Thursday, January 08, 2009

Growing Pains

As part of my quest for getting off this plateau, I asked for a private lesson with a visiting teacher whose in class advice really got me thinking. It was impromptu, I had not planned for one, but it seemed like a really good idea. And I think it was, or it will be, but unfortunately everything we worked on in the private seems to have completely screwed up my dancing. I can't dance right now. At all.

It was a good private. We talked about having "melting" embrace, no tension what so ever in the shoulders or back or arms. I apparently have a small amount which was so difficult to actively get rid of. As I thought about having no tension, I would get tense - round and round we go! sheesh..... We discussed posture and connection. Where to connect, how to connect, what to do if the connection from my leader is hard to find. He is against chest and belly connection, he wanted chest only, so we worked on my lifting my rib cage to find the connection. It worked well with him. Problem is, a good half of the leaders in my community like the belly connection - that will be interesting! Then he made a slight adjustment to my hip placement, turning them more under, I was slightly forward which made pivoting quickly a bit shaky at best. That was an amazing alteration, instantly everything was easier! Then we worked on stepping with power - this was the hardest of all. I was trying to do all of the above at once and felt like a new born foal. on roller skates. on a sheet of glass. I think it was too much. However it was all good feedback and helpful and all issues that I know I can work on.

Then the next day we go to my favorite milonga. And I was still a new born foal. only without the roller skates, but still on the sheet of glass. It was insanely frustrating. And I had such a hard time until the last hour when I said "F* it" and dropped everything I was trying to do and tried to just dance. I was able to enjoy the last couple of tandas I danced, although I was still aggravated with myself. In the car ride home, Sorin suggested i break down the work into segments, and work on them one at a time instead of trying to do everything at once. Doh! That would have been smart!

It's such a catch-22 sometimes. Medicine makes you better, however you have to deal with the bitter taste and funny face for awhile until it assimilates into your system.

7 comments:

Johanna said...

I'm laughing because this is exactly what I'm experiencing in my "singing" class! We have to become aware of all the moving parts so we know how it works, but then we need to stop thinking about them and let them do their thing naturally.

Very foal on roller skates on ice!

ModernTanguera said...

Ooooh, yes! I felt exactly the same way after my private. I was thankful that at the end my teacher pointed out the one most important piece of the lesson, and then at the milonga later I danced with him and he told me to just forget it all and have fun, just dance. :) These things have to work their way into our bodies slowly.

La Tanguera said...

Well, I feel like that almost always after a private lesson! At first I often came even depressed, overwhelmed by the fact that I would take a very long time to incorporate all the recommendations--because they are about body dynamics which require to change the way we have walked, moved for all the years of our lives! One has to get them engrained by practicing and just doing it non stop, until the new way of movement becomes one's nature.

Anyway. I think Sorin is right, and I have taken that approach myself for a while now. I mostly take private lessons, once in a while (I prefer them to group classes) and pick one or two things to work on, which I try to keep in mind all the time. Mind you, there's been advice that was given to me more than a year ago and I still don't think I've "engrained it" but, in any case, having these few items in my "to do" list makes things somehow more manageable and less daunting.

La Tanguera said...

Well, I feel like that almost always after a private lesson! At first I often came even depressed, overwhelmed by the fact that I would take a very long time to incorporate all the recommendations--because they are about body dynamics which require to change the way we have walked, moved for all the years of our lives! One has to get them engrained by practicing and just doing it non stop, until the new way of movement becomes one's nature.

Anyway. I think Sorin is right, and I have taken that approach myself for a while now. I mostly take private lessons, once in a while (I prefer them to group classes) and pick one or two things to work on, which I try to keep in mind all the time. Mind you, there's been advice that was given to me more than a year ago and I still don't think I've "engrained it" but, in any case, having these few items in my "to do" list makes things somehow more manageable and less daunting.

Elizabeth said...

Oh my gosh. We had privates with people a couple of months ago, and almost totally lost our ability to dance for a couple of weeks. Our teacher warned us, and he was very kind to us about it. And now we are absorbing it. It just takes pain and letting go, in order to grow maybe.

koolricky said...

Hi Debbie:
Oh I can so much picture what you're g(r)o(w)ing through! Don't really know what to tell you. Last time that happened to me I felt the same way in the milonga straight next to the private class. But slowly it all set in and a few weeks afterwards people were asking me where the hell did I improve so much!
I'm sure it will make sense soon!

Anonymous said...

Interesting post. I'm a little confused about the belly connection part. I always dance close with either chest contact or far within the dance frame. How do you make yourself comfortable in contact someone's belly up?