My lesson last night was more work on lead/follow.
I am enjoying the work in this area because it’s completely in a different realm from what I have worked on before. It’s like filling in the extra pieces I have been missing.
We worked through some more steps last night, breaking them down one element at a time making sure to use the correct lead/follow movements. Doing things that slow takes a lot of thought and control, and unfortunately, my lesson was at the end of the evening so I wasn’t the most awake. But in hindsight, I think that may have helped because it kept me from trying to overthink things.
It was interesting because on the one hand, going through each movement to figure out where the switches from pulling the energy in or pushing it out needed to take place, but it was also building a bit of an ‘intuition’ almost to respond to the lead.
What last night did highlight is how much I really move on my own and depend on my internal sense of rhythm and timing to move through steps. I generally pay attention to the lead until I know (or think I know!) what step is being led, then move through it on my own in time to the music. I don’t even want to think about the number of times Boss would delay his lead only to find me continuing on not paying attention! Oh the plight of the independent woman learning dance 🙂
That said, at the end of the night we did go through some parts of my rumba routine more or less in time to see what, if anything, was sticking. Once we were moving at time and I didn’t have a lot of time to think about what I was doing both of us were surprised to discover I moved through the movements in the right way–even the fan where I don’t think I ever really got it completely going slow.
I can see where this is something that is going to take a lot of time to become truly intuitive, but I am glad to see even just a glimmer of subconscious understanding coming through. A lot of what I am doing right now is too heavy and exaggerated because I am almost concentrating too hard on trying to get it right, but I hope it will lighten up as I become more confident in it.
It is a new dimension to my dancing for sure, and for the first time latin is starting to feel like a ‘partnered’ dance rather than something I just happen to do beside someone else.
Part of me almost wants to close my eyes as we work on this so that I am really paying attention to the kinetic signals. The other thing I have noticed is that I find myself looking everywhere but at Boss–which has always been a problem for me, even outside of dance. I am not very good at making eye contact when I talk to people, which is interesting considering I work in communications. It was something I was working on before I got sick, and I guess now that I am interacting with people regularly again it’s something I should work on more. I find eye contact difficult because my eyes tend to show everything I am thinking and feeling and making eye contact feels very revealing to me–especially if I have contact with someone else in some other way (like joined hands).
I find it interesting that working on lead/follow has really highlighted these two things for me–the eye contact avoidance, and the independence, which is really a lack of trust and a bit of fear on my part. Fear of failure, fear of giving up control, fear of connection, fear of intimacy. None of them is hugely outweighing the others, but all are present leading to a lot of hesitancy and cautiousness. I am interested to see how this progresses. I am definitely outside my comfort zone working on this, but I am trying not to let it be too obvious.