoven's favorite fruit?" He asks through quiet chuckles.
I think, and I know it's going to be lame..but I can't think that I've ever heard that before "I have no idea, what?"
(and I write this knowing it's not going to translate well in just text)
"Ba-na-na-na!"Rocky chants just like the opening of Beethoven's Symphony No. 5.
"HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!" It's quite possibly the funniest thing I've ever heard! I couldn't stop laughing! Then Rocky started laughing because I was laughing... Oh I'm so telling that joke to everyone I know!
"Ok so the Chasse step..." Rocky says as we have to focus again...
"Yep ok, great go.."I stopped laughing and focused back on the dance across the floor.. only to tell the lesson that was going on at the other end, KIT and STP were not quite as amused.. I still think it's funny!
A little bit more Waltz and compliments going everywhere! Rocky at one point even liked my rise and fall!!! No one has ever complimented me on my rise and fall!!! I mean it's never been insulted before but Rocky seemed genuinely surprised and/or impressed in some of what it seemed I was capable of! YESSSS!
See the idea of impressing or surprising a seasoned professional dancer is like the greatest accomplishment I could ever do in this, my rebuilding and restarting. I hope to keep it up.
Last ten minutes or so I could sense a shift in the dance we were working on.
"Ok what are we working on now?" I ask.
"Tango. I can't believe you have never worked on it." Rocky states.
"Only for the first Mini Match year before last..." Which then prompted me to explain how I got involved in Mini Match and why I ended up doing it. (You'll have to read the post, if you missed it.. there's video and everything!)
Once the explanation was over "Ok.." I say as I adjust my frame accordingly "How does this go again? And if you spell it I'm gonna smack you." I finish with a giggle... The last time I asked Largo "How does this go?" he spelled it for me T-A-N-G-O... which is a teaching method, but Largo had just spelled it, not like in the rhythm of the dance or anything.
Not realizing this Rocky must have thought I just didn't care for the teaching method.. so he went "Slow, slow, slow, quick, slow." As we started stepping.
Oh yeah.. Tango is on my list of things to learn... for sure. Mostly because this is the first pro I've had to teach it to me with such interest and passion about the dance. I would be a complete and total fool to not take advantage of the pro I have and his strengths. Besides.. I can still learn the tail end of my majors for the Silver test I'm going to have to go through when I'm back in my ballroom shoes... but this is like a 100% new perspective on American Smooth and I'm excited about it!
We worked on improving my promenade (the new way is awesome!) and a couple of new to me Tango steps.. one has an arm behind the back hand change, which we switched to an over the head hand change... it's just too awkward to do the behind the back move while I am still this round, that in itself is enough to keep my butt doing the workouts I don't like so that we can do that move as it's supposed to be.
The lesson ended on Tango.. and I think both Rocky and I were pleased and impressed with the way the lesson went!
Dancing is powerful enough to make my outlook on everything change... I LOVE IT!
Not only that.. but with the exception of a few clunky feeling heel leads... I actually felt graceful tonight! ME! GRACEFUL!!! YAY!
Which leads me to this question for you... my silent readers... if you are a dancer...what is that feeling you strive for on the floor??