Saturday, May 19, 2012

Biting My Tongue

"You need to hold on to me harder." Dance Coach said.

It's been decades since a man said that to me, popped into my brain but I wisely decided it wasn't the time for even mildly naughty jokes, so I just said, "Okay." We'd been skating in Killian and I'm occasionally casual about the strengh of my pressure on his hand on my right hip. Dance Coach likes my left arm straight and firm across him, and my right hand strongly pushing his hand onto my hip. I  like to just lightly rest my hand on his, which is a no-no. He wants strong connections.

This week, he's all yappy about my power. Or my speed. Or my ability to keep up. At one point in the lesson he abruptly skates away from me while talking. I call out, "Whoa, slow down." He glances over his shoulder, "No, you speed up."

I narrow my eyes. "I'm elderly!" I whine as I try to catch him. All I get for that is laughter.

I Canna give you more power, Captain.    
Anyway, at this point I have to assume that now that the whole 'more power' thing is raising its ugly head yet again, he's emphasizing my holds because when we're skating fast, I'm pretty much a side of beef being driven around the rink.  Okay, that's an exaggeration. But I intuit a strong hold makes it easier for Dance Coach to lead me in the dances and keeps me tucked in neatly in the right position, so he can stop me from falling in the event I catch a toepick.

Or my legs collapse in exhaustion.

We zip through the first half of the Canasta Tango on public then a kid runs into him.  Dance Coach  recites the Russian alphabet under his breath to keep from swearing as we skate back to the starting point for the CT.  When he explains this to me, he asks, "Don't you have words like that in English? So you don't swear?"  I didn't have to think about that. I was brought up in a strictly non-swearing family. I've got dozens of non-swearing  expressions. I pick out a couple. "Geeze Louise." I said, "And Fudge." As I step into Reverse Killian hold I hear him murmur, "Fudge. I get that." I take a deep breath before he starts counting. "I never use it, of course." There's a snort from Dance Coach; if I'm frustrated I've been know to tear off some fearsome full metal jacket swear words.  This always shocks him. According to a skater I know, who is a fluent Russian linguist, Russian men don't like to hear women swear.

Too late.

The second Canasta Tango, at first only one rep, goes smooth as silk. There's absolutely NO YAPPING! I even get praise for my presentation glide. The third time around, we do the dance in full test pattern. I briefly see myself in the glass. I'm not 'hinching', and during the presentation glide my butt's not sticking out.  I takes improvement where I find it. Even when I can't see myself, I know my posture is right because I can effortlessly push my shoulders back lightly into Dance Coach's supportive left arm.

I have to give Coach Cruella some credit for that posture improvement. While Dance Coach has told me how to get my posture and practiced with me; Cruella manhandles me into the right position.  Cruella just reaches in while I'm skating, shoves my hips around and makes blunt woman-to-woman comments about how to place my chest that no male coach would ever dare do. So, one guy/one woman coach, working out for me.

We do a few more elements from other dances. I am able to do three turns in waltz hold consistently, and my forward and back edges in waltz hold rate approval and only one comment--"sit down on the edge, more". Okely-dokely.  

So, I didn't learn anything new today. But I got approved to test in August.


I'm going to nail that dance.

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