I hope I haven’t worried you too much, readers, but I am, in fact, very much alive. Here’s the scoop: recovery from recent panic attack plus school-work equals less blogging. Yeah, anxiety flare-ups really stink. But, I’m feeling better now so I can write more, though I’m not sure of the full extent just yet.
Dance has been tough lately. I’m still trying to adjust to Tommy’s teaching style, which I’ll admit has been difficult. It’s a bit hard to describe: he reminds me of some of my best athletic coaches. Once upon a time, this dancer was also a runner. I had goals to go into the military, specifically the Army. So, despite my fervent dislike for it, I ran with my mom and got set up with a coach in high-school that would give me military-styled work-outs. It was pretty brutal, especially since I wasn’t the fastest runner out there. Sure, my strong point was distance, but I was pretty slow even for that. Still, my coach was iron-fisted and would not allow me to give up at any point during my exercises. Unfortunately, my ever-growing hatred towards running, and one other, deal-breaking factor shut down my plans completely. Military-oriented colleges would not allow their students to be medicated for understandable reasons. So, I gradually weaned myself off my anxiety pills so I could go to the New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell. Sadly, I had a massive relapse during my senior year, and I had to go back on my medication. But, I believe God works out everything for the best. I now attend a local university where I’m receiving a classical education, more than I could ever think to ask for.
Digression aside, Tommy reminds me of that coach of mine. He might not be as overtly in-my-face as my coach was, but I can see similar strands. He’s no-nonsense and strict. Outwardly, he might not be the warmest person, but one can tell that he cares for his students. The greatest irony in all this is that, as a person, I’m exactly like this. So, I can’t help but wonder why I’m having trouble adjusting. That’s what’s been going on with my teacher so far. Now, for an update on yesterday’s lesson.
I had an exchange lesson yesterday. Basically, I had my dance session with someone else so I could develop versatility by experiencing how another person teaches and leads. My teacher was José. I’d had group classes with him and danced with him before at our weekly practice parties, so it wasn’t totally new. Our focus was kinesthetic connection. Um, I barely understood the concepts he was trying to convey, so I might not be exactly clear in my explanations here. The goal was to get myself out of my head when dancing because I’m extremely analytical. So, by using things such as compaction, isolation, give-and-take, and resistance, I can learn to let go of what he called “common knowledge” (i.e. anticipating and doing the steps), so I can really learn to follow. Connection is definitely one of my weak points, so yesterday’s lesson was rather overwhelming. Frankly, it was discouraging as well. I know true perfection is impossible, and I have a long way to go, but this lesson was one of the few times I really felt it. It was one of those times when I wondered, “I know I’ve only been dancing for two short years, but will I really ever get better?” I’m still sort of asking that question today. Don’t worry though. This Terpsichorean maiden is no quitter.