Administrator's Note: Angela traveled to Pensacola in order to do a private lesson with Tristan on March 23, 2014. This is her recap of that experience.
Things I learned during that dance lesson:
Teaching literature to middle schoolers comes a lot easier to me than dancing.
Tristan MacManus might just be the nicest person on the planet.
What’s to be scared of? It’s just dancin’.
I’d like to hire Tristan to be my life coach.
When I found out at the last minute that Tristan would be teaching lessons in Pensacola, I knew I had to go, but I was scared. So scared that I did everything in my power to persuade a few others to go with me. Unfortunately, none of them could make it, so I had to brave this alone. And alone is not something I do well, because I might very well be one of the shyest people ever.
I booked the private lesson and considered cancelling it a dozen times beforehand. I had never had a dance lesson, and the only thing close to dancing I do is Zumba, so I was going way out of my comfort zone. I arrived at the studio early, so I had the chance to see Tristan collaborating in a lesson with the studio owner, Victor. Tristan was very at ease coaching this student, and her considerable dance experience was obvious. He came over to greet me and I felt myself relax.
We focused on rumba and cha cha, and Tristan mixed in lots of questions as he and Victor walked me through the first few steps. He was trying to find the best way to teach me, and as a former teacher, I appreciated that. Dancing was much harder than I thought it was going to be, and my feet were not very cooperative but Tristan and Victor were very patient, encouraging, and persistent….all while keeping it laid back. Good teachers know it’s important for the student to feel a certain level of comfort and enjoyment while being challenged, or no learning will take place. Tristan did that perfectly! He reassured me multiple times during the lesson and kidded me about being scared. When the lesson was over, he signed my picture from last year’s Life’s a Dance and included the words “no fear.” For some reason, those words have resonated with me. No fear. If I’d backed out of the lesson, I’d have missed this amazing experience and what I’m considering a very useful life lesson. Live without fear. So yeah, I had the best possible teacher and he made sure I learned some rumba and cha cha steps because that’s what I was there for. But I feel like I learned so much more! So what are the chances I could hire Tristan to be my life coach on top of all his other commitments??