how are your lessons going? thread II


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Lesson Friday afternoon...major issue was working on first wall of tango routine...the choreography is clever, but challenging, and it's all on me to sell it...I'm working on arm styling, including this head loop wrap coming out of a change in's great when the head loop works, not so great when it doesn't...had one laugh during initially was saying at beginning of routine in shadow, you're not taking big enough I take big steps...but at the end of the wall I do a spin and separate from him to finish...I take really big has to scramble to keep says, I didn't think you were going to take that big of steps...

No major issue with v. waltz other than the the usual...stay lowered's the story of my life...only a few more practices to go before event...thankfully nerves from last week are gone...just looking forward to getting on with it...will say I've learned a lot about the dynamics of movement in the past year regardless of how results turn out...


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Frustrating lesson this week. I was cranky and out of sorts a bit at the beginning, and definitely by the end.
This! Definitely my feelings about yesterday's lesson. I was just coming back after a 10 day hiatus, longest break for me since I began dancing years ago. I'm crossing my fingers that a little of what was wrong was due to this, but I'm suspicious that it isn't as responsible as I would like for it to be.

Pro was correcting a piece of technique in rumba. He would fix it, then something else would go wrong and he would have to fix that. By the time he "fixed" everything, I honestly could not remember what the original problem was.


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Lesson yesterday...dancing wasn't bad...but getting mixed feelings about going to dance event on Sunday...pretty close to saying to (moderates self) with the whole thing...made SOS call to the troops this morning...
Got the first chunk of our gold Paso routine. DP is dragging his heels (figuratively!) We had a routine once upon a time in Silver, but never really learned it. So there's going to be a bit of an uphill battle!
Smooth lesson tonight reaffirmed my love of the style! Did some solid work on fixing positioning and moving to "dominate" the space rather than just dancing down the line. Also started some basic silver foxtrot patterns, and I have a new favorite step!! That fallaway to oversway just feels sooooo nice when you nail it!
Lesson was difficult, but good. We went over our rumba routine and worked on basic technique since I'm still new at Latin. My partner is a bit more experienced but it's good to know that he has things he has to work too, a little reassurance for me that the lesson is not a waste for him. Our coach says that it's even more important for him to develop a clear lead since I still don't quite know what I am doing.
Say some more about what you did with this. I think I get what it's about, but I'd like to hear more.
Basically, the idea was to emphasize movement between the center of the floor and the edge of the floor more than movement down the line of dance and to really finish the movements all the way even when you're changing direction immediately (such as in the progressive open twinkles from the dvida silver waltz syllabus). Although at first it didn't make sense (my previous understanding was that smooth was meant to travel quickly down line of dance), it made sense after thinking about it more: the total circumference of LOD is much bigger than the distance from wall to center, so it will be easier for an observer to quickly spot a couple filling more of the space orthogonal to LOD than a couple moving more quickly down LOD if both are doing equally more than the other couples in their respective choices.


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Pro is increasingly allowing me to indulge my inner Cyd Charisse. I accused him of the open side by side work being a sneaky attempt to make me learn foxtrot figures. Other advise I accused him of trying to make me like it by convincing me it's really just like Latin. He likes my framing concept for the showcase. The music editing may actually be the hardest part.


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I had a nice lesson with my pro instructor last night. We spend some time on rotation, use of my back and head positioning. And I now have functional silver smooth waltz and foxtrot routines. They're fairly bare-bones, but they are functional. And unequivocably silver.
Great latin and smooth lessons this week!!!

Smooth polished up the waltz and foxtrot a bit more. Started talking about how the step doesn't really finish until you're taking the next one...still not sure I fully grasp how to apply it, but I could already feel it making a huge difference.

Latin lesson focused on how to really engage the arena space (I'm not exactly a showman by nature, so it's my least comfortable space usage by far). Also touched on deepening my understanding of rotation and how to work my arms and body to make my rumba basics look less like mud and more like rumba.


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A couple of routine (good but nothing special) lessons over the last couple weeks, and a great one yesterday. Viennese, waltz, foxtrot and quickstep all got some attention yesterday, with the bulk of the work on viennese and foxtrot.

Things are starting to feel really solid and together. The recent changes to my frame and increase in core strength are making a difference. And after several weeks of learning new choreography and figures, we're back at the stage in working the routines where it's little tiny tweaks that make huge differences - a slight change to the step angle, a little more or less shape in a certain spot, taking the energy out a little in a step, etc.

I still can't believe the changes that these imperceptible adjustments have. Not sure pro can either - he made a comment yesterday after a couple adjustments in waltz that he thought we'd really found the flow in that dance before Classique in February, but it's much better now and he likes it. I'm still jazzed about how it felt - calm and easy and graceful and pretty and collected and light but powerful... that's the feeling that has me hooked :)

Funny moment: Viennese is a fairly new dance for me, and has nowhere near the mileage of the others. It's come a long way, but tends to feel a bit rough or stiff when I dance it at speed - especially in the reverse turns (oddly, looks not bad, apparently). Dancing it yesterday during one pass, it felt really good. Smooth, and easy, and powerful... and I was thinking "wow, this is going really well". Then pro did a change step in an unexpected spot, and I totally flubbed it. As in, you'd have thought I'd never done the step before, ever, level of flub. Pro starts laughing his a$$ off, and called me out on what I was thinking. :oops: Whoops. Guilty.


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Pro cornered me last night and told me to think about what I wanted to work on during our lesson today. Odd. I usually get some input, but it's largely his call. Unless we're doing choreography, my typical lesson format is: 1) answer questions FF has come up with during practice over the past few days; 2) work on a spot in a dance that FF is uncomfortable with/feels is rough (and is usually a spot pro agrees needs work); 3) whatever pro wants or feels we need to work on (the bulk of the lesson).

Apparently today's lesson is entirely my choice, with the only stipulation being we need to work two dances, and run a third at the end. Oh, the power... and gah, choices!


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My pro literally banged his head against the wall yesterday because I was taking a few too many liberties in terms of "dictating" what we did. I had a bunch of technical questions and then when he wanted to add on to it I pretty much said I had taken in as of that type of information as I could. I did the same thing last lesson and then came back this week asking lots of questions about what I couldn't deal with last time. He knows he can override me when I say something like that, but I have resolved to do better next lesson. (The head banging is amusing, but probably not good for his head or the wall.)

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