Someone to Count On/With

So my homegirl and I decided we’re going meet weekly to practice our solos for the show in December, and last night was our first session. It was an hour well spent, even though we didn’t spend a minute practicing our solos …

Because we are both in the Thursday night soleá class, which is advanced and somewhat scary for us, we thought it might be a good idea to review the choreography before this week’s session. It’s a good thing we did. I had not yet reviewed the video from the last session, so I had no recollection of where to even start. But Homegirl kind of knew and she had the video on her cell phone, so we watched it together and then tried to imitate it. And hilarity ensued.

It’s amazing how you can watch a five-second bit of video and immediately forget what you just saw. “Ok, it’s the left foot … let’s try it … wait … no, wait …left??… let’s watch that again…” I’d say this scene played out once or twice or 12 times during the hour. At some points we’d just stop and stare at each other blankly or with furrowed brows, helplessly trying to figure out what the hell we were doing. And then we’d bust out laughing.

The most ridiculous part, though, was the fact that it took us about 45 minutes to figure out how to count to 12. Here we are, two bright, relatively coordinated ladies, and we could not for the life of us count for soleá. And when we finally could, trying to dance at the same time was just a hot mess. There were a few “damn it!”s. There were some “S?;@!”s. And I’m pretty sure a few f-bombs were dropped. But hey, what’s a few flamenco f-bombs between friends?

In the final minutes of our rehearsal, we were able to pull ourselves together and count/dance in the proper rhythm and we had the choreography down. Yes!

Ok, so for the first 45 minutes we were a couple of fumbling flamencapotamuses (Homegirl’s word, I can’t take credit) but when we finally got it figured out, it felt sooooooo good. And these little victories go a long way when you’re trying to build confidence.

But we learned a bigger lesson: We depend on the teacher way more than we should at this point. We shouldn’t be constantly looking to her to put the counts to the music for us and cue us in. No, we should be able to do that on our own, at any moment, without thought. I think this lesson is really going to help when we’re each on stage alone in December.

Practicing with Homegirl is great because we’re both preparing to solo for the second time. We get each other and learn from each other, and can share a few laughs in the process. How cool is that?


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