Honing Versatility

I have a confession to make.  I’ve had two potential posts swirling around in my mind’s eye for a couple of days.  The reason I haven’t put one of these up until now is because I’ve been dealing with teacher withdrawal.  Yep, Tommy has taken a leave of absence from the studio again.  As of yesterday, he’s been gone three weeks.  *Sigh*  Last time this happened, he was gone six weeks.  I hope and pray we don’t push that.  Que sera, sera.

This unfortunate circumstance brings me to this silver lining of an entry.  With Tommy gone, Olga has been teaching me.  She taught me last time, as well.  I’ve written plenty of posts about how much I’ve loved my instructors.  And it occurs to me now that I’ve never told you all how grateful I am for Olga.  She’s gentle and bright.  She’s highly skilled and very patient with all her students, from her regulars to her many couples.  There’s even one little girl, who looks about eight or nine, that has a lesson with her after mine is over.

What I appreciate most is the fact that she focuses on different technical aspects than Tommy.  For example, our first lesson focused entirely on hip lifts.  These are used particularly in American Cha-cha and Rumba.  The non-standing hip needs to be physically higher than the other hip after the 4-and-1 in Cha-cha and between the two beats that make a slow in Rumba, which can be said as “and.”  For the former, this technique gives the dancer speed for moves like crossovers.  I personally couldn’t figure out how the professionals had such fast precision when dancing Cha-cha.  When she taught me this, it clicked.  As for Rumba, the hip lift seems to add more articulation in the body.

Finally, there’s nothing comparable to a woman teaching another woman how to be one on the dance floor.  Tommy is excellent, but there’s only so much a single teacher can do.  He cannot truly feel the physicality of being a woman, and that’s where Olga helps the most.  Learning girl-styling is something I wish I could do more because, as another student put it, body language can be the heart and soul of a dance.

So thank you, Olga.  Being your student during times like this has been most valuable.  It gives me warmth and provides insight into my dancing as I hone my versatility in this time of absence.

The floor is yours now.

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