how are your lessons going? thread II

JANATHOME

Well-Known Member
Lesson after last weeks 2 coaches sessions(2 different coaches) I am quite pleased that a good portion of what I was coached on showed up in my lessons. I wonder why with one of the coaches, which we use often, I seem to retain a great deal of what I am taught...interesting.
 
Last latin / standard lesson til coach comes back from Blackpool was this week. As a result, I have tons of homework to tackle in the 3 and a half weeks he's out, and I'm kind of ridiculously excited about it. Now I just need to put aside the hours to actually fit the practice in!

There's also a chance I'll be able to take a guest coaching from a big name smooth coach (my smooth teacher's teacher) when he comes into town in a couple weeks. I'm not sure if it's something I'm ready for yet, or if I still have so many bad collegiate habits I need to stamp out that it's not worth cramming any more info into my brain (being more or less self-taught in smooth has given me some seriously awful habits...fortunately I have a very patient coach and am happy every time I catch one). It helps that he comes in every couple months, so I know it's not a once-in-a-lifetime thing (barring completely unforeseeable changes in the future) and therefore might pass on it this time around (I'm not sure it'll be twice as valuable as a lesson with my teacher, which is how it's priced).
 

JudeMorrigan

Well-Known Member
My lessons with my new partner continue to go very well. We made some very nice strides on our tango.

My solo lessons with my pro went well too. I'm getting reasonable comfortable with my waltz, foxtrot and tango choreography and we're able to spend real time working on how to do stuff rather than what I need to be doing in the first place. Vienese is still a work in progress. There's a bit in particular that I'm going to need to spend some real time this weekend convincing my feet to do what they're supposed to be doing.
 

FancyFeet

Well-Known Member
I'm not sure. I feel like there's been some real improvement lately, but some days I feel like I'm completely terrible.

The highlight from yesterday's lesson: "Thank you" (with feeling). "Your Viennese is beautiful when you don't try."

Sigh.
 

cornutt

Well-Known Member
So last night AP and I were trying to do a runaround figure where she changes positions in the middle of it, which we've had a lot of trouble with. Like the good little engineers we are, we've both been working it for maximum angular momentum. Our instructor said, "Both of you are trying waaaay too hard. Don't try." And it worked. :rolleyes:
 

FancyFeet

Well-Known Member
That's basically the theme with me... "screw it" doesn't work, but nor does actual effort... still trying to consistently find that line of doing just enough.
 

Hedwaite

Well-Known Member
Bolero. Sucks.
Concentrating is for stupids.
People PAY me to show THEM how to do this crap?
WHY am I doing this again?

That was almost haiku. Bad non-dancing month has shot my concentration all to peabody and back, and I just couldn't get it together today. I take comfort in the fact that I've seen "real" pros having terrible days at comps before, but they still looked way prettier when they got roundhoused in the face right in front of Gary McDonald in the final.
 
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FancyFeet

Well-Known Member
^^My goal is to get good enough that my really off days look pretty, and are good enough to final/place :)

Another lesson for me last night - they have been frequent over the last week or so due to pro's imminent departure for Blackpool, and my competition scheduled shortly after he returns - and it was decent, though not great. Last lesson before he leaves, actually. We ran all the dances I'll be doing, and I happily can make it through full run-throughs now... but there's still some stuff to fix. Especially tango, which is just not at the quality of the others and therefore stands out - and not in a good way :(

On the happy side, I hit a foxtrot wall last night so well that it made pro go to new levels of excitement. Usually, he just gets quiet when things are going well, but last night he lit up and was literally bouncing a bit on his feet as he talked. Apparently, "that was perfect, and is how I want you to dance foxtrot all the time", and it was "so easy and light". Great, now I've raised the bar on myself. I admit, it felt awesome: bounce fallaway has never had that fun and bouncy but floaty and powerful look before, and throwaway oversway has never felt that effortless or looked that great... but I'm still trying to figure out what I did. I was able to replicate it a few times last night, and apply it to other walls, but I'm a little worried that I'll struggle to find it again... Oh, and if FT can consistently feel like that, I completely understand how so many of the standard pros say that it is their favourite dance.

Following the lesson, also scheduled a chat with pro to write down the changes made to my routines over the last couple days so I can practice them, discuss my "homework" for his time away, and decide on my competition entries as the registration deadline is while pro is away. We had planned to do this yesterday, but didn't get to it. He mentions that he doen't really want me to register yet, and he'll tell me why when we talk... I say ok, but remind him how I feel about paying late fees (really only ok when the decision to go is made late)... he says we'll talk. The last time he hedged on me registering for something we had been planning for months, it was because he and his partner were hoping to qualify for a big international comp (and did) so I couldn't do mine, and had to sub another one that was unsatifying. So now I have until tomorrow night to freak out about what might be going on and torture myself with what-if scenarios. Awesome.
 
Had a great coaching last night - fixed my turneos (am i spelling that right?) and got feedback on one item to change that should improve all of my smooth dances. unfortunately, i'm not quite sure i get how to apply it consistently. I am supposed to be more aware of where my connection is - the line between me and my partner, and where my core is supposed to be to help with that. i can't say it exactly like the coach said, but I got the feeling of it a bit yesterday. scheduled another lesson today to help figure it out more. and then, LONG WEEKEND of driving from chicago to virginia with two young kids. SUPER AWESOME FUN :p
 
I have been really frustrated with my technique and in particular, getting the deeply ingrained jazz/ballet habits out of my body, even though I can pick up patterns quickly. I've been doing latin < 2 yrs. Since we switched to open work and have, by chance, been doing only one dance last 2.5 weeks, I find my technique improving in that dance (of course). I come home and review the choreo and the tech corrections and have been eating/ sleeping/breathing this one dance. And I am finally getting somewhere. Even when I mentally rehearse, the technique feels different. So, maybe this is a good strategy: blitz one dance at a time to really get the tech down and then, when the tech is "automatic", move to the next dance, and just review the previously learned dance so as not to backslide. This might better than working on 5 dances here and there and practicing on my own, perhaps badly. For me, massed learning and practice may be better than distributed learning and practice. Comments?
 
I have been really frustrated with my technique and in particular, getting the deeply ingrained jazz/ballet habits out of my body, even though I can pick up patterns quickly. I've been doing latin < 2 yrs. Since we switched to open work and have, by chance, been doing only one dance last 2.5 weeks, I find my technique improving in that dance (of course). I come home and review the choreo and the tech corrections and have been eating/ sleeping/breathing this one dance. And I am finally getting somewhere. Even when I mentally rehearse, the technique feels different. So, maybe this is a good strategy: blitz one dance at a time to really get the tech down and then, when the tech is "automatic", move to the next dance, and just review the previously learned dance so as not to backslide. This might better than working on 5 dances here and there and practicing on my own, perhaps badly. For me, massed learning and practice may be better than distributed learning and practice. Comments?
Makes a lot of sense. Depending on how your coach teaches technique, you might also find that solid technique knowledge in one dance is an asset in learning another (for example, my coach likes using my relatively well drilled rumba walk technique as a teaching tool for deepening my understanding of cha cha and samba walks).

Something you might also find helpful is a quick review session at the start or end of each practice. You have to set clear expectations with yourself that your goal is not to improve the non-focus four, but merely maintain them near where they were at the end of when you last focused on them (i.e. be clear with yourself that it's ok to still not have perfect that thing you didn't have perfect at the end of focusing on it).
 

RiseNFall

Well-Known Member
Holy dance shoes, I just had a great lesson. I've been feeling stuck, plodding, and frustrated enough that I did a search here on threads with "frustration" in their title last week and read them to help deal with how I was feeling. Fascination said several times (once per thread), "frustration is just progress in incubation". I've been in this spot before in other activities and it has always passed, but it was becoming hard to deal with. On top of everything else, I injured myself practicing last week and had to take time off. Great, I think, how am I ever going to learn this if I can't even practice without hurting myself?? Then suddenly, everything started coming together last lesson and that progress continued into this one. Something that I had been aware for for at least three years of my 3.75 years of dancing--and despaired of ever getting--finally started working and untold other issues just went away at the same time. It will take time for this to become consistent, but I am stunned at the amount of improvement just today. :D:D:D
 
So excited to finally be back to lessons again! After a long hiatus including a move and finding a new teacher, I think I've managed both of those things. Met the new guy yesterday and the time flew by...really looking forward to where this might go. It's hard to swap to someone new, but it ended on a such great note and I've got a great new instructor to challenge me and push me to a new level.
 

cornutt

Well-Known Member
The phrase of the week is "lazy pivoting". Me: need to maintain left shoulder lead. AP: needs to work on forward drive. Both of us: keep upright posture.
 

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