Learning to lead Part 2 of 3
In Learning to lead Part 1 of 3 I survived my nerve-wracking first class, thanks to a really friendly atmosphere and some great teaching.
After that first class I had some conflicting feelings:
- I really enjoyed the dance itself
- The thought of trying to become a leader was scary
- I'm definitely not a natural dancer and I knew that to get anywhere I would have to put in a lot of effort
- I was never one of those kids at school who just seem to be good at everything, I had to work to get anywhere, I was pretty sure that dancing would be the same
- I could just stay at home on the couch and avoid bruising my male ego!
However, it was a fairly easy decision; I decided that even though it might take me ages to become a good leader, I would love to be able to do it, I would enjoy learning (other than my ego of course) and it would be something that Simone and I could do together.
Other people had been talking about 8 - 10 weeks to get past the complete beginner stage, so I gave myself 6 months and decided that if it wasn't happening by then, I'd go back to the couch!
The next few weeks I had to concentrate hard; some of the moves I just didn't get and most of my conversations were peppered with regular apologies as I stepped on toes and and got myself in a muddle. Of course, one of the consequences of concentrating hard was that I looked extremely serious, aka Mr Glum!
Leading, dancing & smiling seemed like a hard adult version of pat your head and rub your tummy!
After a few weeks, as I slowly began to get a few basic moves under my belt some really strange things happened:
- The pre-class trepidation was replaced by anticipation; rather than a part of me dreading going because I knew I would screw up, I was now focused on improving
- I started smiling more!
- I really started enjoying both the classes and the freestyle
I also found a book about "learning to lead" which recommended doing "quickies". On suggesting this to Simone there were some raised eyebrows but once I explained, we got into the habit of doing just 5 or 10 minutes quick run through of a recent routine at home in the hall. It really helped cement the learning and be able to use the moves in freestyle.
Having learned a few basic moves and got to the point of more enjoyment, I was looking forward to a long road of fun learning.
Next time - from a set routine of moves to freestyle leading and trying to incorporate musicality and style!