Thursday, January 18, 2007

Oh no! Ocho!

Second tango lesson, this time the class has been cut in half so it is a little more manageable in size. And the object of the day? Ocho!
Disassociation is not my friend. Not sure why, but I have a real block when it comes to disassociating the lower half of my body from the top half and not looking herky jerky in the process. I thought tango was supposed to be elegant and sexy!?! Not so much when I am dis-disassociating!
But a couple of things that I learned right off the bat which helped me tremendously (meaning I moved up from sucking donkey to just sucking) was that I had not been stepping in the proper place for either front or back ochos. Knowing where my feet were supposed to be made things a heck of a lot easier balance wise. Plus, I was stepping up when I turned, I was apparently supposed to stay down with my knees bent so that I was always on the same level. Again, balance became a heck of a lot easier when I was not popping up on the turn. But for the love of all things good and pure, why can I not turn my upper body and have my lower body follow smoothly?!? It's torturing me! At one point my lovely instructor said to me "How is it that you move so well and you can not do this?"
Wish to god I knew.
Because then my life would be a heck of a lot easier. And S would not have to roll his eyes for patience whenever he leads me into an ocho.
I have decided to call them Oh no! Ochos! until I get them right. Luckily I have beautiful hard wood floors throughout my apartment and I can ocho the living crap out of them. It seems like it should be simple. Step, turn, pivot. Step, turn, pivot. S told me that using corners in a room is a helpful exercise, and it is. But if my torso won't release its grip on my hips, someone is going to get hurt soon!
And can someone please explain to me how to keep the tension at bay? It seems that tension is the other evil that I am trying to exorcise from my embrace. I think that I am relaxed and then S tells me to let go of the tension in my arms. And yet I have to maintain the firmness of my embrace and right arm. Someone please explain to me firm and relaxed, because I just can't find that happy medium. Really, it is starting to drive me batty. Plus when I screw up or miss a lead, I immediately tense up. I know exactly what this is, it is the fact that I always want to do things perfectly and I don't want to either disappoint my teacher (Be that S or Fernanda) or be less than the best in the class, but I can not seem to overcome this. I want to laugh off my mistakes, but instead I growl at myself and then everything goes to poop. I am hoping that I just need time. At the milonga, I was able to relax and have fun, but that was because I was expecting to have fun and I was not expecting to dance as much as I did. Plus I think the wine might have helped a little, but I certainly don't want to have to have wine before every tanda! For some reason, I get much more tense in practice than at a milonga.
Maybe all of this regurgitating is my issue. Maybe I need to stop thinking and analyzing and just move.
the birth of an obsession.....

On an up note, my two pairs of shoes are shipping today from Argentina! One is red suede and one is pewter leather..... I can not WAIT to get them!!! I think that the heel height (4") is going to be so much more helpful than what I have now (2"). Plus I will then be a towering 5'10"+! All leg my friends, all leg! Well, plus a little shoe.... ;-)


Caroline said...

Hi Debbi, how I relate! You will get it eventually, it's a matter of redirecting tension from your arms to your torso. You can try an exercise of resting your palms against the wall as you practice ochos so you could see that you can keep your arms relaxed and yet still maintain pressure.

Debbi said...

That's a good suggestion Caroline, I'll try that, thanks! I am hoping that with practice, I will banish the tension but keep the presence. Knowing it can be done gives me hope! :-)