Change is hard.
The reality of how much change I have to do really set in during my lessons last weekend. Even though I expected and knew there would be a lot of adjustments to make changing instructors, the reality still hits a little hard.
I had moments during my lesson when I seriously though I should go back to bronze and start over. I just keep reminding myself we are focusing on details which are supported by my foundation.
One of the biggest things I am discovering is that there is a profound difference in interpretation of latin and latin technique between Old and New Boss. Once you consider that they each have difference areas of focus and ways of teaching, it all adds up quickly.
I am also having a little bit of difficulty adapting to lessons only on the weekends, or every other week. I am finding it harder to retain everything because there is such a gap between lessons and reviews.
All things I have to work out as I work through the change. Nothing I have encountered is unexpected and I seem to be on track – first I was excited about all the changes, then the reality of the multitude of changes has set in making me second guess everything. I hope that next things stop feeling so ‘foreign’ and I am able to figure how to make the changes work.
It didn’t help that last week was so crazy with my graduation, my mom visiting, and two days of commuting 3 hours for work there wasn’t any time to practice or even work out what that practice should look like.
This week however, I am already on a good track with 75 mins of practice in yesterday. I took all the points from my lessons and made exercises from them for me to work on, but the main issue I am encountering right now is that there are so many details and points in each exercise to focus on my mind (and my body) is all over the place.
But its a starting point.
New Boss is still doing some evaluation. At my last lessons we reviewed the points in rumba and then switched to samba. We started working on cruzado walks, which were small changes, followed by whisks. He quickly picked up on the main point I often got from Old Boss – that my hips are swinging more like a pendulum than samba action. So main exercise – transferring my weight to a position where my trailing hip is elevated.
At least something I recognize has needed to be corrected for a long time, but I haven’t had a chance to focus on it previously.
A big difference between Old and New Boss came out during the rumba review. With Old Boss, we tended to focus on the leg action and steps and added arms later when we did styling. I had some basic things I would do on my own, but we never really talked much about the arms specific to the steps.
For New Boss, its all a package. For example, we were doing hip twist to fan in rumba and as I moved to cross New Boss I was trailing my arm behind me and doing what I usually do. He stopped and asked me why I was doing that. Mainly, its to get my arms out of my way. We then took the time to make some adjustments to the arms, but the surprising thing was that we worked on the arms together as a couple. It sounds strange, but as we were doing it I felt like I had never taken into consideration my partner when thinking about arms and how I transition from hold, keep my arms out of the way, etc. – at least not with basic steps.
We talked about how arms are part of the step and technique and separate from styling. It makes sense, but again – so much work to do!
I am still struggling to adapt to the nuances between the two Bosses as partners. There are small but marked differences in how they lead certain steps (not unexpected) that mean I have to step slightly different because where one led a step straight forward, the other led it slightly to the side.
New Boss also calls me out whenever I don’t look at him when I am suppose to. Its awkward, but good for me as it forces me to connect and will build that habit.
There are times I almost want to ask New Boss to go back through all the syllabus steps so I can see how he does them and adapt. That’s the perfectionist in me talking though. For now, I need to keep going and adjust as I can.
It may seem all negative, but really it is not. It is change, which is neither negative nor positive, it is just different. I am trying to not compare the two Bosses, but it is hard and likely a bit of a defence mechanism so I don’t feel completely overwhelmed.
I have two more (possibly 3 – one with Lady Boss) lessons this weekend, then a two week break while the Bosses are away competing overseas. I hope to work out the exercises before then and hopefully reduce the current number of them to some small fundamentals that will focus on the big changes I need to make.
I can already tell I am slowly making changes in how I dance. Its slow, but it is something. I am definitely working harder than before at moving all my muscles and that I do like. Its a challenge I am working to embrace.
But change is still hard.