how are your lessons going? thread II

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.
 
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.
 

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 again...no 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.
 

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. ;)
 
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.
 

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.
 
amazing coaching last week right before comp. soooooo good for smooth. two really great ones in smooth, now i need one in rhythm. rhythm lessons went really well but then brain falling out at comp means my best wasn't on display. dreading monday's rhythm post-comp lesson...even if the video showed that it wasn't as bad as i thought.
 

cornutt

Well-Known Member
Finally a lesson. Mostly just trying to remember what we were working on last time. The most useful part of the lesson was where we had a discussion about light vs. heavy leading and following. My partner, bless her, tries to be a light lead, and sometimes she does it to a fault and starts anticipating so that she won't seem "heavy". The instructor explained that there are points where you have to actually set a position, so to speak, in order to maintain enough tension in the connection so that both partners can feel what's going on. My part of this is to let her finish something before leading the next thing. I have to wait until I feel whatever I led last "take a set" so that I know where my partner's balance is. My partner is such a joy to dance with, so I don't want to abuse the privilege and "muscle up" on her. (Which she appreciates... she told me so later.) I have to learn to better distinguish the difference in feel between the "set" that sets things up for me to initiate the next thing, and using force to start something.
 
post-comp lessons the last two days. forgot my video for rhythm (not on purpose, lol), but brought it for smooth. Rhythm post-mortem wasn't too bad. if there was more competition at the comp, i would not have placed as well in rhythm as i did. but he did admit that at least I've progressed enough to have my brain fall out but my body still moves the way it's supposed to. Smooth was a pleasant review, as i finally look like i want to! now to add on from there.
 

FancyFeet

Well-Known Member
I should have probably clarified that pro is insisting we get the natural fleckerl down... and I'm a counter-turner. Reverse ALWAYS feels better to me; I have to work twice as hard on anything where I rotate to the right (though that is getting better over the years). And contracheck (the entrance) is one of my least favourite figures... really, it's not surprising that I'm not loving natural fleckerl.

VW waltz spin turns, on the other hand, are a total "yippee"; got those down and competition ready in about a month.
 

j_alexandra

Well-Known Member
I should have probably clarified that pro is insisting we get the natural fleckerl down... and I'm a counter-turner. Reverse ALWAYS feels better to me; I have to work twice as hard on anything where I rotate to the right (though that is getting better over the years). And contracheck (the entrance) is one of my least favourite figures... really, it's not surprising that I'm not loving natural fleckerl.

VW waltz spin turns, on the other hand, are a total "yippee"; got those down and competition ready in about a month.
Oh yeah, those spin turns are like crack

Had a conversation with Teach yesterday about natural turns vs. reverse, and why natural is so much harder than reverse. Was an interesting conversation. Must be in the air.

I love contracheck, entrance and all. No accounting for taste ;-)
 
Just hit the two-month mark on lessons this week and so far things are going well (at the very least I’m having a lot of fun)! My coach was impressed with how much better my frame has gotten since the last time we danced Tango together which was really nice to hear since I put a lot of effort in to fix it at home.

I’ve also started popping in for group lessons so I can get exposure to more dances we haven’t gotten to in my private lessons which have been fun as well as very useful with regards to helping me learn to lead better overall. As dumb as I’m sure it sounds, I didn’t realize how different it would feel to dance with different partners until I started doing it.
 
Question for competitive ProAm ballroom dancers: how much time in a private lesson you spend on dancing to music in real tempo (a whole dance without stopping?), compare to learning the technique and perfecting single figures? Does this proportion change, and in what direction, as you progress?
 

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