how are your lessons going? thread II

FancyFeet

Well-Known Member
That's a rough talk. Have you got prospective partners?
No. Hence... crying.

Things are a little better this week. Trying not to be peeved that for the first time in a long time, I was in the mood to really work... and pro called an end to my lesson 10-15 mins early, because his knee was hurting. (Must have been seriously painful for him to admit anything, because he does not like to show weakness. Me being irked is just indicative of my headspace right now, not really about him at all.)
 

SwingingAlong

Well-Known Member
Pro may finally get where my head is at, and how unhappy I am being just one of the pro-am gaggle ....the fact that am-am is where I want to be, but I don't think he ever realized that it was way more than an idle "oh, that'd be nice" wish...
Sorry to hear about this, hope things are a bit better now, and you can think your way into a happier place. I have wanted to compete for a long time too, but where I am, there is no chance of finding an AM partner, and not even any lessons (at any level) unless I want to travel for 4 hours, or fly, which I can't really afford on top of paying for a lesson at the moment. And with the teacher I do have, ProAm is not an option (he was openly horrified at the idea). I am learning to accept what I can't have, and channel the desperate wanting into other areas of my life. Over the last 8 winters, I have slowly been teaching my DH, and we are at the stage where he is confident to go out social dancing now and again (We had a few years of frozen shoulders and then I was sick for 18 months). But he loves practicing - we can go hard out and work on whatever we want to, and add a new dance or step when it suits us. The other day he was bouncing about and doing little skips of enjoyment, so I've started teaching him step hops. Sure, he's only about Bronze/Silver level, but is very athletic, so we can bounce around as much as we like, since there is never anyone else there. And while he doesn't do my routines yet (I was doing Gold Bar when I stopped having regular lessons) there is always stuff I can work on, and I still practice by myself a bit. So, I can't have a comp partner, but I have found a way to keep my dancing self very happy.
If it means that much to you, maybe it's time to look deeper into what is stopping you getting there. Looking at jobs in the US might be a place to start? Do some comps there, go on a holiday and check out the studios, build some friendships, so the move ends up being to a place you know, rather than a huge scary empty void. Speaking for what is was like for me moving towns here - I find it extremely difficult. Can't imagine I'd ever be brave enough to move country:eek::bookworm::bookworm::hungry::shy::sorry::confused::cool::p
 

RiseNFall

Well-Known Member
We snuck in some work on quality/technique in Waltz but most of Tuesday's and all of today's lessons were on learning the new figures. If I keep my wits about me (which is not guaranteed), there are only two measures of the waltz that I have difficulty executing. And there's a third that can slip by the wayside pretty easily. Tango and Foxtrot are executable, just not sharp yet. We added in yet another VW figure, partially because I have seen it danced a lot, really like it, and was excited about learning it. I'm sure that once I'm better at it I'll remember what I liked about it. ;)
 
Did Samba today. Met two new instructors for this group class. I picked up the techniques faster than the other styles I've done so far. I think I'm getting used to moving my body in certain ways and put my mind in a better learning state. It was a fun class. I learned a lot. Basic steps / whisk / voltas / crisscross voltas / travelling bota fogos.

I socialize and introduce myself a lot more now. Especially to help nervous newcomers feel at ease. I'm on a first name basis with a lot of the regulars and the instructors. Good times.

This is the last group class for the year. The next one is a month away. Same with private classes. So I'll have plenty of practice time to go over everything I've learned and really refine the basics of everything.

I'm glad I started learning all these styles of dancing. It was only 4 group classes and 3 privates (4 different styles in 1 month) so far, but I love it there and I've set myself up for success and a more colorful life for 2018. Being part of the studio and its great people also helps me become a better person in general.
 

3wishes

Well-Known Member
Lots of laughing, maybe something was in the water but everyone and myself had an extreme case of the giggles.
Lesson was good, worked on weight over hip in fast pivots, Pro is becoming much more adventurous.
 

RiseNFall

Well-Known Member
With the addition of the new figures, I asked Pro to map out for me what goes where on the floor. After this week, he'll be out for two weeks, then I'll be out, so there'll be a 3 and a half week gap before I'll have another lesson with him. We have a coaching later this week, so this was my last chance to get it figured out. There won't be quite as much time as I would like after I'm back to prepare for a team match and then a competition, so I wanted to get it straight now. Pro probably thinks he's teaching me a couple more figures before the competition. :rofl:

We primarily worked on the new VW figures and...well, they are definitely better than they were. :) That's about the best I can say about them at the moment.
 

FancyFeet

Well-Known Member
Trying not to be peeved that for the first time in a long time, I was in the mood to really work... and pro called an end to my lesson 10-15 mins early, because his knee was hurting. (Must have been seriously painful for him to admit anything, because he does not like to show weakness. Me being irked is just indicative of my headspace right now, not really about him at all.)
Pro cancelled yesterday for a "last minute personal appointment". Now I'm really trying to not be peeved.

(Seriously, I didn't really want to go anyway as I haven't been feeling well, and we were in the middle of a (not horrific) snowstorm, and he rarely cancels last minute (though still more than my once in 4.5 years - thanks, food poisoning!) so it's not really a big deal... I'm just fighting with the illogical, petty part of my brain.)
 
There was crying (not bawling, just a few tears), and intense discussing... and only about 10 minutes of actual dancing. Pro may finally get where my head is at, and how unhappy I am being just one of the pro-am gaggle - which made the light dawn for him on why I don't want to do things that 'everyone else' is doing, like perform at the annual studio showcase, and why I'm hesitating on committing to things next year. I've never made a secret of the fact that am-am is where I want to be, but I don't think he ever realized that it was way more than an idle "oh, that'd be nice" wish.

We cancelled my second lesson this week. Here's hoping this tough chat was where we turned a corner toward the better.
Sounds like something I'm about to face. Except 10 minutes of dancing - that is a lot, I only get that much dancing at a competition, not lessons. Or, what qualifies as actual dancing?
 

FancyFeet

Well-Known Member
My lessons are usually mostly all dancing. Dance, quick 'let's try this', dance... repeat for an hour. We're no longer at the place where I'm learning figures, etc. - we spend most our time on fine details. Even new choreography goes quickly. We added a new wall of QS last night that we were running to music in about 5 minutes, and part of that was me watching the inspiration video. It'll be comp ready in a few weeks.

Best of luck with your intense discussion!
 
Rhythm last night was good - last couple of lessons have been fun and challenging. Pro was in a very chill and zen mood, which was odd but amusing. We are focusing on more rotation in my lower body, and it's improving. I still need more, of course, but hey, i like to hear that I'm doing what we wants!
 

RiseNFall

Well-Known Member
Coaching last week, one with Pro and one with Newer Guy, though Newer Guy stayed around for both. She told me how to de-train-wreck some of the specifics of the new VW figures--and I phrase it that way because it is going to take a while to incorporate it into my body/brain. One of them, my brain completely gets, and it's just going to take practice. The other one is more complicated and is going to take more instruction as well as more practice. She also pinpointed one of the reasons my VW is trainwrecky in general. After watching me dance the VW a couple of times, she asked me to walk across the floor. Turns out that I don't rotate my upper body with my steps the way the vast majority of people do. She gave me an exercise to work on that--her point being that if didn't do it when I walked, it was going to be pretty difficult for me to do it while I dance. Also did some Tango with Newer Guy, and she radically improved our connection/and therefore lead/follow. Pro is now on vacation, so I had a followup lesson with Newer Guy today. VW work was good. Tango was a little frustrating, but I think I was expecting too much too soon. Sometimes I need to be happy with "clearly better".
 
My lessons have been mixed.

I’ve started getting frustrated with the chain studio I started at as I feel like the instructors are sort of hamstrung by copious amounts of red tape surrounding what and how they can teach.

That being said, I’ve started exploring other independent studios and my dancing as a whole has definitely gotten better because of it. After just a handful of lessons at a new location, I finally don't feel like a gorilla stomping around the floor (at least not all the time). The instructor there really slowed things down and focused on the quality of my steps—something I'd asked for five months ago when I first started dancing.

That being said, while I’ve definitely gotten better, Samba is an ego hit of the highest degree. As much as I love it, dancing does not come easily to me. I’ve played all sorts of sports growing up and been competitive in a number of them, but I’ve never felt as uncoordinated in my life as when I try to Samba. I tend to lunge or squat to get the bounce because it’s so ingrained in my muscle memory that by the end of any lesson that involves Samba I’m drenched in sweat and I feel like I’ve just finished running a half-marathon.

I know I’ll get better in time as I’m practicing daily but it’s still hard to look at myself in the mirror when I Samba. So much respect for everyone out there that makes it (and every other dance) look so easy.
 

snapdancer

Well-Known Member
Sounds like you're making a needed course correction and making progress in the proper direction.

Are you working on other dances like waltz and rumba as well? Or are you focused on the samba? (If so, an unusual choice for a first dance here in the US)
 
Sounds like you're making a needed course correction and making progress in the proper direction.

Are you working on other dances like waltz and rumba as well? Or are you focused on the samba? (If so, an unusual choice for a first dance here in the US)
I am working on other dances as well! I’ve been introduced to a variety of Smooth dances (Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, and the very beginnings of Viennese) at my starter studio which I practice regularly and really enjoy dancing.

With regards to Latin (which is what I’m focusing on with my new teacher as that’s what she competes in) we work on Rumba, Cha Cha, and Jive as well as Samba. I only singled out Samba specifically because it’s the one I have the most trouble with hahaha.

Once I finish up my current package at the chain studio I’m planning to start learning Standard at the independent studio as well (its roughly half the price so I’ll be able to take way more lessons).
 

RiseNFall

Well-Known Member
I had my last dance lessons of the year, with New(er) Guy, since Pro is out on vacation. We managed to dance Swing, plus all of the Smooth dances. Not everything in them, but we worked on the newer figures and incorporating information from the coaching the week before. We switched back and forth choosing what to work on. At one point, I said, "the Tango step I hate" and he correctly identified it without any more information. :rofl: Of course, the reason I hate it is because there are parts of it that I don't feel that I dance well, but we got it down to just one or two measures. I had already decided that maybe I didn't hate it so much, when Studio co-owner walked by and NG asked her for help with it. After she obliged, NG said to her, "You are a genius!" Her nice reply, "No, I just have more experience." :)

I budget my lessons for every week of the year, even though I know I will miss some. That means that while I'll be missing lessons for the next two weeks, I get the fun of making them up when I get back. Some of that will be having studio co-owner and/or Pro coach NG and me a couple of times, which we both are looking forward to.
 
My last lessons of the year were pretty fun, and feel like a new period in my dance education! After months of strict focus on the mechanical aspects of my smooth choreography (my first experience of open choreography), it's nice to begin serious work on musicality, phrasing, finding light and shade, and putting all the technical fundamentals to use in order to actually "dance".
 

scullystwin42

Well-Known Member
nice rhythm lesson to start the year yesterday, and i was all ready to practice what i learned tonight. and work out. BUT THEN someone hacked a friends' site and so i spent most of the night fixing it and eating sourpatch kids. but the lesson last night on rumba was really good! working on ALL THAT ROTATION/OPPOSITION. feeling better about all that.
 

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