Sunday, July 24, 2011

Just go with the flow and have fun!

Part: Follow
Dances: Tango
Hovers: 1

I think I carried thousands of pounds today, carrying too many heavy boxes to and fro as I tried to finish up my move to a new apartment today, and I finished it all off with 2-3 hours of assembling an "all assembly required" chest of drawers from the boards up, trusty screw driver and hammer in hand. The highlight of the day was getting my precious little piano moved in to my new place; a costly maneuver...but worth it to me. Even if I don't play it as much as I'd like, it's like a sign and symbol of a part of me that I don't want to let go. Right now I feel just about as spent as can be, my neck and shoulders are really tight, and I'm worried about how I'm going to be feeling tomorrow, especially for our lesson. I guess I'll find out.

Yesterday I joined Jeff for the chest and shoulders workout, always the worst for me, and yesterday Jeff took it upon himself to give me a serious lesson in some of the techniques for doing the workouts properly, but also ended up needing to give me an "assist" to complete some of the sets. I can try as hard as I can, but when the muscles aren't there they aren't there, so there's only so much I can do. I'm sure I'll get there eventually.

Our practice yesterday was short, typical for an end of the week, and we both had decided to go social dancing afterwards anyways. After a brief stint working on the tango "trouble-spot," or rather "trouble side," we headed out to Danceworks in Redmond. This was only my second time there, and it's definitely a different sort of crowd from the usual Washington Dance Club scene that Jeff and I both frequent on the weekends. Here, the emphasis is strongly on West Coast Swing, along with a lot of the club dances, like Night Club 2-step, bachata, merengue, and others. Still, they always have a pretty good mix and tend to throw in a bit of Latin and standard, though the music is often a bit too fast for real standard and calls for more American style. Jeff and I danced quite a bit, and I have to say, it's feeling better for me than it did before our break. I'm relaxing a lot more in my following, I think, and Jeff's been getting pretty skilled with his even though we had a small and busy floor to navigate, it was pretty fun. With our fresh return to our dancing after the 10 days off, we're less in our heads with it and more just going with the flow, and generally that works out much better when you're social dancing; rather than freaking out about getting routines and technique perfect all the time. We even danced a cha-cha, and I had a first for me...someone asked me if I was a Latin dancer! I usually get pegged as a standard dancer first thing.

The only sad thing was that my neck seized up terribly in the Viennese waltz so that I had to stop a little before the end, probably a combination of my strained head position (even though I was trying to work on it) and the workout right before. I also had a momentary panic moment when Jeff decided that he could do a reverse wave in waltz and I just couldn't let myself not close my feet...but I learned my lesson and did a lovely reverse wave in waltz the next time around, as non-kosher as that may be. If Jeff decides to lead it I've got to go with it and I've got to stop being surprised by some of the craziness he comes up with and just go for it and see what happens. There was one moment that I noticed felt particularly awesome, and Jeff commented on that exact part afterwards, saying how great it was, where we did some kind of series of back checks and pivots to get out of a sticky floorcrafting jam in foxtrot...and although sometimes I lose my balance on these if they are super last minute decisions and thrown at me forcefully, we both nailed these and ended with the best feeling resolution with a hover telemark kind of thing, with both of us drawing our feet up underneath us with lots of foot pressure up onto the toes, staying up there, perfectly balanced in promenade until traffic cleared for us to make a graceful exit and descent. I don't mean to gush...but it was a great feeling.

Maybe 15-20 min. before the dance ended we changed into our regular shoes since we were going to leave soon, and of course as soon as we did they played a real waltz, one that wasn't too fast. We just couldn't miss that opportunity, so we danced anyway, Jeff in his Doc Martens and me in my little ballet flats with the leather soles and big bows. That changed our height ratio quite a bit! Jeff had an extra inch or so with his street shoes, and I had lost my 2 1/2" completely, so he was at least 3-4" taller than I, for once! Normally with dance shoes we're about even, and I kind of like that because it makes it easier for me to extend and keep my left side lifted and I have to work less hard to avoid being heavy. Driving forward on my heel didn't really work in my flats. I'm definitely to the point where I'm more comfortable in heels than without.

Jeff requested a tango part way through the evening, and they told us it would be a west-coast swing/argentine tango kind of cross. When it started playing however, I got all excited because it was the "Arunas Tango!" Jeff had to laugh at me, since I seem to have most of the top standard dancer's current show pieces memorized. It was a pretty cool show though, and Jeff and I both saw it live at City Lights Ball in San Jose this year. In fact, I remember sitting next to Jeff during that exact show and discussing what it would really take to be that good...sometimes you have to wonder if Arunas was just born like that. So just for fun, and since we plan to work on tango in our next lesson, here it is:

It was a very enjoyable evening; one of those ones where you just enjoy the dancing and don't care too much about getting everything perfect. I was too tired to care that much anyways, so I just enjoyed it. I think it's good to do that every once in a while; it puts everything in perspective and reminds us why we're doing this anyway. And, I got my cardio in without even noticing!

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