I am always open to criticism, and welcome it. I do recall a Russian lady (Olga Kormanovskaya) who would say "tummy in", and then if I failed, I would get punched in the stomach, or have shocking profanities uttered about me. But it was also kind of entertaining.
Olga K! I love her to pieces. I got her back on the tummy thing once. She kept chiding me for letting my hips go back, and she'd grab my belt and pull on it. I got a belt and cut it in half in the back, and then I taped it back together so you couldn't tell. When she grabbed my belt and pulled, it came off! She just about died.
(My instructor said I should have worn loose pants, so they'd fall down...)
Your body is can be relaxed within certain limits. Once you cross them for various reasons (whether trying to make very upright posture body isn't used to / you don't feel in balance / steps are too big / leader violent / whatever the case), body is in fear for own security, reacting in tensing up, which blocks your range of motion. Unfortunately, with behind the desk jobs most people have today, body tends to activate only a part of the muscles with much power while other remain passive
Being toned means muscles are strong enough to withstand with most of them being engaged with relatively low power
Difference when dancing with tense (weak/blocked) and toned (strong and elastic) partner is really big. Only solution is a lot of all kinds of exercises
Can you ask your pro for some exercises so you learn the difference? I know of one I was shown for connection, where you put your hands on the wall in front of you with elbows bent. Relaxing so your elbows bend more and your nose hits tthe wall, is too relaxed. Being able to use your muscles so your arm straightens and you can more your body both towards and away from the wall is toned. Pushing away from the wall so hard that you can'tmove forward or back, or lose contact with the wall might be tense. The other one I liked was the rubber exercise band. If hangs droopy, it is too soft. If it is pulled between towo hands so that it is just under tension, that is good. If stretched out hard, that is too much (tense).
"yak, yak, yak, yak, yak, yak,....................................." when I'm wanting to do a another repetition of the move I'm currently working. Envision me with my hands clasped together in prayer position, thinking, "please, please, stop talking!" So I can get on with practicing.
"Bring a guest". If we could just have one party free from the usual announcements beseeching us to bring in guests and the associated incentives, I would be so grateful. I came here to dance, not to play free recruiter.
I'd expand this to "You should..." in general, regarding event participation. Last night: "You and hubby should at least come to the dinner after <the next event I'm not participating in>, it's only $95." Why of course, I'm sure we could just scrounge up change in the couch cushions to pay for that, and probably some extra to cover parking and the babysitter.
Variations on, "are you perhaps locking your knees"--referring to the point right before I lose my balance. And, "you know, it's actually quite helpful if you lower at the end of the measure."
I do find it helpful to put an error on my hit list of "things to be eradicated" and it is past time for this one. To add insult to injury, in most places that I do this I have some sort of connection with the leader, so I'm also not following the lovely lead I'm being given. Sigh....
I have pretty much the same sentiments about showcases. It's really just the studio favorites & friends that get most of the cheers anyway.
Independents? It's much less worth it.
I have to say the only thing I'm sick of hearing as far as dance studios go were my time spent in a particular franchise. They have their own "hot terms" that they use internally - and now they make me want to vomit. It's not really the words that make it, it's the smarmy inflection used. I can't stand that. The studio I practice at was a former franchise teacher and talks to one of his students that way. It makes me cringe...