Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Oh Yeah, This is What A Lesson with Kat is All About!
I had a good lesson too! The kind that just makes the world feel like it can be conquered, which is possibly my most favorite feeling that ever was. I headed up to the studio after work not really sure what to expect. I also wanted to try and get some Pączki's it is the one day they're everywhere. Unfortunately I wanted to make sure they were the good kind, grocery store bakery wouldn't do and I didn't plan enough in advance. Next time.
I walked in early as I like to be, getting to the studio early is key for me. I need a few minutes to shrug off the day and prepare to focus on dancing and not waste my lesson because my head is full of the day's residue. Shoes changed I talked to KIT for a little bit, and kind of flitted around testing my shoes on the floor, making sure my legs were going to be up for the challenge. I saw my new pro teaching a couple and they seemed to be having a good lesson. That was nice to see.
Lesson time! As my pro approached he made a face, and I realized... I got the super secret memo! We were both wearing pink shirts!! HA! We warmed up with a little slow hustle, as one of the newer pros came around, and then faded away because it was lesson time. It was really a slow just kind of a "how was your day" kind of a thing. He then went for my book, and I rolled my eyes. He referenced it real quick put it down and asked me if I wrote about our last lesson. (He's very intrigued by this whole blog thing)
"Yes! I did... OH! That reminds me it's been suggested that I actually let you pick your own nickname...so what would you like to be called ?"
He laughs, "You can call me what you want..."
"Well I was thinking of 'Rocky'." I reply
Again he laughed and asked me why, so I told him. He said it would be ok for me to use that. So another blog first, a pro actually gets to weigh in on what his blog nickname is! So my new pro...is Rocky! :-)
Immediately after that exchange we picked up with Cha Cha and he lead me into the ONE move I will never like... Open Cross-Over Breaks I think is what they're called, they're old.. at the top of the syllabus, but I can't spin to the left and feel like I'm in control so I don't like them at all, which I explained last time, and he remembered as he started the move. I finished it, the whole time saying how I didn't like it, I do believe if it's lead it's my job to follow it. Ballroom dancing is a team sport so we have to work as a team to keep the whole thing looking good. As the extreme amature in this new partnership I fail to hold up my end of the bargain a lot but I'll get better.
Still working on Cha Cha we moved to some more advanced Bronze steps that I did ok with, I still think Rocky is being easy on me, I suppose there will come a day when I will long for this kind of treatment. There is one move in particular, no idea what it's called but it's got a really fast spin at the end and I can never seem to get back fast enough, Rocky said it was fine. I'll take that today!
Next up was Swing.. which I agreed to only if it was a slower swing for my ankle and I don't think I'd ever danced East Coast swing with Rocky before. Ah East Coast, my very first ballroom love, you're still a blast, and you can still kick my ass. We worked a lot on the "back to back" move (Fred Astaire students know what I 'm talking about) It's one of my favorites, triple step, back to back triple step, front triple step, swivel swivel, turn out arm extended, spin back in to the left (the only left spin I can manage to pull off) to meet my partner face to face again with a triple step. Well for the first time in my life I was told to NOT extend my arm on the turn out...
This of course caused great debate of why and how and give me a minute to remember and all that. Rocky is right though it does look better that way, and we know how much I hate it when my pro is right if I'm fighting him on something. We worked that move over a few more times with some encouragement from TNT who was watching from the sidelines. Back to the book to review, Rocky asks why I don't work on Tango...
"Well you know, it's smooth and most of my former pros have been shorter than me so that made a proper Tango frame kind of difficult, and since I never liked smooth anyway...."
He left it alone, I didn't get the chance to tell him I'd like to work on Tango if he wants to.
Next up was some Rumba we spent the majority of the rest of the lesson on Rumba, which was good. I think Rumba is the best way to get used to a lead. We also got to chat more during this time and some parts had Rocky saying... "Ok...write about this..." and "Don't write about this..." Well I'll be honest with you my total and complete recall on lessons isn't quite as sharp as it once was. I know I'm not writing about anything he didn't want me to write about. I must remember to explain to him that I don't write to detail every conversation we have... it's more about what we do, how I react to it and how I think he is reacting to me.
There are lots of women in my situation, not exactly confident in their appearance and yet still desperately want to dance and feel comfortable doing it. It is my hope that my my telling my lesson stories it helps these women understand that it's ok to get out there and DO IT... take lessons, work on a move you don't feel so comfortable with, tell your pro why you like or don't like something. LAUGH about it, and then work some more. Some of the fun stuff that happens in the middle is for entertainment value and it helps whatever tension I might be feeling about what's going on in the dancing.
Ok wow... major divergence there, back to Rumba. We laughed a lot in this lesson, I had trouble getting into Rumba character (Don't worry Rocky, we'll get there.. I still need to get used to you and then game on.) I also managed to lead myself in a wayward underarm turn at some point and Rocky asked if he had lead it.
"Nope, but you do follow very well!" I retort.
He laughed a lot, I was so glad he seemed to be having a good time. That's important to me too, that my pro enjoy working with me, it makes me more comfortable learning and getting out of my comfort zone.
We went back to my book to review some steps, and again Rocky remarked "Do you really not work on Tango??"
Well no, and this was possibly the third time he'd mentioned it... so I have a sneaking suspision I'll be working on Tango in the near future. I will admit that I think height wise Rocky is really probably the best suited pro I've ever danced with so this might just be the time to start working on it in earnest.
While at my book I asked if Rocky knew what my favorite dance of all time was... I then pointed to the section labeled Mambo that had a huge "SALSA" written over it by RT over two years ago. This sparked the great Salsa/Mambo debate. Turns out we both don't care for dancing on the 2nd beat, well yet anyway. So I suggested we work on it a little, if I can get going On2 I can pretty much keep it up... Largo taught me that much. Then again if Rocky was ok with just dancing On1 that would suit me just fine too.
Not sure what we're going to do about that one, because I can't live without a Salsa fix every now and again, and we both need to work on this whole Mambo concept. We worked on it for a bit, and we had it..but something went wonky so we ended up on 1 in the end. I do love my Salsa, even if it is really just the Fred Astaire Mambo Syllabus on 1. We'll revisit that whole On2 situation during the next lesson.
We finished this lesson with the traditional "High Five" and then a quick hug after scheduling for the next lesson I, made sure to say "Happy Pączki Day!!"
"Heh, Happy Pączki Day!, oh and Happy Woman's Day!" He replied as he started to head for the back of the studio.
I was way impressed, no one actually ever wished me a happy Woman's Day before! "Hey, Thank you!" I smiled in return and then continued about my business to head home for the night.