I thought we had a very productive practice today. The only less than desirable circumstance was the reprise of the punk kids with the loud speakers, rap to blast from them, and a few break dance and hip hop moves. Their music was quite loud and gave me rather a headache by the end of our session, so we skipped our beginning round and danced a warm up with no music, and then moved to our metronome, which could still be heard despite the racket. Our practice map, if you will, guided us well. We focused a good deal of time on the tipsies, starting with the slow metronome and working our way up in order get the timing even and correct. This strategy seemed to work pretty well, just as it used to in piano. I think our next step may be to start taking it up a couple of speeds from the speed we'll actually have to dance it; that way it will be easy when we have to dance regular comp speed. One thing we did find was that, naturally, when we took smaller steps and kept the shape smaller, we were more on balance and had an easier time making it time. Surprise! But I think we're going to have to make it a little bigger eventually; we did get comments in a lesson that we needed to give more to that particular section, making the shaping larger and the energy greater and so forth, but I think it's good for us to get a solid foundation first.
From there, we moved to the quickstep hover into six quick run piece, which we practiced with the metronome again. It really seemed to go pretty well; the six quick run has been greatly improved as we've mentioned by the restoration of the lock step rise, and Jeff didn't complain about me yanking him suddenly when I extended back on the hover, so that's good. I've really been trying to find that happy place where I'm getting out there far enough to look like I'm extending a bit more than usual, yet not pulling the partnership off kilter. Calibration again, I suppose.
We ended with a round, and the kids were considerate enough to turn off their music for that. They seemed pretty impressed that we played "Pink Panther" for foxtrot, so maybe one day they'll end up deciding that ballroom is cool too. There is still hope!
For those interested in seeing what these tipsies are that we keep talking about (and pretty much all of the other quickstep figures, actually), here is a demo video of former world champion and current 2nd place standard competitor Mirko and his former partner dancing a syllabus quickstep routine; the tipsies to the right and left are at 0:16-0:18:
P.S. The hover is at the very end.
This series of demo videos is a superb reference; in matters of technique on these syllabus figures, there is no question that you're pretty safe to copy these guys. This is also how we confirmed our theories about the timing of the weight transfer in foxtrot. If Mirko does it that way, we can't be so far off!