Using power

I am really not used to be asked to do this.

Boss has discovered something in the past month or so.

He (and other coaches) have been encouraging to push myself, travel and use my full power when dancing now that I am able to (more or less) control it, and using it helps me to learn even better to control my momentum and use it for good instead of evil.  It seems Boss has discovered he is benefiting from me doing this.

I will try to explain.

I am a bigger woman, but I am also a strong woman.  Before cancer, on top of dance, I ran regularly and did weight training 3 times a weeks.  I have to pass a regular physical fitness test for my work, and I am not a natural athlete so that means I have to work at it constantly.  (Any one else see why I can get frustrated that I was still overweight, despite this?)

When I first started dancing, I used to do what I do, meaning push myself to the max through every step.  Quite frankly, it was a disaster, especially in smooth and standard.  Because of my size, I could build up a huge amount of momentum, but I had no understanding of ability to control it.  I also took huge steps without realizing and often set myself off balance.  It took Boss a long time to convince me to just relax, control, make ‘weight changes’ (which are those smaller steps), and keep my strength and momentum in check.

Since about June, that attitude changed, and suddenly I am hearing the word ‘move’ more and more.  I am being told to drive and push with my legs.  Yesterday while working on Paso I was even told to make sure to use my glutes to propel myself forward.  There is definitely a huge difference in the amount of traveling Boss and I are doing lately–we have crossed a long line in Viennese in only 2.5 turns and yesterday we traveled from one corner of the studio to the complete opposite corner (and almost ran out of room) in Paso.

And still I am being asked to move even more.  Its like a complete change of mind set for me.  I have to switch from being tentative in my movements to make sure I can control them to trying to find the upper limit where I lose that control.  I haven’t found it yet, but even Boss can tell I am still holding back on certain steps.  The cool thing is that when I do ‘let out the gas’ especially in standard, it does feel a little like we are ‘flying’ through steps–they almost move themselves.

So, getting back to the beginning of this post, the interesting thing Boss has discovered is that now that I am moving a lot more in all my dancing, and he is working to move with me, he is finding it pretty amazing how easily he can move with his other students and when he works with instructor #2, all of whom are much lighter than me.  Basically, I make him work hard, which makes him stronger in general.  He even mentioned he has to scale back a bit with some of his partners so he doesn’t over-power them by accident.

This whole ‘using power’ thing is turning out quite interesting for me and certainly it is making big differences in my dancing.  I have to keep reminding myself when to ‘let go’ and use the power to see where it takes me, and when it is necessary to rein it back in.  Boss keeps telling me not to worry about doing too much, because if I do, he will (certainly!) let me know.

But I haven’t quite gotten there to be comfortable with risking over-doing it.

But I am getting there.

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