Ballroom Dance > how are your lessons going? thread II

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by fascination, Dec 20, 2007.

  1. latingal

    latingal Well-Known Member

    Speaking of lessons, it was rounds and review day. After awhile you get tired of hearing that you still have not gotten rid of various weaknesses you've tried to get rid of. :confused:
  2. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I know you will...
    latingal likes this.
  3. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    interesting lesson...long talk...which never...and I mean never happens......I say my stuff... and I have to own up to some personal shortcomings...and that wasn't so bad....and then there was better dancing which really is the whole point...not sure where this whole competition thing is going...but it looks a bit less bleak than yesterday
    latingal likes this.
  4. FancyFeet

    FancyFeet Well-Known Member

    Last night's lesson was good. New QS routine, as apparently the old one (learned 3 weeks ago) was "too easy" and didn't show off my "power" enough... since I'm roughly 2.5 hours (including last night) into learning QS, I'm considering this to be a good thing. A little more chatting than usual, which is normal for new choreo nights. Also hadn't had a lesson in 2 weeks, so more than usual to catch up on.

    Will be back at it in a couple of hours, first time I've done lessons without at least couple of days to work on what we talked about before the next one - which means I'm about to find out how much things sink in for me simply by sleeping on them.

    Also somehow got talked into doubling today's lesson, making it not only a make-up for pro cancelling on me last week, but also for him missing a lesson in a week or so while he's away at Blackpool... he's nicknamed today 'Ballroom Bootcamp'. Colour me slightly afraid...
  5. cornutt

    cornutt Well-Known Member

    Sigh... tough time this week. All of a sudden, it seems like all of my dancing is being rebuilt from the ground up... someone tell me again why I am having to go through this? Bolero has gone from having a couple of minor hitches to being totally broken, and everything I try to fix it makes it worse. Movement is extremely heavy and I feel like I'm dragging a telephone pole around, standing up.

    WCS has been drastically revised. Tap steps are totally gone; everything is triples. Having to be much more careful with movement and alignments, based on what I'm told judges are looking at these days. Several of my favorite steps have come out because they aren't syllabus at our level. Yeah, my footwork needed to be cleaned up some. But now I feel like I'm having to be ultra-careful and precise with everything, which to me kind of goes against the grain of what WCS is. Pretty much everything that I've ever done to put personality into the dance is gone. Yeah, I'm probably dancing more "correct" and precise. But I feel like a robot doing it.

    Thursday we were going through some cha-cha during our lesson, and I asked to work on a spot turn combination step that I've been having problems with. We went through it a few times, and then at some point during one of the run-through, at one point I I chose to lead a free spin in place of an underarm turn. I don't recall why, but it seemed that on that particular time through, we were set up better for a free spin. Anyway, my DW raised my arm and led herself through an underarm turn, which knocked me off of my balance, and then she stopped and asked me what the heck I was doing. When I told her that I had tried to lead a free spin there, she said, "That's not the way the book says to do it!". And given the fact that we had just completed the syllabus purgatory that is WCS for me right now, that just really got under my skin. I bit my tongue, but I was a marionette for the rest of the lesson; I was basically allowing myself to be back-led. I kept thinking "She's going to do whatever step she's going to do". I was tired of fighting it.
  6. latingal

    latingal Well-Known Member

    Hang in there does look bleak at times, but the next ray of sunshine is right around that cloud!
    cornutt likes this.
  7. latingal

    latingal Well-Known Member

    As for me, totally confused....but choosing to ignore it right now. Too much going on to stop and wallow in that. Will figure it out later. Just going to have to go with what I've got right now!
    debmc likes this.
  8. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    cornutt...I find that improving technique does, for a time, sometimes make things feel worse and less natural...until it makes everything feel wonderful and more will come
    SwayWithMe, FancyFeet and cornutt like this.
  9. FancyFeet

    FancyFeet Well-Known Member

    Survived bootcamp! (But was indeed bootcamp-like... worked my tail off did have to soak my tired, tired feet when I got home. A little stiff and sore this morning!)

    Turned out to be lots of QS, and I'm loving that I got the new routine, with some new-to-me steps at Friday's lesson, and after working on it for an hour and change on Saturday, it's starting to look (and feel) really good! Piles of work still to do, but the footwork is clean and the musicality/expression is coming...

    Also got some new exercises to do, a first wall for a foxtrot routine and ran waltz for a bit, with a couple corrections to practice applying.

    The concluding comments from pro: 'really good work today. QS was your best dance today, but overall, really good job.' Yay me! Two solid lessons (well, three I guess) in a row, breaking my traditional up and down pattern!
  10. bia

    bia Well-Known Member

    Good lesson yesterday. Mostly work on frame/posture/relative positions, which is our perennial theme, but there were a few new ideas and more importantly, a few new ways to think about old ideas that I think will help us actually apply them and maybe hear something truly new someday. Now to see if we can reproduce any of it during practice.
  11. JudeMorrigan

    JudeMorrigan Well-Known Member

    Well, that was quite the busy weekend in terms of lessons.

    I had a very nice rumba lesson with my am partner Friday. It was a total back-to-basics sort of lesson that I think we really needed. We did a lot of rumba walks, there was a good bit of emphasis on hitting the accents, it was really just what the doctor ordered.

    Saturday I had a trial lesson with a potential am partner for smooth. I'm not going to lie, I'm a little torn here. On one hand, the girl has a fairly serious ballet background and with a bit of training would likely be the best am partner I've ever had by a comfortable margin. She even has the virtue of being genuinely tall. But there's still a measure of frustration with starting over again with someone who is, for now, dancing at a pre-bronze level. Rationally I know that working with her will very much be for the best, but there's still a sense of being on a carosel. I have to be very careful here, not just to avoid expressing frustration with the new girl, but to not let this affect my relationship with my current standard and latin partner. Especially since my instructor is not exactly being subtle about really wanting to see my dance standard with the new girl down the road.

    Sunday I had a very nice lesson with my pro instructor. We hit at least a bit on all four smooth dances, and she cleaned up my right side lead some in my tango. It was a nice, productive, drama-free lesson where I felt like I was definatively moving forwards.
  12. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    sounds like you are proceeding wisely...

    no lessons here for 10 whole days....whine...too busy this week b/c three co-workers are on vacation....and dh and I are doing a 5 day weekend after that to a golf resort and spa...two glorious 80 minute massages booked
    latingal likes this.
  13. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    that a girl!!!!!!!!!!!!! enjoy
  14. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    serious ballet background,,,,,,she will catch up in a month!! ( or close) she wont know what or why but she will know how:p

    and as you are tall you gotta take her:cool:

    MY KINGDOM FOR A TALL PARTNER!!! :eek: oh wait I found one........ just gotta get the mrs permission to do pro am with her:D
  15. JudeMorrigan

    JudeMorrigan Well-Known Member

    I had what was supposed to be a practice session with Ballet Girl today turn into an impromptu lesson since our instructor was there and apparently bored. I have to say, while there's plenty are simply doesn't know yet (no fault of hers), the stuff she can do with minimal ballroom training is nothing short of ludicrous.
  16. dncergrl

    dncergrl Active Member

    Jude, Hang in there with ballet girl. My pro has thrown as much as I can learn in the short time I have been with him and I believe it has been rewarding for both of us, although maybe a bit unconventional. I am working on Champ tech simultaneously as learning the "steps" and terminology. Sometimes we lose track of what patterns I have learned and as he leads me through something complicated and says "Do you know .....?", I can only follow and answer "I do now". But then he does break it down. I was forgetting some of the patterns from week to week because I am learning so fast. But then I started videoing the patterns and now the latin syllabus through gold is mostly learned in about 6 months. BUT I have been working on the proper tech for a samba whisk, rumba walk, etc. for months, too and don't have it yet. That will take years. There are endless corrections. So I am humble. The main thing is that if somebody is an experienced dancer, going through the same lock step training that non-dancers get is not a lot of fun and not what they need. But they don't belong with the big guns either. It is like heaven finding a teacher who is flexible and creative about what a student needs. My pro did not mind teaching me the most basic stuff and still has to, when we discover something "missing". We laugh a lot and I love him for challenging me. Sometimes a ballet dancer needs someone to teach her how to weight shift and unlearn the automatic ballet tech and that is a LOT of work, too and tricky to teach. And of course, to teach her to follow. Maybe the biggest challenge of all! Ha! As an aside, I am thinking of doing my first comp (to be with my new friends), but I don't know what the heck level I am in. If I could compete in rolled up yoga pants and a t-shirt, I might do it. Can I just wear my practice skirt? The thing is, I watched my studio mates at a comp and I could hardly sit still when the music started playing.
    Sania likes this.
  17. FancyFeet

    FancyFeet Well-Known Member

    ^^ This. Agreed.

    As someone who almost dropped ballroom after my first beginner class serial due to boredom, I'm so grateful that I spoke to one of the studio owners first. Now, due to their willingness to be flexible with me, we've found a combination that works. It means standard and latin group classes at the most advanced level offered at our studio when I've never attempted the dance before, and private lessons where we work on standard technique nuances that I'm well aware don't normally get taught to people that have been at this as short of a time as I have.

    The challenges: competitions starting when and at what level (and do we wait until I know all 5/10 at a passable proficiency level to do a scholarship, or start with single dances), and finding a patient (and tall) partner that understands the odd progress curve I'm on.

    Ballet girl seems to have found the second thing!!
  18. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    It's bad when half the time I know what he's going to say before he says it. Then there's "What if it's pick one?" "I want both!" He'll be happy if I remember either look out or hip back on Saturday. Also, do not wear your fishnets the whole practice. Of course I snag a heel and rip a hole. Though given it kind of works for the look, I might just do a matching hole on the other leg.

    This showcase feels different. Were're still tweaking, but not in a bad way. Had a double today and we spent most of it on the showcase and I don't know what the judges will think on Saturday, but it looks good, and if nothing else it's going to be different.
  19. llamasarefuzzy

    llamasarefuzzy Well-Known Member

    Coach said lock to wing was "very good!" Omg . greatest day ever:D
    fascination and latingal like this.
  20. Dancing Irishman

    Dancing Irishman Well-Known Member

    Hang in there and be patient with her! I had a partner on my collegiate team who started ballroom a year after I did who caught up to and surpassed me by our first competition a month after she started. It's a shame she had to quit to focus on schoolwork, her jazz/tap/ballet background made her pick up things absurdly fast. It's not a coincidence that a lot of great ballroom girls have a previous ballet background, the training she already has for posture, balance, and extensions will carry her (and therefore you as a couple) far.

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