Monday, February 05, 2007

Sitting Pretty....

I had a new experience at a milonga, I sat for most of it and watched. It was a little disappointing, oh who am I kidding, it was really disappointing. There were quite a few leaders there whom I would have liked to have danced with, but only actually danced with a couple of them. A few of them I had never danced with before, and I knew if they did not see me dance, they most likely would not ask me, however my task for the evening seemed to be seat warmer.
I did dance with J whose style I have come to appreciate and really enjoy. His lead is very different and subtle, but he is a lot of fun to dance with and now that I am a little more advanced, I can actually follow him reasonably well. I also danced with one of my teachers' assistants, T, he is very formal and very clear with lead. He also is well aware of my weak areas, and he certainly made me work them! He also lead me into steps that I am not exactly versed in, like..... volcadas?! Eek! Ack!! And for some psychic reason, I had asked S to show me how to survive that step about a half hour before T asked me to dance because I had a leader at a prior milonga lead me into that and I thought I was going to hurt myself or him. Thank whatever being there is that S did show me right then as opposed to later which was what I had meant, as I managed to keep my back rigid when T lead me into it and I did not hurt either of us. Afterwards T complimented me on being able to follow through more than I actually know. Whew, yea, well, sometimes I get premonitions on how to save my own sorry butt! Then I sat on said sorry butt for over an hour. Watching others dance, watching followers whom I thought were less advanced than I was get up for dance after dance. It was disheartening. Now I know I could have asked leaders to dance, and I actually plucked up the courage to go over and chat with D to see if I could then segue into a dance, but as soon as I walked over, he was spirited away by another. Curses! Plus although I know that I am doing well for someone who has been dancing for only 6 weeks, I do not yet have the courage to ask the better leaders to dance, even if I already know that they are happy to dance with me. So I sat and watched. Which I do learn from, but I would rather be dancing. Finally near the end, as I complained a little to my S about sitting for so long, O, from my first practica, came over and asked me to dance. Yea!!! He remembered me from the practica a month ago and said he was curious to see how I have progressed. We danced for a few tandas, and since the floor was pretty empty by that time, it was past midnight, we had fun and he worked on some figures with me. It was great, although he has a very athletic style, so at times I know that it was physics and not my axis that was keeping me upright. S grabbed his videocam and recorded some of my dance, which was very helpful to see as I suddenly saw my posture issues, but I also saw that I really don't move half bad, and it was reassuring to see that I am starting to look like a tango dancer. It turned my mood right around to have those tandas with O. S then danced the last tango with me, and although I tried to "cleanse my tango palate" of O's athletic lead, there were a couple of times I lost it during the tango with S, but it was fun nonetheless - at least for me, I can't speak for S as I know that my "wiggles" annoy him.
So there we have it, I am now at the point where I am discerning as to which leader I will accept dances from, I am too chicken to ask the good leaders to dance, and I feel like pouting if I sit for too long at a milonga. Hoo boy, I am turning into a pain in the butt. But soon I hope to be able to pluck up the courage to approach not only leaders whom I know will dance with me, but leaders whom I don't know. Give me another month. I bet I'll get there!


In other news, S decided that I needed to learn to lead. I think that this is not only for my benefit, but for his as he wants to learn to follow. We spent an hour or so working on teaching me to lead. And all I can say is that it is incredibly hard, which I knew, and I did not have fun at all trying to figure out how to lead before stepping, not wavering, stepping in a straight line, and maintaining presence. I think I am going to be much more growly of a leader student than I ever was a a follower student.....

4 comments:

Caroline said...

Leading is not easy! For that very reason, I am waiting till I've gotten following down pat before turning my mind topsy-turvy to the leader's side.

If you can learn both at the same time, that's great! And you will probably gain empathy for leaders which will make you an even better follower.

Debbi said...

I thought that I should wait until I am more versed in following, but S was insistent and to be honest, I think he is right. I certainly have more empathy for leaders after one hour, and I do believe that it will help my presence immensely. Here's hoping! :-)

Sorin said...

It was a little disappointing, oh who am I kidding, it was really disappointing.

Oh, I can relate. After all, it only took me maybe 6 months to dance more then 4-5 tandas in an evening... And I wasn't really that picky about who I was dancing with ...

Debbi, after dancing for a little more then a month, dancing not one, but several tandas in the same evening with advanced leaders is not that bad. Being picky is good though. In the beginning is difficult to form bad habits and I'd rather see you dance 4 tandas with good dancers then dance all night with other beginners.

After a year of intensive tango I'm convinced beginners should not dance with beginners.

Caroline said...

After a year of intensive tango I'm convinced beginners should not dance with beginners.

100% agree with Sorin.