Nothing like a good epiphany to start the day, I say. We were working on the Progessive Tango this morning. Part of the dance involves skating a curve on an outside edge. What is an outside edge, you ask? Well, allow me, your Friendly Guide to Roller Skating, to enlighten you.
Imagine standing up and looking down at your roller skates. Feel free to imagine them as ultra cool and styling if you want. The wheels on the outside of your foot are called the, wait for it, outside edge. The wheels on the inside of your foot are called–hell, you get it, right? To skate a curve, you lean your weight on either the inside or outside wheels.
Keep imagining you are looking at your (still ultra cool and styling) skates. If you are standing on one foot, your body weight is already on the inside of the inside wheels. This makes it easy to skate an inside edge. To skate an OUTSIDE edge, you have to lean your weight extra hard, because you have to make up for the rest of your body, which is on the wrong side of the edge.
In the Tango, one step involves stepping onto a skate and immediately going into an outside edge while bringing your other leg forward. I just could not do it and kept dancing in straight lines. My Tango looked more like a giant connect-the-dots game than a graceful dance. Big D did what a good coach does. He suggested I lift the free leg (the leg I was not skating on). Nope. We tried again and he suggested I press my ankle and knee to the outside. Nope. We tried again and he suggested I lower my ouside arm. I tried all these things, I swear I did, but I was still connecting the dots and I wanted to dance, dammit!
Then he said I should take my free leg and imagine I was drawing the circle I wanted to skate as I brought it forward. Bingo! Like I was BORN doing the Progessive Tango.
Thanks to a coach who knows that learning something involves approaching it in a million ways until you find the suggestion which turns the light on, I got the pleasure of mastering something new today.