I Got What I Wanted and I Liked It

Those who read yesterday know that I had a semi-sick lesson last Monday. This was my first lesson after Teach threw a GIANT April fools joke at everyone… and we all feel for it. So let’s back track to April 1 for a minute.

I wake up after a horrible night coughing up my lungs and decide to check Facebook before getting out of bed (never do this). The first post on my wall is from Teach. He’s not a big one for posing on social media, so any post he puts up I read. It was a post saying that he was moving to Japan (where his financee is from) and starting to work at his in law’s dance studio there. He had tagged his in-laws and included the appropriate hashtags and everything. I don’t funcion before I have my tea, and I had been up sick all night, so I burst into tears and ran to tell my mother and daughter. Five minutes later I had myself losing all kinds of weight in my grief, and many dollars richer from switching studios. (I move on quickly.) Then my mother noticed the date… He WOULDN’T. Yes, he would. It was an April Fool’s joke. Oh, yes. He got everyone. By everyone I include all the managers of the dance studio. He got in a bit of trouble for that one.

I took advantage of the fact that he made me cry because of a joke and shamed him into letting me choose what to work on. It kind of worked. I requested a run through of the Waltz choreography because I need a revew every once in a while so that I don’t forget the important bits. Next I demanded to learn Bolero. Yes, I demanded. Part of my goals was American 9 dance. Right now I have 7 dances, not 9. I needed something different. Sometimes it seems like you’re in a dance rut. That’s how I’ve felt. Logically, I know that practice, practice, practice is necessary for progress, but that rut is deep and it can do a number on your esteem and dance stamina. The April Fools joke gone awry gave me the ammunition to demand what I needed. So he taught me the Bolero basic in about 10 seconds and then went on to teach me Mambo. I called Teach out for this about 15 minutes in. (it could have been because I needed to breathe. Jeez that’s a fast dance!) He laughed and told me that American Rhythm is traditionally taught in this order: Rumba, Cha Cha, Swing, Mambo, Bolero. So I technically got what I wanted – to learn a bit of Bolero – but Teach got what he wanted – to teach me in the traditional order. But I still won because I just needed something new. It turned out to be Mambo and I love it! What a fun dance. The counting/timing is going to be an issue, but I’m up to the task and glad to have another dance in my arsenal. Now we can go back to our regularly scheduled dance technique.



I’ve been taking lessons at both studios since Showcase and it’s a bit confusing. My brain can’t keep up with all the new information and I feel my dancing is taking a nosedive as a result.

Mr. R at Studio #1 had me sweating like a pig. He was trying to cement the press line into my body. My body was rebelling. Typical. It was quite frustrating. The swiveling action, the press line, all the crossovers… Too much. He even took video. I barely think I can dance at all. Show me my giant a$$ and horrid feet in slow motion and I just want to run screaming in the other direction. I think I ended the lesson doing my Rumba and Cha-Cha half the crappy way I was doing it and half the corrected way. In other words, all screwed up. I’m going to have to clarify a LOT this week.

At Studio #2 I had a childish hissy fit when my daughter started learning Samba. So I took a lesson in Samba, too. Now they’ve got me. Later I took another lesson in International Rumba. These lessons were not technique, just steps. Still. I’ve basically added three dances over the last month. Bolero, Samba, and International Rumba. I want to learn it all, but my brain is beginning to misfire.

One thing I did enjoy was learning arms early on. At Studio #2, I was taught arm styling right away after I had gotten a feel for the footwork of the routine. I think this is beneficial so that I don’t cement poor arms into my dancing right off the bat. My initial dances still have poor arms because we never work on them. They always take second to technique. I understand to a point, but arms are an important part of expression. Thoughts?

In conclusion: Why am I so afraid of Crossovers? Anyone else have a move that just confounds them? What do you think of arms? Early teaching or later when technique has been better cemented into muscle memory?