Dances: Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, Quickstep, Cha-cha, Rumba
Yesterday evening was the Sunday night dance party, and Jeff and I got there a little early to warm up and do some practice run throughs. I think this "take Sunday's easy" approach is working out better; we are both making a conscious effort to be more relaxed in the dancing since normally we both have a tendency to just go for it and almost crash into people and sometimes have a bumpy ride around the floor. I also have a penchant for getting out of control when I'm trying to move and stretch as much as I can, as Jeff's post below will attest. That was a pretty funny hover though. I think what happened was that normally I try to stretch back and out from my sternum up, but somehow when I reached the max there I let my lower back go and then I basically bent myself in half backwards. I didn't even realize I ended up between another couple; I think my eyes were clearly focused on the ceiling.
More and more I would say that our lead and follow is improving with regard to mixing up the routines and navigating the social floor. Jeff is right, I'm starting to freak out less when there's a sudden change of plans, but I think a lot of that is due also to the fact that he's been less violent about suddenly whipping me around in another direction or changing things up, and the leads are coming at the right time for me to be able to do something about it. All good stuff.
Although I do wonder if we're deluding ourselves about the improvements we've made by doing the slow practice for the three weeks our coaches have been gone, we decided that there really can't be any doubt that the foxtrot and waltz feel a whole lot smoother and more controlled. Now whether they look better will be for the expert eyes to judge, but we do hope real progress has been made.
I titled this post "cup tango" because as I was walking across the floor last night as a tango was playing I came upon Jeff in one corner, who had incidentally been taking a water break. Without a word he put me in tango hold with his right arm, keeping the cup of water in his left hand, and we tangoed all the way down the long side with half of a frame and a cup of water. The best part is that none of the water spilled, and we weren't dancing the infamous basic T-A-N-G-O tango either, but moved in and out of promenade and outside partner positions quite cleanly. This is a good sign, since tango stays relatively quiet in the upper frame...no sway or rise and fall, and also the lead should be coming primarily through the body, so to be able to lead me clearly to promenade without arms and without spilling water I think was good. Personally, I think our tango is getting much more in sync and more together, and a little less stiff, as I know I personally have had a dreaful time trying to loosen up since all that sharpness that you want to have tends to translate itself into stiffness and immobility of the upper body for me, which is really no good.
I really don't have anything else to report from last night, other than that things overall felt good and it's fun to be able to see the progress in a non-practice setting.