Now We’re Talking!

As promised, I’m hopping back onto the blog to share how my dance lesson went. But first, I would just like to announce that I completed Day 4 of the Blogilates beginner’s calendar! I did it after I came home from my lesson too. I was hungry and craving a glass of red wine. Dogs needed to be taken care of first, of course. But then instead of parking my butt on the couch with a nice merlot, I did the scheduled cardio warmup and an inner thighs workout! And yes, if you’re checking out the calendar and saying “ok, but what about the 10 burpees you were supposed to do when you woke up this morning?”  I did those today too! Gold star for me!

Now for my dance lesson.

Last week was rhythm, so this lesson was smooth. Before we got started, I brought up my crazy ideas for competition goals. I was hoping Teacher had some time to let the ideas sink in and come to a conclusion about whether I was actually crazy or if the goals were worth working toward. To recap, assuming I can fund them, I’m aiming to dance one style at the Orange County Dancesport in October and two styles at the Holiday Dance Classic in December. I wanted to know if Teacher thought we had enough time to prepare both styles for December and which style he thought I should dance in October.

I was thinking I would do smooth at OC Dancesport, strictly for logistical reasons. Smooth was on a Saturday, so I wouldn’t need to take a day off from work. I already have a smooth dress and shoes, so I wouldn’t need to worry about renting a dress or buying new shoes.

But then Teacher said he thought OC Dancesport would be a good competition at which to debut my rhythm. Being a smaller competition and local, it would theoretically be less pressure and less anxiety. Then when I got to Holiday in December, I would have at least one competition under my belt for both styles. Hmmm, that’s a good point.

I started thinking about going to Vegas and having nine different routines to think about, and it being the first time I would be performing five of them. Yeah, that’s a bit of pressure.

The lesson itself focused on tango with a side of waltz. Teacher noticed I wasn’t releasing my hip joints enough, so we worked on that while also making sure my top half kept stretching upwards while my hips released and my lower half went down. I’m grinning now while I think about it because during the last several lessons, I have actually been able to feel what I’m doing right or wrong and I can say for certain that it does feel better when I successfully apply the corrections that Teacher gives me. Isn’t that cool?!

It’s exciting and motivating to feel like I’ve finally reached a point in my dance training where I am really in tune with my body. It just feels plain good. It sounds funny to me to say I’m finally gaining control over my own body (I didn’t have control before?), but it’s true! I couldn’t make these tiny tweaks before, or if I did, it was by accident. My stretching at home seems to be making a difference too. Usually when Teacher would tell me to stretch something during a lesson, like my head, it would feel more like straining. I would even have to tell Teacher I had to stop because my neck muscles would start cramping or spasming. Today, even though my neck was sore from tightening up during Blogilates crunches, I was able to stretch my head to the left without major strain or discomfort. Progress!

At the end of the lesson, I brought up the competitions again. Teacher had me rethinking October. Even though it would mean extra money to rent a rhythm dress and buy the right shoes, and I would need to get a day off, maybe it would be better to debut rhythm. But would I be ready in time? We’ve put a lot of work into rumba and cha cha and some into swing, but we’ve spent maybe 5 minutes on mambo and bolero. There are just under three months until the comp. Is that enough time?

Teacher must have felt some uncertainty too because he didn’t give me his usual “of course, stop doubting yourself!” But he did say it’s worth shooting for. And since we’re alternating styles in my lessons, if it gets closer and we feel like rhythm won’t be ready, then I can just do smooth instead. I just felt a little sinking feeling in my stomach, so I’m going to put this smooth vs. rhythm debate aside for now before my demons drag me out of my happy progress place.

I have to say I can’t wait for Friday’s lesson on rhythm. There’s a possible scheduling conflict, but knock on wood, it won’t be an issue. I don’t know when it happened exactly, but a new line of communication has opened between me and my body. We have so much to talk about! I know I haven’t been working on rhythm as long as smooth, but I’m hoping I can tap into that line and feel those tiny tweaks just like I did today with my tango and waltz. I just want to hold onto this feeling as long as possible before my demons find a reason to get rowdy. In my current positive state, I even feel like I could tackle rhythm expression! Crazy, right? I almost can’t believe it myself.

Stay tuned, and happy dancing everyone!

 

 

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