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Lessons learned from my private dance lesson #1 (January)

Sunday, January 19, 2014

I have been teaching line dance to my friends and in not-for profit places for about 10 years now. I definitely feel that I have developed my ability to teach. But I have felt an unmet need to develop myself as a dancer. I finally came to the conclusion that I needed formal, personal instruction in styles and technique. I also felt that it needed to be a private lesson at this point of my development. I decided that ballroom dancing was most akin to the current line dance. So, I finally connected with a teacher in a local studio.
I had to pitch it to my husband. He first reacted that I would then be trying to teach line dance in bars and he didn't want that. Then he reacted that I must be intending to promote the idea that we learn ballroom together. I reassured him that I wasn't interested in hustling in bars and I wouldn't try to coerce him into dancing ballroom. I told him it was "All about ME, baby!" So, I had my lesson. Wow, this opened all kinds of new doors intellectually and artistically. For the first lesson, I asked her to help me with Latin rhythms and movements.
We worked on the bachata and the mambo. This style is very new to me and it is an exciting challenge!

Another interesting aspect was facing the huge mirrors. Most all dance studios have one wall covered with mirrors. This just goes with it the whole experience. Apparently somewhere along the way, I learned to look into these mirrors in an objective way and understood that they are there as an instructional tool.
Of course, one is looking at them for the purpose of learning steps, visual feedback, and making adjustments. But, I happened to notice that my impression of myself was that I appeared taller and somewhat thin. That was actually a shock. I am so used to looking at myself in the mirror from the hips up and noticing belly fat and wrinkles. Well, in the dance studio, my waist was covered and it was too far away to see any wrinkles. This forced me to see the big picture. And I did notice some positives. I looked fit. I had defined muscles.
I did not jiggle. This really got me thinking about those articles that suggest we look in the mirror and find something (anything) that we like about ourselves to boost self-esteem.
I also got to thinking about different body types. So, I searched body types (images) and found photos showing the great diversity of body types in the human species. Of particular interest to me is all the body types amongst Olympic athletes.

Another very interesting aspect of this is that it was doing something "real."
Apparently I have an active imagination. When I dance at home, I sometimes pretend I am on stage or in a studio. I also view dancing on youtube and have found this to be an excellent tool. But the mental dancing just isn't the same physical experience.......
for me, what I would describe as a total body, magical high!
I was glad to get out of my head & away from fantasy and experience the multi-sensory physical reality of ACTUALLY DOING SOMETHING!
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