Friday, September 21, 2007

Leading Lesson #1

Apparently I am argumentative. Of course, I have always questioned the whys and the wherefores, especially if I don't understand or don't agree with what is being said or done. But nonetheless, I have been labeled argumentative. Of course, I am sleeping with my teacher, so that might earn me brownie points ;-)

Last night Sorin started teaching me to lead. And after 3 hours I am sure he was ready to throw me out the window (we were 8 stories up) and I was ready to jump out the window.

We were at the MIT practica, and the further in we got, the more stressed I became. Did you know that leaders leave a space and then jump back into it without warning?!?! Or that leaders will suddenly appear into a space that was empty when they were at least 5 feet away 2 seconds ago?!?!? Shocking! ;-)
And stressful. It was hard enough to try to lead with the chest, not walk like a duck, keep my core still, place my feet where the follower's had just been, listen to the music, move on the beat, and try to not get agitated when Sorin missed a lead or unconsciously back-lead me. Add on top of that add navigation (mine and others) and it is not surprising that at one point I was near tears.
And of course, I was resistant to moving too fast through things since I felt that we were not spending enough time of getting me to lead the walk on the beat. Granted, after the exercises Sorin insisted that we go through he claimed I was moving better than before. But I could not feel it. I just felt overwhelmed.

And after three hours where I thought perhaps I would be left behind in the gutter for my argumentative state, what did I learn?
Well, I can pretty much lead a walk almost on the beat and almost consistently.
I can almost lead the follower to a stop without jarring them.
I can lead weight changes.
I can sort of lead a walking turn to the left (follower's right).
I can lead a side step.
I know the dynamic of leading a rock step, I just can't really do it yet.
I know the dynamic of leading the follower to the cross, I just can't do it yet.
I will do what I am told, see what happens, and then argue. ;-)


caroline said...

Hmm...does he know how to follow? should give him an advantage, right?


So, you're learning leading now...from a romanian taskmaster - hee boy.

Caleb said...

Yea! More women leaders, keep at it!

I look forward to having a chance to follow you.

Caleb said...

And on a more productive note...

I think one of the largest skills that a leader needs that a follower doesn't need to worry as much about is navigation - and sadly it's a skill that often is woefully under-taught.

As someone who has been leading for a while I find navigating at the Thursday practica enough of a nightmare... I can hardly imagine actually trying to learn the other fundamental leading skills in that sort of environment. I say you should work with S first on your fundamentals someplace less crowded and then come back to the practica to work on navigation skills as a separate exercise.

Debbi said...

Hi Caroline - yes, the Romanian taskmaster has a new stick to beat me with. Now, if he could only follow perfectly, we'd be golden ;-P

Caleb - careful what you wish for! :-D Sorin does not believe in easing me into things, and so I got dropped into the Thursday night practica for my first leading experience. Maybe things will seem easier after dealing with that circle of hell.....

Aline said...

Let us know how the leading goes, it is a difficult path to dance both sides of tango.
And I hope your teacher gives you rewards along with the corrections! ;-)