Some little bits that help me remember the stages of development. Not surprisingly, this comes from The Little Dragon's Three Stages of Cultivation.
Stage One: "I don't know what I'm doing, but I'm having fun. I think."
I remember my first three months of Rueda classes; I was in ignorance is bliss mode, just following calls, but not really knowing how to lead anything.
Slightly off-topic, the above quote also sums up how my honors Algebra class in high school went; only difference was I knew I was NOT having fun.
The end-of-year assessment on my report card?
"Needs to review and reinforce classwork."
No image of my report card, but trust me - you don't want to see the chaos that was my freshman year in high school.
Stage Two: "I know all this different stuff, but now I'm confused in more ways than one. This isn't very fun."
After learning a few things, what usually happens next is paralysis by analysis. One of my favorite clips showing this comes courtesy of Vezzini from The Princess Bride (I've used this clip before, but whatever):
Stage Three: "I don't think I'm having fun. I KNOW I'm having fun."
My first love was sports; after realizing I couldn't go any further with it, I ended up focusing on Casino. The sport mindset still permeates through my Casino; I'll never separate the two, as my most advanced students will attest to.
That's why I'm using this article to explain a higher level of mastery.
"Practice, experience -- what athletes commonly call 'reps' -- help develop strong instincts. [Tim] Duncan has them, as does [Roger] Federer, [Novak] Djokovic, and most other top-flight talents."
"Unthinking is the ability to apply years of learning at the crucial moment by removing your thinking self from the equation.
"Unthinking is not the same as ignorance; you can’t unthink if you haven’t already thought."
And to come full circle, here's a clip from The Little Dragon himself (I've also used this clip before, as well; but again, whatever).
Since I know how something is done, I no longer have to think about how to do it.
Is there more for me to learn and master? Of course there is. That's why I'll be traveling more in the near future. Saying you're training with top instructors is one thing; actually doing it is quite another.
The philosophy behind good social dancing, leading, following, and topics that discuss more than just Salsa Cubana.