how are your lessons going? thread II

IndyLady

Well-Known Member
Rule with me and my pros is.... no coaching the week before the comp. that's for foot rounds slow rounds long rounds and regular rounds. Build connection and stamina. At that point we are partners. Unless I ask for info
I have a similar rule (which I have often had to enforce, since it's not always mutually remembered) - no new information the week before an event, whether it's Showcase or a comp. Run-throughs and reminders of already discussed items only.
 

scullystwin42

Well-Known Member
lessons were comp rounds this week. i am confident in my dancing but frustrated by a little trouble spots in just about every routine. gotta let that go mentally before comp next week. practice practice practice this weekend, just to ensure i've added on the spit and polish.
 

cornutt

Well-Known Member
Lessons for the next two weeks will be with alternate am partner, while regular am partner is gone on a (well deserved) two week vacation. AAP and I have recently taken it into our heads to choreograph a showcase Smooth Tango by ourselves. :eek: (We are calling it our "toy" routine, not because it's about toys, but because the routine itself is a toy...) So far, it's mostly syllabus steps with a couple of lines thrown in. We do have one cool bit where, after putting a dip, we realize that we come out of it in such a position that it's a simple matter to reverse the frame at that point. So now, for three 8-counts, I'm following. :dancingbanana: Anyway, the instructor is not going to know what kind of a trap he's walking into next Monday... :wacky:
 

debmc

Well-Known Member
Now that I have an out of town pro, my lessons are packed with information and the aftermath is sitting in the hotel room icing every joint in my body! Lol!
We also had a terrific coaching and it always amazes and humbles me how often I have to go back to the basics!
 

FancyFeet

Well-Known Member
Peeps, I actually enjoyed a VW-heavy lesson last night. It may be a sign of the coming apocalypse.

We tinkered with a few concepts for my basic... breaking at the hip at certain points, like I do in places in tango, produces a really interesting (in a good way) effect. We're also putting in a spin turn option that is new and allowed in the WDC world (pro still won't agree to throw in WDSF stuff), and have finally added flekerls (sadly, we're doing natural first, where I much prefer reverse). It seems that me losing my sh*t on pro a month or so ago about VW finally made my message about the 'my problem is entirely mental in this dance' sink in. I am beyond happy that we're adding more figures to help keep my brain occupied so I don't have as much time to think.

And, in FT: I have extremely flexible shoulders. As-in, can swing my arms behind me and clap my hands together at shoulder height (I can actually cross my forearms). This means that sometimes (okay, a lot) my right arm drifts behind me while I am dancing... and thanks to my shoulders, it's comfortable, and my torso doesn't twist... so I don't can't feel it and don't notice, which is making it super hard to fix. Last night, for the first time ever, I felt it happen. Pro was all "your arm", and couldn't understand why I was bouncing up and down with excitement as he spoke, even after I explained. I've told him I can't feel it, and asked him to tell me when I do it... but his face last night told me that he was thinking something like "oh, she meant she really cannot feel it happening at all, not just that she doesn't notice". Hopefully, this is the sign of a breakthrough and I'll be able to feel it happening in the future!
 
post-comp smooth and rhythm lessons in the books. smooth needs more places where we just breathe, but whenever my pro tries to change things, he tends towards the movement and power (he competed in standard and danced like an Italian). Gonna have to constantly remind him that we need breathing spots! both have improved, despite me being absolutely sure that smooth had not at all (comparison video to 6 mo ago proved me wrong lol). then spent another whole lesson on my mambo opening, sigh. there was much mocking. imma get that piece.
 
For the last month, my lessons have mostly been good. About a month ago, I had a great coaching with specific feedback on specific routines. Incorporating those comments into the routines we reviewed went really well, and I felt like I made a lot of headway. I then tried to incorporate those comments into all my dancing - that's been a little more mixed. I need to strengthen my core and improve my sense of placement in space -- especially for standard. It's definitely getting better, but this next phase is slower going. This particular coach doesn't come back to the studio too often, but I'm excited for his next visit. In the meantime, my Pro has been really good about developing little exercises that I can do to practice.
 
Hi first post to this website, nice to meet you all.

I recently started back at ballroom after a 10 year break (due to relocation). I had previously been up to my silver medals- completed latin and new vogue.
I've had 6 or 7 classes so far and even though I was expecting it, it really sucks to see that my technique is basically gone. Muscle memory has been amazing, I take one step and I can remember the rest of the dance, it feels very natural. Now that I'm back, I wonder how I could have given it up all those years ago. Also I've been going to beginner classes with my fiance and he is a brand new dancer. The studio owner said I should go to the intermediate classes but I don't feel ready and I actually really enjoy dancing with my partner. I'm determined though, I would love to get back to where I was and even compete once again.
 

cornutt

Well-Known Member
Hi, Mell, nice to have you back in the ballroom!

Lesson yesterday with alternate-alternate am partner, in which we worked some more on our showcase tango that we are trying to choreograph ourselves. Lots of comments on technique from the instructor, which can be summarized as: "You need more tango in your tango."
 

FancyFeet

Well-Known Member
Sigh.

*rant warning*

Conversation with pro about Nationals... not happy about the decision I reached over the weekend that 10-dance is not happening because working on my weaker style has been put off for too long (working it on my own doesn't really count), because a certain someone kept putting it off, and I (stupidly) not wanting to rock the boat kept reluctantly agreeing... I expressed that I wasn't happy about the decision, and he's all 'I feel like you are blaming me' and 'you should have been more clear' and 'I thought you didn't budget for it (it's 5 dances more than I had planned, because they're running separate 10-dance comps, so I'd have to dance standard twice) so assumed you wouldn't want to' and 'maybe next year'... on my side, I'm thinking (inside voice only) 'how was me repeatedly asking about 10-dance, contacting the organizers to find out about it when you didn't and telling you I want to do it for the last 8 MONTHS not clear? If we'd started when I wanted to, I'd be ready. And you've been talking about it as much as me... totally thought we were on the same page on this.' My outside voice simply said: 'Sure. I should have been more clear. I will be more forceful in making my points in the future.'

Then 3 seconds later, he's all 'what if we add extra dances at nationals? Do a 3-dance as well as scholarship? (My inside voice: F no. I'm so bummed I'm not even sure I want to go at all.) And want to do Standard at Ohio this year? I think it's really important you do a US comp this year. Think about it.' (My inside voice: Hell no. I planned on Michigan, and you made the executive decision that we were not going - which took me MONTHS to get over and involved a huge depression and much crying. And I have zero desire to do any work at all right now - like practiced once last week - so let me worry about maybe getting psyched for nationals and thinking a little less about quitting entirely.)

Decision on my part: Latin classes/lessons are going to happen somewhere else for the next little while, because I'm tired of having the decisions on my dancing being made by someone else and it's become pretty clear to me that pro will always prioritize standard with me... so I'm going to do this on my own if need be. If need be, I'll skip periodic standard lessons to find the $$ - because I miss the fun that latin brings. I've reached out to 2 places about technique classes already - which I don't consider cheating, because I've been very clear it's latin only that I am interested in.

Now I'm going to ingest wine... and order a pizza. Because, comfort food.
 

debmc

Well-Known Member
Sigh.

*rant warning*

Conversation with pro about Nationals... not happy about the decision I reached over the weekend that 10-dance is not happening because working on my weaker style has been put off for too long (working it on my own doesn't really count), because a certain someone kept putting it off, and I (stupidly) not wanting to rock the boat kept reluctantly agreeing... I expressed that I wasn't happy about the decision, and he's all 'I feel like you are blaming me' and 'you should have been more clear' and 'I thought you didn't budget for it (it's 5 dances more than I had planned, because they're running separate 10-dance comps, so I'd have to dance standard twice) so assumed you wouldn't want to' and 'maybe next year'... on my side, I'm thinking (inside voice only) 'how was me repeatedly asking about 10-dance, contacting the organizers to find out about it when you didn't and telling you I want to do it for the last 8 MONTHS not clear? If we'd started when I wanted to, I'd be ready. And you've been talking about it as much as me... totally thought we were on the same page on this.' My outside voice simply said: 'Sure. I should have been more clear. I will be more forceful in making my points in the future.'

Then 3 seconds later, he's all 'what if we add extra dances at nationals? Do a 3-dance as well as scholarship? (My inside voice: F no. I'm so bummed I'm not even sure I want to go at all.) And want to do Standard at Ohio this year? I think it's really important you do a US comp this year. Think about it.' (My inside voice: Hell no. I planned on Michigan, and you made the executive decision that we were not going - which took me MONTHS to get over and involved a huge depression and much crying. And I have zero desire to do any work at all right now - like practiced once last week - so let me worry about maybe getting psyched for nationals and thinking a little less about quitting entirely.)

Decision on my part: Latin classes/lessons are going to happen somewhere else for the next little while, because I'm tired of having the decisions on my dancing being made by someone else and it's become pretty clear to me that pro will always prioritize standard with me... so I'm going to do this on my own if need be. If need be, I'll skip periodic standard lessons to find the $$ - because I miss the fun that latin brings. I've reached out to 2 places about technique classes already - which I don't consider cheating, because I've been very clear it's latin only that I am interested in.

Now I'm going to ingest wine... and order a pizza. Because, comfort food.
I've found that most pros have that one or two styles of dance that they really like, and they may do the other ones...but it's usually pushed on the back burner. So best to do the style you love with a teacher who also loves it too, or it will always be on the back burner. Nothing wrong with having different teachers for different styles. I see it all the time.
 

FancyFeet

Well-Known Member
He is a 10-dancer, though more standard inclined... really finding that since his partner has been on a break, all he wants to do is dance standard, usually full-out. Which is usually good with me, but I am still paying for his time and need to be learning. For example, we may have had words today about not throwing certain brand-new-to-me things at speed yet, because I'm still working on them and they are not ready to be danced at tempo, because I'm faking footwork when they are learning bad habits.

In sum: He's been crabby for a few months. And been using me to practice (which is usually good for my dancing) while temporarily sans partner. And today I'm crabby. And then we were crabby at each other.
 
He is a 10-dancer, though more standard inclined... really finding that since his partner has been on a break, all he wants to do is dance standard, usually full-out. Which is usually good with me, but I am still paying for his time and need to be learning. For example, we may have had words today about not throwing certain brand-new-to-me things at speed yet, because I'm still working on them and they are not ready to be danced at tempo, because I'm faking footwork when they are learning bad habits.

In sum: He's been crabby for a few months. And been using me to practice (which is usually good for my dancing) while temporarily sans partner. And today I'm crabby. And then we were crabby at each other.
Have you ever walked into your lesson with your Latin shoes on and just said "were doing Latin today?" Is be doing that every lesson for a bit just to get the point across
 
FancyFeet, That sounds so frustrating! I understand not knowing if pro is making suggestions based on his own personal preference (also has competed 10 dance or, at various times, Standard only or Latin only, but with a strong preference for Standard), or if it's really based on where I need to be spending my time to improve. I know it can feel a little passive-aggressive, so it's not for everyone, but I do what rels77 suggested - I put on the shoes for what I want to do that day. My pro has agreed to that. Generally, we do one lesson one style, next lesson the other style. But I might do something different depending on whether I am struggling with something in practice that I want to continue from the last lesson or (especially for standard) if the floor is very crowded. Once in a while, he has asked to do standard anyway because he "really needs a standard day", and I will change shoes. :)

With respect to the competition planning, I don't really compete much (maybe this year?), but I have another team leader at work that seems like your pro - he means well, but goes off on tangents and is not much of a long term planner. Then he gets upset when stuff doesn't work out well, or I get upset because I am rushing and not happy to have to blow my budget, or timeline, or quality because he got so off track. We have a written plan at the beginning of the year and meet every 2 months to review and update where we are against plan/tweak plan - in writing - every 2 months. (We used to do quarterly; but we could get pretty far off track in 3 months). I don't know if your pro would be open to something that formal/standardized or if you want to "have to" treat something that should be fun that much like a job, but it could help your stress level a lot.

Finally, yes - do Latin elsewhere some for now. You'll know you get to do Latin for sure, and it'll help you have a breather from the stress of trying to manage your pro quite so much.
 

FancyFeet

Well-Known Member
In the past I have been all 'here's what we're doing today'... either style or dance, but I try to use it sparingly, because it does not go over all that well :rolleyes:

We do plan as a team - I set my plan a year in advance. I think the conflict comes from the different ways we see a plan. For me, it's a 'barring extraordinary circumstances (injury, illness, major financial crisis), this is what I am doing'. For pro, I think a plan is more of a loose guideline.

We started talking about maybe doing 10-dance at nationals in October/November... in January, I said I wanted to do it and starting working latin in earnest again in practices, dropping in to the occasional group technique session as my schedule allowed.

The agreed plan was to pick it up in lessons after our end-Feb competition, keeping my existing 3 routines and adding paso and jive. Then there was a comp in late-March that was planned... see notes in my post above about the depression that ensued after that fiasco. Then there was an end May comp, and pro wanted to concentrate on standard going in to that - at this point, he was still talking about picking latin up after it and telling me that there would be enough time (to which I expressed doubt, but was reassured it would be fine). At each lesson after that comp, I asked about latin, always getting put off to the next lesson, finally pinning him to the wall about it on Wed. To be clear, my standard has come a long way in those 6 months, so it's not like we were doing nothing.

I do realize, now that I've calmed down a bit, that he was just doing his thing where he realizes he's made a whoops and fronts with anger... he hates when I logic him into a corner. He is likely just as disappointed as I am, since he's been telling people for months that we were looking at 10-dance, and talking about our chances, etc. (which I have asked him not to do). Despite that, at my first lesson next week, I'll likely have to endure the spiel about how I was not fair with expressing disappointment, etc. (I get the spiel when he's hurt because he's taking a conversation about dance personally. I mostly tune it out at this point, and have ceased reacting to it, because I refuse to be drawn into an argument when I have clearly (and without blame or accusation) expressed my needs or feelings about something dance-related. I've learned he needs to rant it out in order to move on.) If he'd like to blame me for "not being clear" I can take that... doesn't mean I agree though ;)

(What can I say, we have a complicated relationship.)

I have a latin lesson booked with another pro at a different studio on Sunday. I'm going to be clear through my actions.
 
Is that a common thing in pro-am? Your pro always deciding what you are going to work on? When I go to lessons, I'd say 90% of the time they start with pro asking what we want to work on, but I also dance am-am. So I'm not sure if the difference depends on the pro or what style of dancing you're doing.
 

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