Ballroom Dance > how are your lessons going? thread II

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

  1. RiseNFall

    RiseNFall Well-Known Member

    I deal with that as well--to a certain extent just walking into a dance studio, but it has the potential to be crippling when competing. I have learned to turn off the self judgement when I need to, which I know is more easily said than done. Here are some things that have helped:

    1) Re-reading The Inner Game of Tennis. I use it for my critical self-talk and fear as well as for the dancing itself. (If you don't know the book, do a search on it in these forums; I gather it has come up a lot).

    2) Pretend I am, oh, Audrey Hepburn (that was for a waltz). I know it sounds ridiculous, but it helps with presentation and poise. I read an article recently about a study that said that if you adopt confident body language, you actually become more confident. Or try to channel some dancer you like.

    3)The blog is quite inspirational about dancing from the heart even when you don't fit the body type at all. The author of it is member here, but I don't think she's on much.

    4)Try to be kind to myself. It's easy for the worst thing about my dancing to be what goes on in my head. Once, I realized I was chastising myself for, well, chastising myself. "If you don't a hold of all of these negative thoughts you're never going to be able to dance well." I think that was when I reached for the Inner Game of Tennis. I don't try to squelch the negative thoughts as much as let them disperse.

    I got a huge number of complements at the competition after I put all of this into action--and had a lot more fun--and danced better (for the most part!). I had something of a melt down AFTER the competition, but Rome wasn't built in a day. You'll find a different list that works for you, but I hope this helps some and gives you some ideas.
    Dean likes this.
  2. 3wishes

    3wishes Well-Known Member

    SCREAM! He changed Foxtrot! no no no nooooooooooooooooooooooooo, she screams ARGH, new timing, new steps, new this and new that...seriously? Where's my hole, I need to crawl into it.
    ajiboyet and danceronice like this.
  3. Purr

    Purr Well-Known Member

    Had lessons Friday and Saturday, the first since event, all waltz...both pro and I are on the same page regarding my performance at moving forward...quality of movement has improved sufficiently that its time to work other items regarding overall kept working on one big visualization of it was as follows...I'm 4 years old running across a field...whee!...there goes my red balloon floating away...but as silly as it sounds, it worked...some unexpected coaching opportunities have presented themselves...told pro to schedule, but also suggested if it doesn't work out, we can always get another coach...have also committed to a local multi-studio event in we go again...but at least this time I'll be in dancing in a more comfortable ordering royal blue lace Dance America practice dress this morning for event...
    3wishes likes this.
  4. Wannabee

    Wannabee Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the info RiseNFall, and to the rest of you as well for your encouragement and letting me know that I'm not alone in feeling that way. I will definitely try to incorporate some of the tactics RiseNFall mentioned into my thoughts and attitude on the dance floor.
    Purr and cornutt like this.
  5. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    I think he's viewing this showcase as "How to make her learn foxtrot by sneaking it in." I mean, I now know a reverse pivot. Can I do a normal one? Not that I know of. When he asks have I ever done a tumble turn and I ask what syllabus that's on all he does is laugh and not answer me...(OTOH, I now don't really have a frame of reference for 'pivots are hard' because this reverse pivot thing isn't that when I object to them later...a-hah, his evil scheme becomes clear now....)
  6. dancelvr

    dancelvr Well-Known Member

    Another productive lesson. We cleaned up a couple of things in Rumba, and really got moving on ChaCha. I got some drills to work on for the next two weeks, and I'm excited to get started! We finished up with some tweeking in Waltz. *bliss-bliss*
  7. nikkitta

    nikkitta Well-Known Member

    whoa, I read that too quickly and thought it said TWERKING in Waltz :eek: :jawdrop:
  8. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

  9. Purr

    Purr Well-Known Member

    Lesson yesterday...very confused...spent the entire lesson in front of a mirror going over the entrances to the tango and v. waltz routines...a humbling experience for sure...had a lot of insight for tango entrance, but ready to toss v. waltz wasn't working...might be better during Friday's lesson...have coaching set up for Saturday...and additional coaching set up for Tuesday...I'm not sure about back to back coaching with different coaches, but there's no other way...can't pass up second coaching opportunity, though I'm a little intimidated...onwards and upwards...
  10. FancyFeet

    FancyFeet Well-Known Member

    Another good one last night. VW, Waltz and Foxtrot. Worked on musicality in all three dances - taking them off of strict timing, emphasizing certain beats by stealing time from others, putting dynamics in certain phrases or bars by adding energy in or taking it out... this was a lot of fun. I have been waiting to get my level of control and ability to the level where I could do what I hear in the music, and it's finally getting there. And from the glimpses I saw in the mirror (and the number of people I caught watching, other pros in the middle of lessons included) it looks really good. And, best part, feels pretty easy and effortless! :)
    Sania and nikkitta like this.
  11. 3wishes

    3wishes Well-Known Member

    Signed up for coaching in May, the heavens above KNOW I need this - especially with everything changing, holy moly.
  12. Dean

    Dean Member

    RiseNFall, thank you so much!!! I was quite discouraged watching my own videoes (wife taped me), and also I am having huge problems with my body type - wife always told me I am more a butcher than a dancer. But the blog you mentioned in your post, it is so inspiring!!! While only read her first 4 or 5 blogs, I decided that I am not going to worry about the things I have no control over, such as my short leg/arm/neck and my huge head, instead, I will always imagine myself as Audrey Hepburn :) while on the dance floor, and let "the joy just oozes out of" myself (quoting Stephanie)
  13. sbrnsmith

    sbrnsmith Well-Known Member

    Awesome lesson....sometimes I love the pre-comp lessons, other times not so much....although excitement for comp is great, I'm kind of looking forward to those lessons with no comp on the horizon.
  14. Wannabee

    Wannabee Well-Known Member

    Body image issues aside for a moment (though that is easier said than done), I am starting to get a bit more excited at the prospect of competing at the next level. I'm feeling more motivated and feel as though I'm seeing slow but at least not non-existent improvement in my dancing. A million things still glaring at me to fix them YESTERDAY, but as I get to break down each pattern, I think some of those corrections are becoming more intuitive and the ones that aren't, applying the corrections that pro points out is coming quicker as well.

    Specifically, I am feeling a bit freer to apply more shaping in waltz. I think perhaps my base and movement between the feet is more solid, which allows me to exploit all this balance with the upper half of my body.

    And in rumba, my arm work is getting easier to apply. It is a slow road but I'm getting to where I don't cringe at the thought of doing with my own arms what pro is demonstrating. In the past I would try it, feel ridiculous, ask to move on, and that would be the end of "arm work". Now, I try it, still feel ridiculous, but instead of asking to move on I actually listen to pro's feedback and, when he makes me, use the mirror as a tool to improve my arm work instead of this cruel instrument of torture.

    And lastly, Bolero. I have not explored Bolero enough previously to really form an opinion about it. It was always this sort of smooth dance stuck in the rhythm category that I couldn't quite figure out. But now I am starting to appreciate it for its own thing. It is still a bit confusing at times, but I'm feeling much more confident about what it should look and feel like, rather than it always having this sort of "do this part like waltz-y and this part kind of like rumba" thing to it.

    Much more work to do, but I'm back to enjoying my lessons. HUGE HUGE HUGE deal for me as I was starting to wonder if that would ever again be the case.
  15. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 New Member

    I took my first lesson Thursday- just a preview lesson to help me decide which class to join (Rhythm or Ballroom. Turns out I couldn't decide, so I signed up for both groups.)
    I learned the absolute basic steps (some of which I had learned before when I did a social dance group class like 6 years ago) to Foxtrot, Tango, Rhumba, Cha-Cha, and ECS. Because I asked, he showed me a basic step for Quickstep and Samba. And also a corte (? It was a lunge) in Tango.

    I really liked the Tango and Quickstep a lot, and realized that Samba must be insanely hard. The bounce was crazy difficult- and this was just the most basic step it could be. The rest wasn't really anything new; except that Rhumba was different from what I remembered (I remember rhumba being very difficult to count, and this wasn't)- though I've already forgotten how to do that one.

    I also bought a pair of shoes. The studio was really good and told me I could use any leather or suede sole dress shoes with a heel- but I have exactly NONE of those. I'm excited about the shoes I got, but realized I could have saved about $30 if I bought them from Discount Dance. Oops- oh, well, there is only one studio around here, so it is probably good to support them!
    cornutt and ajiboyet like this.

    JANATHOME Well-Known Member

    About shoes... Recently bought a new dancer sneaker that I love... Saves my feet in a long lesson.
    Lessons - finally. I dont know why but I was having such a problem with the quick and slows in Quickstep and FINALLY last night I got it, felt it.. Major break through. DUHH, changes the whole dance when you have the timing right!!
    dancelvr likes this.

    JANATHOME Well-Known Member

    Oh another thing, started to read The inner game of tennis. Thank RiseNfall for the suggestion.
  18. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    welcome to assured the samba basic is in fact very hard to do well....and yes, a corte is sort of a can do it in almost any dance but yes, you will see it often in tango
    ajiboyet likes this.
  19. dancelvr

    dancelvr Well-Known Member

    Oh.....I was sooooo here when I first started Latin after years of Standard. I felt like a complete fool, just waving my arms around. It took me months of forcing myself to do it, and practice in front of a mirror to even get comfortable, but now....I really enjoy arm styling. :)
  20. Dancing Irishman

    Dancing Irishman Well-Known Member

    Starting to get way more comfortable with my latin technique!!! Group class today really got into the nitty gritty of basic checks in rumba and my coach gave me some feedback to get my cha cha back basic to stop feeling stiff...all in all a good lesson.

    Standard and smooth are starting to feel a ton better as well. I still struggle mightily to keep my hips and ribcage closed, but shaping and frame are starting to feel a ton better! Apparently a smooth lesson a week is exactly what I needed to start progressing in standard (haven't really done much out of closed hold yet, so almost everything is transferring over to standard).

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