Boss made an interesting observation tonight.
It was interesting in that it vocalized what had pretty much been going on in my head since I started back to dance–particularly in standard.
What he said is that he had observed that there were things I was doing pretty consistently before my surgery which I seemed to have forgotten about since I returned.
I have to agree with that, as one thing I have noticed during my lessons, particularly in standard, is that I have this scrambled feeling in my brain–like I am trying to grab onto all sorts of thoughts at the same time and translate that into my movements. As we move through different things, my mind jumps around from technical aspect to technical aspect to try and remember some of the things that were just on the cusp of becoming habits before surgery.
Different examples include allowing my feet to roll through the movements, stepping in CBMP going into turning figures (particularly natural figures), keeping my knees flexed, not turning out too far in promenade position and keeping my ribs forward to open up my position.
Boss has mentioned some of them, and some of them have come into my head as we review (although sometimes to the point of distracting me from other things I am supposed to be focusing on). I am sure there are still more I haven’t completely remembered. The biggest step seems to be remembering, and then consciously reworking them back into my dancing to remember the habit so I don’t have to think about them so much.
I hope, at least, that as things come up and we do more reviews, the ‘almost habits’ will slowly come back more consistently and continue building on what was developing before the surgery.
That said, today was a pretty productive lesson. We started with some of the standard drills that Boss has been developing for us to do together in Waltz and Tango. Both are made up of basic steps, but the point is to work through them using full technique and paying attention to all the details. In tango, it is also about developing some sharpness to the movement, and starting to differentiate between the different dances. That was just the warm-up, and from there we picked up where we left off yesterday with the Quickstep.
Thankfully, it seems my mind did process what we were trying to do yesterday and today I was better able to do what was needed in the hover corte. I still hesitate a little in wanting to move my weight all the way over my right foot, but it is getting there more consistent. After reviewing that, we worked on the final step I needed to learn to finish the routine, which went quite well. It will still need work, but I seem to have at least the basic understanding and we were able to do it in time and in some context.
We finished up working on foxtrot. When we worked with the coach last week, he made some small suggestions for changes in the final line of our routine, but we hadn’t had a chance to review it since then. Tonight we went through it and refined it some.
Throughout my lessons, there are some small things Boss is drawing my attention to that apply through all routines and it gives me some detailed things to focus on as we work. One of the things I am discovering is that for a lot of the small points, while each has its own specifics, a recurring theme tends to be to let myself relax into things a little more and to try to not limit myself and the flow of movement. I tend to get rigid in some of my movements and in doing so, I don’t quite complete them. It’s something to think about, and I wonder if that is part of the pre- and post-surgery difference–that I was starting to get move relaxed and confident about many of my techniques and the work I was doing, and now I am back to being more tentative again. I am almost trying too hard.
Which leads me to my final point tonight. I was going to stay and practice some after my lesson tonight, but at the end of my lesson, my entire body was screaming for a break and that it was done for the week, led by my knees which are quite inflamed between the return to dance, work and everything else. I have been trying to mitigate the flare up, but my success seems to be a little limited. I do have some ice, voltaren and tiger balm on them now to try to quiet them down. I was told to expect this, I guess I am a little disappointed about how bad it is.
I didn’t stay and headed home as I can recognize that there is some bone-weariness creeping up on me, and my body needs the break. I want to keep pushing, but my body isn’t ready for that yet and its a little frustrating. I am trying not to worry about it and let it get me down, but it is on my mind now and then. Part of me is afraid that this might be the beginning of going back to feeling as I was before surgery, although there is a distinct difference–particularly in energy level. While I am tire and sore, I still have energy. I am trying to have faith that it’s all normal and that with the break of the long weekend, and some planned rest, I will be ready to get back at things on Wednesday during my next lesson.
It’s not that I feel I have a lot to do, its more that there is a lot I want to do.
A lot I want to remember.