Thursday, June 23, 2011

Focus on the Follow

Part: Follow
Dances: Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, Quickstep
Hovers: 2

I think I'm done with this week. I've had kind of a persistent heavy head headache for the entire week and the beginnings of a scratchy throat, besides a bit of personal stress too that just compounds it all. I think Jeff would say the same for himself. On the bright side, however, I did both my cardio workout and did weights, plus we got a decent enough practice in. I kept the weights light enough that I knew I could do it without overtaxing myself, and both of us were so out of it that we got through those weights pretty efficiently, and I think we hardly said 10 words the whole workout.

For practice, we did a half-hearted round, meaning we didn't finish all of the routines. Then we pulled up our old friend the metronome again and this time just applied it to our routines. We did our foxtrot and waltz routines to it, and in quickstep we just worked on the tipsies with the metronome to get the timing evened out. This time, I focused entirely on following Jeff's movement when we were using the metronome...not trying to follow the metronome myself, but rather the timing and movement of his hip and leg. That's hard! But it's good practice and I could feel where it was really helping me and why I need to work on this more. I get caught up in my own head too much when dancing, and exercises that involve a lot of thought application to my dancing can be bad for me in the sense that they keep me from letting go and following. Slowing things down to a slow metronome speed and matching that slow beat is hard enough, but matching Jeff's super slow movements and attempts to stay on beat with that tempo might be harder...and ultimately more beneficial to me as a follow. Note to self to work on this more. It's more a mental state approaching the practice, but makes a huge difference as to what I get out of it.

We worked a bit more on the back open promenade in tango since Jeff was not feeling good about it, and it felt much better after that. Personally, I felt that the fallaway-reverse-slip-pivot section of doom was going much better (I don't know that Jeff agreed), and the oversway at the end, because I was taking really tiny steps this time and I felt the turns were cleaner because Jeff had more space to get around me. My heel turn was also very nice and I didn't have to slide my left foot when I went into the oversway, which always happens.

We ended (at my insistence) with a quickstep run through. Jeff wanted to call it quits after a long discussion about I don't remember what, but somehow I like the finality of ending a session with some dance or other, rather than just dropping the whole practice session sort of randomly. Besides, he had said we would do a quickstep run through earlier when we didn't make it through the first time. So run through it we did. And that was it for tonight. We'll see what we feel up for tomorrow, but we're planning to have another session to report.

Here is a link to a photo of the current world champions dancing a very hover-like figure, if not an actual hover...this is what we're going for, I think, except the angle of her feet is kind of different, almost like she's in wrong-side. Hmm...the shape is good though...look a the shape:

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