Love Triangle vs. Dogs Fighting Over Bone

Mr. R is growing on me. I feel a bit guilty because I’m starting to bond with him more than Teach #1. Yikes! Mr. R is more open with positive feedback. He also tells me when to cut it out. Maybe this is the difference between a Russian and an American teacher? He’s my first non-American dance teacher. Hmmmm.

Rumba. Connection of hands. Pressure needed to help me follow better and to create the elasticity between us. Under arm turn with two pivots! This is the sort of thing that gets me giddy because I’m such a nerd. Forward, diagonal, pivot, diagonal, straight, pivot, side? Something like that. First pivot kind of weird because it’s right under his turning arm. Mr. R is average height. I’m still used to dancing with 6’3″ Teach #1. It’s a bit claustrophobic under there. The crazy amount of pivots I did was satisfying, though.
We did a bit of Cha Cha review. He reminded me to hold the 1 because that’s where all the moves come from. Then my foot started acting up so we moved on to Salsa. For some reason, Salsa didn’t bother my foot. Every lead has their own spin (pun intended) on Salsa. It’s very interesting to get to know them all. Mr. R does a spin where he reaches around my body mid spin to grab that same hand and spin me out again. I didn’t know what he was reaching for the first few times. When he finally clarified, he said, “What did you think I was reaching for! I hope you weren’t thinking I was some sort of creep!!” Ha! I had to remind him that my personal space issues get checked at the door with my street shoes – most days.

There were a few brief Argentine Tango reminders. He told me that to dance Argentine Tango properly I need to forget everything I’ve ever learned about dance. It is its own entity. More work on staying with chest and giving him pressure in the arm as well as pushing into his leading hand on my back. In case you were wondering, this is hard.
Mr. R said something that was interesting to me about myself. He said that I seem to love learning technique. To be honest, I’ve never thought about what I like best. Teach #1 seems to just teach technique to me without saying why (not that I asked). It makes sense, though. Some people take four lessons and they’re swinging their hips, flipping their hair, and are able just let loose – be confident. I don’t have that quality and find it difficult to fake it. I find my confidence in knowing that what I do, I do correctly. Then I can relax a bit and enjoy the freedom of dance. Interesting that this topic was just brought up by The Girl With The Tree Tattoo this week.
Toward the end of my lesson, Mr. R lamented how quickly my lesson goes by. A little imp prompted me to ask if this was good or bad. Then the complement came. He told me that I am at such a high level for the amount and pacing of my lessons and that there is so much he wants to teach me because I can grasp several concepts in one lesson. Not all students can do that. He’s very good at making a girl feel special. He’s also trying to steal me from Teach #1. I wasn’t born yesterday. I know this is a vicious game with polite smiles to the customer. I see the whole thing and know exactly how I’m going to handle it. Since this has turned into a love triangle of sorts, I’m planning to milk it for all its worth. I’ve never been part of a love triangle before, so it only makes sense to absorb their best teaching and enjoy the complements. I may have terrible body image issues, but I’m still a female, and as such, love compliments. Feel free to tell me how awful I am.
Please, if you think I’m terrible for letting two men fight over my lesson money, let me know. If you think I’m weird for enjoying technique, you can tell me that, too. I’m on a dance complement high and can take it today. What differences have you all noticed between American and non-American dance teachers?

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9 thoughts on “Love Triangle vs. Dogs Fighting Over Bone

  1. You’re not terrible at all. Let em fight it out over you. I think positive feedback is just a personality thing and not an American/Russian thing. I’ve got two American instructors and the amount of positive feedback is different between the two. One generally seems to be in the ‘if I didn’t say anything, you’re doing fine’ camp while the other offers more positive feedback. But in the end, it is your money and you should work with someone who makes you feel good. Nothing wrong with that.

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    1. It makes more sense that it would be personality as opposed to nationality. It’s just odd that of the four instructors I’ve taken private lessons with at that studio, only one had such positive feedback. All the rest are a guessing game.

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  2. Good for you, girl! Milk ’em for all they’re worth. They’re milking you for your money, you may as well get as much return as you can. Even if you know there are ulterior motives, there is nothing wrong with enjoying the praise and compliments! I have found the European teachers to be generally more serious or at least more focused on the dance. The American teachers are more casual, joking around a lot more. But all of the European teachers I have learned from have been dancing practically their entire lives, so there is a lot more discipline, I guess you could say, engrained in everything they do.

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  3. Oh, and I’m absolutely right there with you in getting my confidence from knowing my technique. Definitely don’t have the natural performance flair, so I have to impress the judges by showing how solid my technique is. And then build performance/styling from there.

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    1. Exactly. My teacher made it seem like technique love is a rarity. I don’t know if that was another complement or the truth. Either way, it’s interesting to think about. I’m going to watch some other lessons more carefully to see what I can glean about this.

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      1. I think technique is probably more on the work side of learning ballroom than the fun side for most people, plus it’s harder than just learning the steps. So I can see moat people not getting super excited about it. 🙂

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