Ballroom Dance > how are your lessons going? thread II

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by fascination, Dec 20, 2007.

  1. scullystwin42

    scullystwin42 Well-Known Member

    lessons going ok. Smooth pro is getting on my nerves - i have a limited amount of time and money, and it frustrates him that i can only take 1 or 2 lessons a week. I have goals, and not taking a ton of lessons every week makes it harder to reach those goals, but that's the way it is. i know it's coming from the right place - he wants to see me succeed and improve even more - but i'm going to have to remind him again that this is just the way it is.
    ajiboyet, Dr Dance, Sania and 2 others like this.
  2. MaggieMoves

    MaggieMoves Well-Known Member

    Be careful with a pro like this. I've experienced it in the past and it can get uncomfortable. It's best to let it out now than to let it fester and rear it's ugly head after a few months... or years.
    ajiboyet and scullystwin42 like this.
  3. scullystwin42

    scullystwin42 Well-Known Member

    Noted. What got uncomfortable? The pressure got too constant? I am pretty bloody vocal, so he'll hear it again tonight at my lesson. I mean, i get frustrated too - would love to take tons of lessons so that the things that keep reappearing in my dancing (right now, frame issues) get completely worked out, but, yo that is how life is.
  4. MaggieMoves

    MaggieMoves Well-Known Member

    Ultimately what got uncomfortable was his constant pushing for more money from me, even after I told him a ramp up in lessons was only temporary until I find a new partner. When I got a new partner and I cut back on lessons, I got mind games from him which really irked me.

    There were some other things that happened as well involving money and his mismanagement of it, especially in his bulk rate. He still owes me lessons and or cash from years ago.
    scullystwin42 likes this.
  5. scullystwin42

    scullystwin42 Well-Known Member

    Well, that's awful! It is nowhere near that point, but it is good to be warned. Oddly enough, was talking about this pro with another student today- and then we came to the conclusion that he appears burnt out to us. Which makes it odd that he'd ask for more lessons, but I think it's coming from more of frustration at having to repeat things. Which teachers have to do. Unfortunately, at my studio and in my area, there is getting to be a shortage of good male pros. So, kinda stuck.
  6. Dr Dance

    Dr Dance Well-Known Member

    Has anyone else stumbled over moves that are similar, but slightly different? While taking a lesson to prepare a routine on American rumba, I was practicing the back spot turn with my social instructor. But (false) muscle memory crept in and I danced the footwork for a natural fleckerl instead. (It could have been an Argentine Cross or a natural top!) I know... different dances, yes. But strong muscle memory is still muscle memory. I have to over ride previous habits with reminders of specific moves for specific dances.
  7. flying_backwards

    flying_backwards Active Member

    Too funny. Yes. For me the swing pattern we call "Turn Rhythm" kicks in when I am supposed to be following a Natural Fleckerl and at 180 bpm there's no thinking involved just axial reflex. It seems to work ok, so far, at least socially. I do not have Fleckerls in my comp routines, so no worries, yet.
    Dr Dance likes this.
  8. scullystwin42

    scullystwin42 Well-Known Member

    unexpectedly great coaching last week in smooth. Broke through a lot of the comfort zones that my pro has been trying to do - and that i didn't realize i was in - the outside person moving me around while i danced with pro helped so much. BUT there was an odd question that the coach asked - if my open waltz was a show dance...i didn't think much of it at the time, but after other related conversations with other students, i'm wondering if my choreography is not up to par - too simplistic? not enough content? He's been simplifying other students' routines - and i didn't think he was doing it to mine, but maybe i'm too in it to realize. it's been gnawing at me all weekend and i need to get to the studio and get it dealt with. can anyone recommend a good thread on choreo for opens and judges' perception of said choreo? i did a couple searches but couldn't find what i was looking for.
  9. Lai Lai

    Lai Lai Member

    I have an opposite problem. No, the limited time and money part is the same, unfortunately.:) But it's becoming very difficult for me to get the lessons with my pro. And whenever regular one is cancelled (often by him), there is usually no chance of getting it moved to another day or time. Obviously, it frustrates me, as the dance lessons is something I'm very much looking forward to, not to say an addiction.
    scullystwin42 likes this.
  10. scullystwin42

    scullystwin42 Well-Known Member

    hashed out a bit with smooth pro. It was a good discussion, and I'm happy we had it. Good double lesson last night. I can tell that if they find someone around the same skill level to replace him, he will be out of the studio in two seconds flat. Right now, he doesn't want to let down his friend who owns the studio. but he is a bit burnt out.
    MaggieMoves likes this.
  11. wamandance

    wamandance New Member

    I also seem to have this talent of dancing without breathing - usually in VWaltz. :)
  12. Lai Lai

    Lai Lai Member

    Oh, so I'm not the only one. It always surprises me how my "not breathing" can be so obvious to pros, but I wouldn't even notice that.
  13. 10tmf

    10tmf New Member

    Hey! Started taking lessons a bit over a month ago, and I’ve been enjoying them immensely so far. I’m new to dance in general so it’s been a lot to take in but I love the studio I’ve found and I’m practicing every day so I think I’m making alright progress. It definitely helps that I’ve played various instruments for over a decade so I can pick up the timing on songs easily.

    That being said, swing is proving to be a bit of a pain. I have trouble practicing it at home alone—it just feels way more natural to me with a partner—and I feel like it comes across in lessons (group and private) whenever I dance it. Definitely the style I’m least comfortable with overall.
    Dance Redeemer and cornutt like this.
  14. Purr

    Purr Well-Known Member

    Went to WCS workshops and dance...first two workshops emphasized basics and were informative...comment was made that a lot of showy moves are variations, either styling, timing or both, of basic moves...third workshop was a bust...basically a long drawn out pattern that I'll hardly ever see one in the class could lead it...made observation about the women that attended the dance...just about all wore pants...and a good number looked like they rolled out of bed, threw on whatever, and came to the dance...I am ok with the pants, but think would it be that much of an effect to wear a nice top, maybe an accessory or two, comb your hair and maybe put on a little makeup???...was wondering if this was a cultural thing for the WCS community...I don't get it...

    Maybe the next time I go to one of these, I'll roll out of bed, throw on a rumpled t-shirt and long pajamas pants, don't bother with hair, makeup or jewelry, get in the car, and go. Not.
    cornutt likes this.
  15. RiseNFall

    RiseNFall Well-Known Member

    I told Pro today that I wanted my Tango to look more like his, which is reminiscent of a big cat stalking prey. We worked on it. It's gonna take a while. :) I also gave him permission to pick my competitions for next year, with a few restrictions/guidelines. Perhaps in response to that, he upped the ante in the lesson a bit (even before I asked to make my tango more like his).

    We're down to one New Guy instead of two :(, but the one upside of it is that it means I dance more with the remaining one than I had been and we're getting better together. It helps, of course, is that my dancing is getting better. ;)
  16. Standard has been going really well lately, which is a huge change for me. Stability, movement, partnership, and smoothness/flow have noticeably improved. Some are still just glimpses of what I need to do/feel, but now I know exactly what I want to shoot for. My pro seems to have an endless supply of patience to work on subtle shifts in angles, weight changes, step size, body relationships.

    Latin is fun but more mixed. We're replacing choreography on several dances with harder combinations (in some cases, at least from my view, much harder). I'm struggling with balance and memory issues, never mind hitting timing, showing shaping, character, projection, dynamics, etc. Pro gets snappy when I forget the new choreo, so I get tense, and many of the Latin dances feel like they are regressing. But once I get it, the new choreo will be more exciting to watch and give me a lot of new technique and finesse to focus on. I just need to get through this phase of the process. But right now, I look forward much more to my Standard lessons. I don't think I've ever said that before.
    Caroline Skipper and FancyFeet like this.
  17. FancyFeet

    FancyFeet Well-Known Member

    First lesson back post-nationals last night. Watched pro watch my videos through twice, then handed him his own copy so he can watch ad-nauseum on his own time.

    He said some nice things :)
    • Apparently that was a "huge - not big, but huge and impressive" improvement over the comp I had done 3 months before, and he's "really, really proud".
    • We danced a spin turn in VW, newly allowed under the WDC rules, and all of the judges, including the chairman, noticed and were like "cool!" Apparently we were the first ones to do it, and it made us stand out.
    • He wants to work on making everything "more" - exaggerating the extensions, more foot articulation, more playing with the music. (I may have reminded him that was not the goal for this comp, but agreed with making it a goal for a future one.)
    • We're making a little tweak to FT (already done), and a few changes to QS, but keeping the rest as-s. Oh, and adding a flourish (back) into TG that I just didn't have time to get ready for this comp.
    Then it was all about the go-forward plan.
    • He thinks it's time to pretty much stop competing in Canada, and to head south. He thinks it will be motivating for me. My head was at mostly-Canada-with-one-US comp for next year, so I need to think about that. I'm not feeling motivated at all at the moment, so maybe new goals will help.
    • He's decided - and I didn't even need to raise it as an issue again! - to cap the number of students he brings to a comp at a lower number than he was taking this year. Really happy about this one, as I was about to select my comps for next year to avoid the ones everyone else likes to do (even if they are my favourites), because it's not fun when there's a big group and he gets tired and ignores those of us that are more experienced (but still charges the same). Because of this, he wants to know - ideally as soon as next week - what comps I want to do. Sounded like I get first pick, which is nice... I always set my comp schedule early and don't deviate, so I'll work well in this model.
    • I can no longer avoid dancing flekerls in competition. Apparently, they're happening at the next one, so I had better get comfortable with them.
    Generally, it was a decent back-to-dance. There was no crying, and a few hugs (all initiated by pro). I didn't talk much, but I will - I usually go back the next week for part 2 of the conversation, after having given some thought to what pro said.
  18. cornutt

    cornutt Well-Known Member

    Only one lesson the past four weeks, thanks to an eclipse, a holiday, and a hurricane. :rolleyes:
    scullystwin42 likes this.
  19. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    down to 4 a month ...all back to back...just trying to tread water...sigh...not sure this will change before late next Spring
    j_alexandra likes this.
  20. 3wishes

    3wishes Well-Known Member

    Backing off now that comp is over. Maybe one a week for now.

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