Be careful what you wish for. I got my wish today, and it was a solid gut punch.
Today I found out exactly what my dance teacher, Diego, thinks of my dancing. To quote his exact words, delivered not once, but twice:
“You look clunky when you dance.”
Now, as a former karate student, I have been punched in the gut hard enough to knock all the air out of my lungs, and I can tell you that those five words landed a more powerful blow than any fist could.
There I was, practicing a new intermediate bachata step by myself when Diego came around and commented:
“You’re lifting your feet too high, Cathy. That’s your biggest weakness as a dancer. You lift your feet too high in salsa, bachata, cha cha, and every dance, and you look clunky and heavy.”
I nearly died.
I think that what all students crave most is praise from a worthy teacher, so to receive the opposite in such a blunt manner is really rather devastating.
Thankfully, the practical side of me took over and reminded me that I live for constructive criticism.
Diego followed up his comment by telling and showing me that feet should always drag in bachata, which is a detail I never noticed before. As soon as I discovered that bachata feet should not be lifted off the ground even a bit outside of when they are used in bachata accents, I was able to apply this principle to my bachata step immediately.
Apparently, my high step is the root of most of my problems in all the styles of dancing I do, which explains why I am always off balance, etc.
So, my dance goal for this week is to concentrate on my lifting my feet less, which will hopefully fix three or more problems with my salsa/cha cha/etc. steps.
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and I am determined to come out of this experience a stronger and better dancer!
Coincidentally, I found the following quote the day after my post:
Should I take it as a sign?
… Sure, why not?