And now, a few more words on this private with Michael Gamble, who I might worship from this day out.
Michael arranged his class into several short (six minute) private lessons, and his approach was as follows: dance about thirty seconds with the follow, and then provide a little over five minutes of feedback. But for me, it went like this: Michael started dancing with me, and after about thirty seconds, he gave a small tidbit of advice on my connection during variations. But then, instead of stopping to work on technique, he just kept saying “do more variations” over and over again. As we kept dancing and dancing, I started wondering if something was wrong, or if he would ever give me something to work on. And then he STOPS, arms akimbo, and admonishes: “Why don’t you dance like this all the time?”
Essentially, I am always paying such close attention to my lead that my own voice in dancing sometimes gets hidden. I think, also, it accounts for a few times where I actually miss the lead – because I’m so ready to do something that I anticipate or arrive too early (“Ready for anything = Ready for nothing,” according to Peter and Naomi).
After making sure the shock of the comment didn’t hurt my self-esteem too badly, Michael then relegated me to my corner after only two and a half minutes of our six minute mini-private: “Go, sit down. You’re done.”
This moment was a huge compliment…terrifyingly intimidating. I expected to walk away with some advice on my swing out or my turns or my triple steps. Instead, I walked away with advice about my dancing overall – specifically my personality – which is simultaneously frightening, enlightening, overwhelming, and exciting. It has already revolutionized my dancing, and I’m really working hard to be more “selfish” and always show my personality when I dance. This is especially challenging when dancing with familiar people. But despite the difficulties, I can’t even explain how fantastic my dances have been since.
Even though the lesson was shocking… it was also strangely liberating. I just have to let myself show through more. I know this is the next “level” in my dancing, and it’s really exciting to have a purpose and a goal and to know it’s achievable.
That’s it for now. A wave of book reviews are next. Kudos to you if you read even 50% of all the stuff I just posted.