Monday, June 27, 2011

Lesson #11

Dances:  Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, Quickstep, Viennese Waltz, Nightclub 2-Step, Salsa
Part:  Lead
Workout:  None.
Massages and Pies Today:  1 each.

The long wait is over!  Here is our first blog post about a lesson.  This will be the eleventh lesson Sarah and I have taken together.  This evening's victim: Simeon, a.k.a. "The Robot".  The dance: Foxtrot.  The venue:  Washington Dance Club.

On our way over the 520 bridge this evening Sarah was asking me what dance we wanted to work on with Simeon.  I told her I didn't really care since all of our dances need work.  She settled on waltz and foxtrot since we wanted to see if the metronomic practice had done us any good.  I told her she'd better pick the one she wants to start with since we'll probably end up doing that dance for the entire lesson.  This proved to be a true statement, and the dance was foxtrot.

We started off by dancing our foxtrot routine, and roughly half way through Simeon stopped the music and the work began.  The figure in question today was my promenade position.  This didn't really surprise me since it's a common complaint I get from my two coaches.  The short version of the story is that I tend to not to rotate my torso toward Sarah enough and I also drop my left side.  Simeon decided to work on our Hover in conjunction to the promenade it ends on.  As mentioned in a previous post, I don't like turning my head to the right.  The Robot had to keep reminding me to go right as I went into the Hover then back out into promenade, all the while also telling me to lift up my left side.  Finally Simeon got smart and decided to reverse his tactic.  Instead of telling me to lift my left side, the instruction changed to NOT stretch up my right side.  This actually proved to be quite effective despite the first run.  That time I went into the Hover and into the promenade, then realized I had stretched out my right side, tried to correct for it and ended up bouncing around while Simeon just stared in disbelief.  A few tries later and Simeon gasped out "That was the best promenade I've ever seen!".  This made Sarah and I laugh uncontrollably.  I had to ask him if he meant the best in the world ever or just us.  We tend to elicit three responses from The Robot in each lesson:

1.  OMG!  I can't believe it's that good.
2.  OMG!  I can't believe you dance it like that and make it work.
3.  *stunned disbelief*  (mouth open and just looking at us like we're crazy)

These happen not necessarily in that order.  But it's funny that he always goes through each of those in every lesson.  Near the end of the lesson we started working on shaping the Curved Feather and also the Reverse Wave.  It was as good lesson.  Sarah and I will have to keep practicing, although the promenade position will be difficult to do so.  It's hard to tell whether or not you're actually doing it right.  I think I'll have to over exaggerate at first and then come back to a good mean.

Sarah, of course noticed that we didn't get any feedback about our overall movement in the foxtrot.  Later that night, she couldn't hold it in any longer and asked Simeon about it.  He remember having the conversation with us about it in a previous lesson and said he didn't notice the issue as much this time.  Guess the metronomic practice is working.

After our lesson it was time for the usual Sunday dance party at the Washington Dance Club.  It was an average night.  Same people, different Sunday with the exception of Shaoshu.  It was awesome to see him there dancing with us, as he has never done so in the past that I know of.  There were a few guys that evening in particular I kept running into.  It's interesting that it's the same people every time, every Sunday.  At first I was just chalking it up to random chance, but I'm pretty sure now it's not.  I'm not saying they're out to get me, but I think it's just that their floor crafting is just that poor or that they make poor decisions in their figures.  I think I'll start watching how they dance when I'm off the floor and see if the problem persists amongst other couples.  There has got to be a pattern to the madness.  Chaos Theory.  Other than that it was a great night.  Sarah and I got some good dances in.  The new shoes are holding up beautifully even on Washington Dance Club's unusually slick floor.  And as a bonus we got to see Shaoshu dance the Nightclub 2-Step as well as Sarah getting him sucked into the Snowball Rumba.

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