Let me tell you. At Imperial Ballroom you will get value for your dollar.
First off, the instructors there are world class. If you aren’t a dancer already, you may not realize the caliber of instructor at this studio. Probably the highest I’ve seen so far overall.
Secondly, if you go to the Latin Advanced Group Class on Tuesday nights, more likely than not, you will end up being there beyond the promised 45 minutes! Holy Moley, tonight we were there for an hour and 10 minutes and I was about to die. In my head I was like, “Inna, I need you to be done, please!”
What a double-edged sword. The positives: I’m paying for 45 minutes and I’m getting an extra 25, I’m getting to shed more calories, absorb more technique, and dance more, plus I’m getting Inna’s teaching expertise, corrections, and extra (and much-needed) practice.
But my body is screaming at me, “STOP! AND STOP NOW!”
Now really, I thank my lucky stars Inna pushes us so hard. I really need the pushing. I need to improve this cardio situation of mine. It, besides the extra weight I’m carrying, is probably the biggest thing holding me back right now. I hate running, I no longer have a membership to the gym, so it is such a blessing to have this class on Tuesdays where I am guaranteed to be pushed, get my heart rate up, and work my body to its limit. It’s not that I don’t work hard with Ivan, but he lets me have little breaks a bit more and my body is getting used to the demands placed on it during a typical lesson. This is good, but it means it’s time to turn up the heat.
Tonight in Inna’s class, however, my body was not used to the demands placed upon it. In fact, I took myself out of some cha-cha walks because I was audibly wheezing. I jumped back in as soon as I was able, but I just really needed to stop. That, or pass out on the floor. I suppose that was the other option.
Seriously, though, I have to look at this like “progress, not perfection.” I do see progress in my cardiovascular capacity…and….it is still nowhere close to where I need it to be.
I’ve already had a conversation with Ivan about it and told him I have a plan. My goal is to be able to dance full-out for 10 minutes. It may be a while before I am able to accomplish this, but I’m gonna do it. I’m going to create a playlist of songs that are 1 minute 30 seconds, 5 in a row. I’m gonna make he and I dance it every lesson. As soon as it becomes manageable, we are going to do 1 minute 40 seconds, and so on, until I reach 2 minutes per song with 10 seconds of rest in between. Heck, if I’m really enterprising, I can complete this dancing prior to our lesson on my own. Now that would be really taking the bull by the horns, wouldn’t it? Sheesh! It’s so much easier with a partner, I’ll admit. Sometimes I question how deeply committed I really am.
In any case, tonight we did some Samba movements across the floor and when we got to the end of the song, and I and many other students were gasping for breath. Inna told us that we had only danced for 2 minutes. I think she was letting us know that it was a very short time to dance, and that more is expected from advanced dance students. But in my head, I was all, “That is a triumph! Woo Hoo! Two whole minutes!” It may be pathetic, but it is improvement from where I came from. I can’t beat myself up for not being at the level of a professional dancer, or even an advanced student because it just doesn’t serve me. Yes, it makes me aware of where I want to go, but I am also committed to being as kind as I can to myself on this weight loss journey. If being mean to myself worked, I’d be rail thin and in perfect shape by now! Might as well embrace some self-love.
So anyways, tonight it kind of reminded me of my old days at Glenda Folk’s Dance Studio where I used to take ballet, tap, and jazz as a kid. We were always expected to be on time, but if rehearsal went late, well, too bad. Suck it up and be there! In a weird way, it felt comfortable and good that Inna kept us late tonight. I actually think it is very cool that she is so into dancing, and seeing students dancing, that she wants to squeeze every last minute out of the class that she can. I mean, by now I know to expect not to be done by 8:30pm. Why did I think it would be any different tonight?
This is in contrast to Ivan, though, who is so punctual and ends exactly on time for every lesson. He’ll even call me if it is 5 minutes before the lesson and I’m not there yet (C’mon Ivan! I’m driving 129 blocks west each time I see you! It takes time, man!)
So, at the end of all this, I’m grateful that Inna keeps the class late but I long for the day when my body is up to the challenge and instead of meekly collapsing in a puddle of sweat and seeping out the door like a bowl of pudding it cries out, “Bring it on! I’m ready for another 45 minutes…I mean hour and 10 minutes! Let’s go.”
Yep. That’ll be a day to write about in my diary.