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Sunday, March 16, 2008

"Don't Worry, It Gets Better"

That is what my flamenco teacher said to me at my second class on Saturday. My teacher is very sweet to me, and she smiles at me with a mixture of fondness and what I presume to be extreme pity. She is so graceful and has such presence. I want to be her. Really badly.

I am a person who tends to look at and aspire to the end result, and I don't always think about how I'm going to get there. Having the right shoes and the skirt with the ruffles at the bottom is definitely putting the cart before the horse. Although it would be surprising that I wouldn't be tragically horrible after only two classes, at least it is the shoes and ruffles that tide me over in the moments when I feel like such a supreme klutz.

So now I am realizing that I am just plain hard on myself whatever I am dancing. It doesn't matter if it's tango, flamenco or ballet. I want perfection. But I'm not strong enough yet. I don't have the muscles and the stamina to keep up. (Hey, lady, lighten up. It's not even been a week yet since you started this latest adventure.)

These classes are really tough on this old bod and brain. I feel like I've been beaten with a stick. Pretty much everything on my entire body hurts right now.

But in a way, the sore muscles feel good. It's a reminder that I'm working on something that is important to me. I don't know that to do about the sore brain though. So many expectations.

I guess that I forgot to mention that I'm taking ballet now, too. I'll esplain later.

Just call me Lucy.


Anonymous March 16, 2008 at 11:10 PM  

Lucy? Or Barbra Streisand???


tangobaby March 17, 2008 at 8:49 AM  

That was cute. I could only watch half of it though.

I have an allergy to Barbra Streisand.

I was thinking more like this:


Anonymous March 17, 2008 at 8:55 AM  

Sorry. Didn't mean for you to sprout hives...

Lucy is always a kick in the tutu.

tangobaby March 17, 2008 at 9:33 AM  

Not hives. More of a tummy ache.


FogBay March 17, 2008 at 10:23 AM  

Maybe more of a "ballet-ache"?

Thank you, thank you, I'm here all week, don't forget to tip your waitresses.

Frances R March 17, 2008 at 11:11 AM  

What fun! You go, girl!
I don't know about flamenco, never done that, but ballet will do marvels for your tango. You'll see.

tangobaby March 17, 2008 at 12:23 PM  

Oy, FogBay.

I have to have my 2-drink minimum before you start with jokes like that.

Hey, love the icon! Tintin is fun.

Hi Frances,

You are way ahead of me, girl. Now you know why I am in the ballet classes. I think it's going to help me a lot with dancing (and moving) in general. I just have to get the point where I don't need to take Aleve after class.

So, are you a ballerina? Do tell!

Elizabeth March 17, 2008 at 4:46 PM  

TB, You are amazing! You live with such gusto, and I love to think of you working so hard at having a great life.
I also have an allergy to Barbara Steisand! She give me a migraine, and I am not kidding.

paris parfait March 17, 2008 at 4:59 PM  

Oh wow! How incredible that you are taking so many different kinds of dance lessons! I admire your stamina and enthusiasm. Flamenco is so amazing. When I was taking Spanish lessons in Sevilla, a group of women from the US were there to study with a flamenco master and they spent six weeks going to venue after venue of flamenco!

Alex March 17, 2008 at 5:01 PM  

I'm allergic to Streisand as well, and early Diane Keaton. Does anyone remember the movie "Reds"? Anyway, I even enjoy a little Keaton now, somehow her edge has worn down.

Lucy is the bomb. I remodeled her old house in Aspen. $12mil on 6,000sf. Do the math.

ModernTanguera March 17, 2008 at 8:13 PM  

Oh, I agree that ballet can do amazing things for tango dancers! I think that everyone should take ballet. I haven't been to a serious ballet class in a few years, but the alignment and balance and extension is still ingrained in my body. It's fun to hear about other dancers who like to try out different genres! Now if we can just play with some fusion ... :D

tangobaby March 17, 2008 at 8:47 PM  

Dear Elizabeth,

You are so cute! I love your enthusiasm for my silliness. I wouldn't call me amazing, just someone who finds too many things interesting and curious to let them not go untried. I kind of feel like a very unfocused dilettante. But not in a bad way.

I am glad you are also not a Barbra fan, so that way I won't worry that we are going to have a Yentl sing-a-thon when you come to visit me someday.

Hi Paris Parfait,

I think my enthusiasm might be admired, but my stamina is for the birds. But thank you for the compliment.

When I met my teacher, she had just gotten back from two weeks in Catalonia, at a flamenco event. Don't think the little wheels in my head started turning over that one. Oh, wait! I forgot I want to go to Istanbul first, and tango there.

Hi Alex,

I can see where both Streisand and Keaton would be even scarier to men than women. However, I consider "early Keaton" to be Annie Hall, Sleeper and Love and Death. Although the latter two are merely recycled versions of her role in Annie Hall, she is a loveable real dork in that film and it's one of my favorites.

I am not good at math so I'll just take your word that Lucy paid you a s**tload of money. Tell me Desi was there and sang Babaloo for you!

(In truth, Lucille Ball was trained as a dancer and before she got any leading roles, you can see her in the chorus in some of the classic 30s musicals.)

Hi Modern Tanguera,

Welcome and thank you for visiting my blog! I'll look forward to paying you a return visit very soon. ;-)

You are right about ballet. Even though I have little mastery in ballet class (my poor little 8-year old inside is crying), I know that this training will help me find the balance and core strength that I have not been able to get in hours/months/years of tango practice.

And even though my arabesques suck and I can't do a piroutte to save my soul, I like the calmness and serenity of the ballet studio.

AnnieElf March 18, 2008 at 11:45 AM  

We got the Lucy ENTIRE CD set for our daughter for her birthday last year. Every night she tucks in with her dog and laughs herself to sleep.

tangobaby March 18, 2008 at 1:33 PM  

Hi AnnieElf,

Your daughter and me, we could be pals. That's a great way to fall asleep.