Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Comfort zone? Nahhhh... Leading Zone!

I spent a good chunk of Sunday's practica working on leading with one of my favorite leaders, who happens to be a woman instructor. She was leading me and we were working on different single axis turns and she looked at me after awhile and said "Do you want to lead me? You really should."
Gulp
Well, yes, I do, there are just all these.... uhm.... dancers here and..... well they dart and weave and......

sigh

ok. yes. I have to get over the fact that there are other people out there on the floor.

So I walk with her. Simple walk, rock step when things get tight, left turns..... I'm feeling ok, she gives me good feedback about being stronger in my lead, don't drop the energy when I get surprised or stressed, be constant and steady. Great, good, I'm working on that....

Then.....
She gives me exercises to do. YIKES!!!
More than a walk in a straight line????

Yup.

Step to the left of the follower, then come back in line, then step to the right and come back in line. Weaving in an S shape as I walk, keeping the follower straight.

Surprising enough, it went fairly well. And since it went fairly well, we have another exercise to do.....
OCHOS!!!
Oh no, ochos.....

But first I had to play with her axis, feel where she is when she is on her axis, and what it feels like when she is not. Wow, pretty important stuff, and much easier to feel that I expected. I stepped in an arc around her, using the arc to play with her hips and pivoting. Feeling how my placement affected her placement and how the pivot can change. Then I added a step to the arc, to allow her to step out of the pivot and into the ocho. It's rather amusing to me that after a year of working hard to be elegant in the dance, I am back to fumbling and stumbling. I thought those days were long gone, but no..... here they are again! Ha! Humility is a powerful thing! ;-)

So I played with all the exercises as I lead her for a tanda or so. I am fairly proud of myself for staying with the music, it is ingrained in me now to hear the music, so that at least went a little easier. At least I was not plodding along off beat and off rhythm.

It was a good session and rather encouraging, pushing me out of my slight comfort zone of the straight line and into options was helpful and something I most likely would not have done on my own for awhile yet. So much more to learn.....

On the up side, I am going to my favorite milonga tonight, and I am so looking forward to it! I have my new shoes Sorin bought for me and I am just itching to dance. :-)

No comments: