how are your lessons going? thread II

Lessons have been a bit sporadic due to my coach competing, but the ones I have had have generally been pretty solid (although I did have a particularly unproductive one after pulling all nighter due to work and school). A couple of people who take lessons at the same time I do mentioned to me that they could see a noticeable improvement in my dance which was really nice to hear.

Still focusing on quality of movement but the notes have gotten more nit-picky which lets me know I’m generally on the right track. Also started adding in new content which I have to admit I’m probably unreasonably excited for. I’m still stilling the basics every day, and I’m committed to making what I already know better, but it is nice to have new stuff to work on.


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Pro let the following slip:
1) The new choreo we've been tinkering with is something he's wanted to put in his pro routine for a while (he hasn't been competing due to aforementioned family reasons), and he finally went 'well, I know FF can do it'.
2) Students have been coming to him because of how I dance, especially once they hear I'm not a transplant from another studio. I've apparently been cited a number of times since nationals as 'I want to dance like her'.

Concrete signs of progress :dancingbanana:


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smooth and rhythm lessons last night - rounds to prep for comps. Went well, which was very nice! also fixed a few more nagging things. Knee is getting a cortisone shot tomorrow. I tried to avoid that, but while it's getting stronger with PT, the pain is not lessening enough. saw my new new showdance choreo and it is HILARIOUS AND AWESOME AND I AM SO EXCITED I CANNOT HANDLE IT
Had a lesson for the first time since July.... tweaked the waltz routine I learnt (new) back then - I had remembered it all, just a few alignments to tidy up and adjustments to make due to no dancing WITH someone. Then I asked to learn the foxtrot for that level (Gold).... when I got back to my accomodation I wrote down what I thought was right and then looked at the video - I got the first 16 figures right, missed one, got the next few, then was vague - I remembered there was a lunge, twist turn, hover cross and hover telemark but not the in between bits. So I remembered over half correctly. Very pleased, and also pleased at how it looks - the bits in waltz that felt good also looked OK and where I was thinking hard my frame and arms dropped a bit. I am OK with that. Also did a few group sessions during the week - Gold and above New Vogue (yikes, very out of practice but some kind partners were very patient) then beginner New Vogue, where I partnered as man (much to the surprise/amusement of some of the guys from the previous advanced class). I was able to dance with around 5 different ladies - great for all concerned. I can repeat it all again this coming week and then have to be patient again until I get back to this city in 6? months time.
comp week this week! rhythm was ok last night, but i feel confident in my routines. knee pain is gone in rhythm due to the cortisone shot! but the real test is smooth tonight, eek. Looking forward to competing! my comp video from last year March popped up on my FB, so i hope to see improvement from that.


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I learned all about runarounds yesterday! Seriously... very good session on aspects of frame, head position, balance, transitions, and all in all, how to do a runaround that's actually coordinated. Applicable to many other things. Now I have muscle isolations I need to work on...
well, smooth was not painful. but I was tentative dancing through it, since i didn't have my brace on, and i didn't know how far i could push my knee without it really hurting. Turns out i can dance full out! so that bodes well for competition. watched my rumba performance from last friday - i think it looks better than previously, but it's not what i thought it would be.


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Nice lessons today with New(er) Guy. He and I hadn't danced tango together for a long time and he could tell the progress that I've made. I'm planning on competing with him in May or June, so we went through everything in all four dances, and we were both pleased. Overall, I'm getting much more consistent. I'm also (finally) getting better at error recovery.
Had my first lesson in what feels like forever (coach was traveling to compete). Some steps forward and a couple backwards which was frustrating. It also didn’t help that I wasn’t able to practice as much as usual thanks to someone dropping a dumbbell on my foot at the gym, but that’s a whole different can of worms :mad:.

That being said, I fixed the nasty habits once so I can fix them again (apparently midterms and extra hours at a desk was murder on my posture). Started working on arms which is interesting. My non-dominant hand is having an easier time of things which was unexpected to say the least hahaha.

Anyway, glad to be back to my usual lesson schedule. The consistent feedback definitely helps keep me motivated.


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Pro is out of town at the moment, so more lessons with New(er) Guy. We're having a coaching together this week and know we want to work on Tango and Foxtrot in it, so that was our priority today. Tango is fun because it's all in the acceptable to good range, so we get to work on making it better in places. I'm waiting for somebody to move the goal post on me with Tango, but at the moment it is quite enjoyable. Foxtrot is a notch down from Tango in that it's not as consistent, particularly on the first run through. He greatly improved one of my newer figures, however, and by the end it was all pretty good. Just needs to start that way. Good news is that I've got a fairly short list of qualities/techniques that I need to improve or have become more consistent for it to all work well. We did a little waltz as well and he helped me with a place that had been suboptimal--though I'm pretty sure that correction hasn't stuck yet, and we worked on a part of a newer figure that I have had some trouble with. That will also need to be repeated another gizzillion times or so. ;)
Showdance lesson last night was so fun. It's almost all silly 80's aerobics competition "steps", we may add some hustle in later, but it's bloody hilarious to do.

SMOOTH. the post-comp lesson was strained. neither of us wanted a big blowout, apparently. lots of forced calm in our voices. He's frustrated because i have no consistency and we are repeating the same lessons over and over again, even after I've seemed to get the concept. I'm frustrated because despite this bloody cortisone shot, every time i try to collect and compress on my right knee, it's still twinging and feels unstable. Since we didn't talk much last night during the lesson, I was more in my head; now I'm thinking that the consistency may be failing because the pain causes me to lose concentration and awareness. it's distracting enough that my body then goes to old bad habits to compensate, and then i have to get back to where i should be, and then there is pain again. that would definitely contribute to the lack of consistency.

So, next steps - I found a physical therapist who specializes in dancers, and I go back in a couple weeks for a follow up with my ortho doc to see what other pain management options i have. If this all fails, i might have to give up smooth, which makes me very sad.
Had a really good lesson on Friday after my pretty crappy one on Monday (it amazes me how much state of mind can affect your performance). Posture was back where it was before. More focus on arms, which have gotten loads better but still feel ridiculous while I practice them in the gym.


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I'm frustrated because despite this bloody cortisone shot, every time i try to collect and compress on my right knee, it's still twinging and feels unstable. Since we didn't talk much last night during the lesson, I was more in my head; now I'm thinking that the consistency may be failing because the pain causes me to lose concentration and awareness.
I had an issue with my calf/achilles tendon for a week. NOTHING worked: my posture, my core, certainly not my brain. :eek:


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The coaching I was supposed to have got cancelled because of snow (flights cancelled), but I ended up having one with Pro and his new partner later in the week. :jawdrop: My, was she good. She fixed a couple of places that I had been having problems with and then decided to up the ante on my dancing in general. I'm looking forward to working on it next week.
I had an issue with my calf/achilles tendon for a week. NOTHING worked: my posture, my core, certainly not my brain. :eek:
Yeah, I knew it was affecting me, but I didn't realize by how much.

Had amazing coachings in rhythm, followed by a mini-dance camp over the weekend with the same coach. I got a lot of feedback on improving connection, and then it was repeated in the camp, so YAY REINFORCEMENT.


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Yesterday was a double lesson. First lesson continued the west coast swing relearn saga. Coach from a few weeks ago was to apply the same process as if it was a smooth dance, like stretching the movements out to fill the time, so that's what I'm trying to go with. The flow seems better. Pro is leading a lot more figures, with or without specifically introducing the newer patterns. After 45 minutes I was on information overload and suggested he move on to something else. Second lesson was AT. That went well for about 20 minutes, then I went on more information overload and it went downhill from there.

Next time I have a double lesson, I think maybe 30 minutes one dance, 30 minutes another dance, and the remainder review/refresher of other dances, including something fun.

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