Stretching the Boundaries

That is what I feel like today, since I haven’t posted in so long!

Last week was absolutely crazy!  I have been working with Boss on organizing a competition in my hometown for months and on Saturday it finally happened.  I am very pleased to say it was a huge success!

But with all the craziness of last minute things that had to be done, I didn’t get a chance to post.

One of the best things that happened last week was that I got to work with one of the top smooth professionals in Canada on my open smooth tango routine.  It was a pretty amazing experience!  She had so many points to offer that are so unique about smooth and makes it so different from standard I was completely blown away.  I think even Boss was impressed as smooth is not something he has really done a lot of work in before.

She almost completely redesigned our tango routine.  Much less time in hold, but also gave it a whole different flavour which is much more american style.  One of the big things was to vary up a lot more the different holds we are using, so not just shadow and close hold.

Her biggest comment to me was ‘You are good.  You just have to stop panicking’.

There was an interesting moment while we were working where she wanted me to do a leg crawl on boss but while wrapping my arms around him in a ‘hug’ type position.  I guess the first few times I did it I looked pretty terrified–to the point where she grabbed Boss, did the move twice and pointed out it was not hard, and she just met Boss–so it should be easy for me who knows him well to ‘get all up on him’.

There was one very evident thing that became very clear as we were working with her–and this is how inhibited I can be when it comes to dance.  I don’t think even Boss realized it until she pointed out how tentative and small I was and how uncomfortable I clearly was with anything beyond more traditional conservative holds.

Working with her, even just the little that we did really took me out of my comfort zone–but I think it was a very good thing.  I am generally a very closed and conservative person, so to have her working with me to come out of that shell was very difficult for me but also enriching.  I guess being very close and ‘up on’ a man in public is not generally in my wheel house.

I really appreciated though that she was stretching my comfort zone.  I found that as she was putting together the routine, I found myself worried that something she was suggesting would mean I had to invade Boss’s personal space or cross the conservative line which always seems to be between us.  I think it surprised me a lot that Boss was so willing to do all she was suggesting because it really was far outside anything we have really done before.  The closest was a Viennese Waltz solo we did more than two years ago and nothing we have done since has even remotely had any undertones of intimacy to it.

I think intimacy is a good word.  Many of the moves she was suggesting really involved showing the passion and conflict of the tango and that is an area where both Boss and I struggle.  We are both very technical and methodical people when it comes to dance, but it is not often that we work on bringing emotion and passion to our routines.  Don’t get me wrong, we have a lot of fun with what we do and sometimes we will tell stories–like in my ‘Fight Song’ rumba solo, but I will admit that when it comes to creating chemistry we tend to fall short and err on the side of caution.  I can’t even tell you if it is something with me, or Boss or both of us together.  It is just not something that comes natural to us, and generally is something I think we both just avoid.

To be perfectly honest, I think that having that lesson was a wake-up call for me, although I admit to not yet fully processing it.  It has me thinking, for sure, and that is probably why I find myself writing about it tonight.  I can tell the wheels are still turning in my head on this, and likely I will post more about it in the future.

Unfortunately, we only got to work on the tango, although we had hoped to work on the foxtrot yesterday.  After running the competition, both Boss and I were too worn out for a lesson and we ended up cancelling.  I was really curious to see what she would have suggested for Foxtrot.  Hopefully we can work more with her in the future.

Leaving that topic alone for a little bit, my solo on the weekend went really well and the photos I have seen of it show how much I have been working on my rumba technique.  Almost every photo shows me with straight legs and forward posture–so Yay me!  I hope to see a video of it.

Boss had a lesson yesterday with one of the judges from the competition (he takes lessons for his own professional development), and I guess my solo made a good impression on her.  She is one of the top WDSF judges and Boss told me she commented that she thought I had great natural arm movement.  That’s a huge compliment to me as my arm styling is one of the few things I do and develop mostly on my own.  It’s not something that Boss and I have ever worked on, just something I have picked up here and there from various classes.  It’s great to know I was able to make such a favourable impression on a judge like that!  She is going to be back in the area early next month, but unfortunately I won’t be able to take a lesson with her myself as I will still be recovering from my surgery.

I got more information on my surgery next week, but I will post more about that another time.  Long story short, I am looking at another 6 weeks of no dance :(.

 

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