Ballroom Dance > how are your lessons going? thread II

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

  1. JudeMorrigan

    JudeMorrigan Well-Known Member

    I had a bit of an odd exchange in my lesson this weekend. My am partner and I were in a lesson with my pro, and my am partner asked about my arms, in the context of whether or not she should be emulating me. I have what I tend to think of as "stupid little flourishes" in my arm styling. It's not a conscious thing, and I'm not a fan of them. My pro's response was something like this:

    Pro: Oh, no. That's just [Jude] being [Jude].
    Me [self-consciously]: Yeah, yeah.
    Pro: It's not a bad thing. I mean, to be honest, I was a bit worried about how your arm-styling would go over going into our first smooth competition, but I got a lot of comments on how wonderfully expressive they were. So I've learned to love it - you do your thing.

    Now, in theory, that should be a good thing. But I have to be honest - as much as I've argued with DoI in the past about the artistry in standard, striving to be Robo-Standard Boy is my comfort zone. I was honestly a bit taken aback ... despite knowing perfectly well that if I want to eventually dance open smooth, I'm going to need to be expressive in my dancing and ideally develop my own style. There's one point in my smooth waltz where I knew I was borking my arm styling, and my pro readily agreed that at that particular point, I was achieving a "t-rex changing a lightbulb" look. I honestly had an easier time dealing with that than I did the above exchange.

    On a wholly unrelated note, I learned this weekend what a spectacularly bad idea it is to try to get through three hours of lessons on two cookies and one slice of cake as my only food for the day. The last half hour or so was ... not the most productive lesson time I've ever had.
  2. Purr

    Purr Well-Known Member

    Coaching lesson Saturday...all about the waltz routine...both pro and I told coach we've struggled with the intro a lot and we've changed it several liked a place where the intro originally started, except he changed it up to make it look more Latin...I'm not feeling very secure about doing what he wants me to do, but it probably has more to do with my poor self-image vs. actual capacity to do any event, assured coach I would work on the intro by myself to get more comfortable with it...more about various movements and pieces of the manages to turn me into a human pretzel...I didn't think I could shape that is positively beaming by the end of the lesson...I am feeling lost...
    Dean likes this.
  3. llamasarefuzzy

    llamasarefuzzy Well-Known Member

    Finished new choreography for open rhythm. Now off to drill, and drill, and drill.... and drill technique
    FancyFeet likes this.
  4. Purr

    Purr Well-Known Member

    Lesson post coaching...all about the new Latin intro to the waltz routine...I am is having a good time laughing...I call him on it (can't repeat what I said or I'll get moderated)...I'm not laughing at you, I'm laughing with's ok, I am not mad...later to pro, you want me to do what???...gets a little better from feeling completely ridiculous to moderately uncomfortable...that's progress for assures me this will get feel better eventually...I sure as (moderates self again) hope it looks better than it thinks this was a great lesson...ok, see you tomorrow...I'm going to work on the intro at home in front of a mirror over the weekend...need to find a way to start channeling Calypso...

    Other thing...received an unexpected compliment from another student on the way're a lovely dancer...
    fascination likes this.
  5. Dancing Irishman

    Dancing Irishman Well-Known Member

    Second lesson in a row where my smooth teacher broke a sweat while partnering me. Also second lesson with the new silver waltz routine, and it's starting to feel darn good! (Even if I still feel silly doing smooth spirals...)

    Starting silver tango next week (comp end of September, so now is bang out choreo time) and I could not be more excited for what it will bring! The waltz pretty much had my wish list, including syncopated pivots, shadow position, and all the one-hand hold moves that I've always loved the look of when done well but never known enough about to do them well.

    And...Latin lessons start up again next week after a two-week hiatus!!! I am almost hoping for the weekend to fly by so I can get back into the swing of it all.

    JANATHOME Well-Known Member

    Purr. I had the same issue with my smooth opening in waltz.. I practiced this little opening non stop trying with all different feeling and "tweeks" until it was no longer what a coach showed me to do, but over time it turned into what I felt and it became mine... Just keep at it...

    My lesson tonight... The advantage I have found in doing comps one after another is I no longer get anxious at a dance lesson prior to the comp, it is just another productive lesson... Only two lessons in between comps and it is feeling good, becoming dynamic and my confidence is growing, but I am quickly becoming broke!!
  7. Cal

    Cal Well-Known Member

    As my neck seems to be a little bit more free, we're testing a few things to see if we can remove some of the modifications that were made to accommodate the stiffness/soreness. Conclusion is that, for the present, the modifications need to remain in place. Drat! But I'll keep trying.
  8. Dancing Irishman

    Dancing Irishman Well-Known Member

    First latin class in two weeks today!!! Practically skipping instead of walking excited (yes, I'm a dork).
  9. sbrnsmith

    sbrnsmith Well-Known Member

    I know the feeling....waiting impatiently for my 8 hours of classes scheduled for this week
    Dancing Irishman likes this.
  10. Purr

    Purr Well-Known Member

    Thank you, I hope I can find my way. I'm not sure what the coach was thinking when he came up with this Latin opening. On the surface, it's so far out of my comfort zone it isn't even funny. I understand, at least in theory, about projecting the character of the dance, but this - really??? Pro is no help, either. Something I think it would have been better to stick with the simple opening another coach gave us; while a little boring, it would have negated this whole issue.

    Friday's lesson was very disjointed, and very disappointing.
  11. stash

    stash Well-Known Member

    Scheduling our first lesson in over a year! So excited. It may be a wcs lesson, but it's a lesson nonetheless. I'm so giddy!
    Purr likes this.
  12. sbrnsmith

    sbrnsmith Well-Known Member

    One of those great lessons where we are both in sync and everything just flows
  13. FancyFeet

    FancyFeet Well-Known Member

    Had a bit of a fight with pro... first time that has ever happened. (We tend to get along really well, with no to very minimal clashing.) It's still bothering me a bit.

    I expressed a concern right at the start of my lesson, and got a huge bow-wave of stuff back. I declared a "whatever, let's just dance" ceasefire and managed to get a decent amount of work in during the lesson, despite my mad (both at the concern and the reaction to it). Concern was revisited at the conclusion of the lesson, where pro seemed a bit more receptive to hearing it - though only a bit.

    Found out later that the student before me expressed exactly the same concern, so I'm a little more understanding of the reaction I got. Pro was frustrated (and likely hungry), and I got the brunt of it... but still not so fun.
  14. scullystwin42

    scullystwin42 Well-Known Member

    FancyFeet, that sounds like no fun at all, sorry that happened! I hope it can get worked out.

    I think I may be on the cusp of figuring out how to not to have my shoulders move my ENTIRE BODY. this has been a constant problem, and i feel like I may have gotten a glimpse of a resolution. i like. if i get this down, i may cry tears of joy.
    FancyFeet likes this.
  15. RiseNFall

    RiseNFall Well-Known Member

    No, not fun. I always revisit something the next lesson if I feel the need to. "I would like to talk about [whatever]" used to make my teacher visibly nervous, but he's gotten used to it. I hope it gets resolved well.

    And yeah, I have also experienced a hungry dance teacher….:eek:
    FancyFeet likes this.
  16. FancyFeet

    FancyFeet Well-Known Member

    Thanks. We've talked today - well, typed :) - and he seems better.

    And really, when it's about dance stuff and I'm speaking as a student during a lesson, he's my instructor and needs to listen, whether or not he thinks my concern is stupid. He's asked me to try and share a little more about what I'm thinking and feeling about things so he knows what's going on in my head. It's always open for discussion and compromise, but getting angry that I'm worried/concerned/mad about something is not the best way to convince me to change opinion. Sometimes stuff rattles me... I'm not a seasoned pro!
  17. RiseNFall

    RiseNFall Well-Known Member

    As my teacher once pointed out to me, "dance instructors are people, too", meaning they have bad days, get tired, don't always conduct themselves just perfectly. All the same, getting angry is very high on my list of things that I just find unworkable. My teacher has gotten upset with me a couple of times more than angry, but that's close enough. It has always ended up been amusing in retrospect, but not sure that is going to be true for you in this case. We have concluded that my pro, like most people, is not a mind reader and the more I share with him about what is going on in my head when I am having difficulties, the better the lesson goes. To his credit, he does listen to me--something I am very grateful for. I do occasionally check that something I said was really taken in and not treated as an offhand comment and he very kindly confirms it instead of making fun of me (which I know would be very tempting).

    From another post, you are going to be sitting down with your pro and making some longer term plans and goals. I don't put in nearly the time that you do on dance (and it shows!), but I did recently go through a "what exactly am I doing???" period. Fasc pointing out in another thread that she just makes sure that no one aspect of her dance interferes with her overall love of dance helped me. It didn't so much change what I do, but helped adjust how I think about some of it.
  18. FancyFeet

    FancyFeet Well-Known Member

    As it's only happened once in all the hours we've spent together, I've decided he gets a free pass. I've certainly used up more than my free pass to overreact, so I feel it's only fair. One rough hour is definitely not enough to ruin a great working relationship :)
    RiseNFall likes this.
  19. sbrnsmith

    sbrnsmith Well-Known Member

    Had 8 hours of lessons this past week and feeling like made good progress. Plan to practice what I've learned this week. Sad that next lesson is not for 10 days.
  20. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    lessons this coming saturday....cannot has been ages...felt like pulling the car over mid way through utah and dancing on the shoulder of the road...truly
    debmc, dancelvr, Sania and 1 other person like this.

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