Another valuable lesson, just not the planned one!

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Steph had been to a technique class with Dante Culcuy and Verónica Vázquez, one I would have considered well above my level, but it was advertised as suitable for all levels and Steph said there was nothing I couldn’t have done …

The class opened with some solo technique exercises, which were really helpful.

One was a 180-degree on-the-spot pivot on two feet: weight on one foot and the other as a support. Another version of that was keeping the torso facing forwards while pivoting to left and right. Finally, the same thing but with a cross and change of weight, then extending the new free leg to do the same thing but on the opposite leg.

We then worked in pairs to do exactly the same thing in practice embrace, mirroring each other.

All that was fine. Where things started to get less fine was when Dante and Verónica demonstrated a short sequence using this technique. To an experienced dancer, I’m sure the sequence was simple; to me, it wasn’t.

It was an interesting sequence, but for me it was back to my usual position of having to spend most of the time getting the hang of the steps – the what – only then having the spare capacity to work on technique – the how. So something that was intended to be pure technique, wasn’t, for me.

Things also went rather downhill from there. As I didn’t think it fair to subject other followers to me needing to spend so much time just getting to grips with the steps, I stuck to partnering with Steph.

They say that students should never, ever try to teach each other in class* – and that goes tenfold when the person concerned is your life partner! My view was that I’d figured out the sequence but my technique was as yet poor; Steph’s view was that my technique was fine but I was leading the wrong sequence. In the interests of domestic harmony, I shall refrain from presenting the considerable available evidence as to which of us was correct. Suffice it to say that I decided doing classes together was not, at this stage at least, a good plan, and on that point we managed to agree. 🙂

So that was perhaps the main lesson from the class! But I did learn some very useful solo technique exercises, and I shall incorporate those into my morning routines.

Image: Shutterstock

*I should emphasise that I continue to very much welcome feedback from my followers; I see this as different to trying to teach.

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