Friday, August 12, 2011

Baby Steps

Dances:  Quickstep, Viennese Waltz
Part:  Lead
Workout:  Chest and shoulders at the gym.
Number of Pictures Sorted Through:  1,778

Today started out fairly amusing.  Sarah had thought she was off the hook this week for chest and shoulders since her schedule had pushed her workout day to Monday and Thursday.  Lucky for her, I had thought of this already and she was disappointed that I remembered.  Sarah has got to improve her general posture when working out.  Of course a lot of it comes from not only practice and repetition, but also from the increased strength you gain from the workout routine.  Hopefully it'll sort itself out soon.  In the meantime, I still need to keep a close eye on her or she'll definitely get hurt.

Practice today started normally.  We busted out the metronome for our Quickstep as we continued to pound that dance into submission.  Quite honestly, I'm not sure if we're getting any better.  We haven't danced it to music at regular tempo for quite some time now.  Hopefully when we do, we'll notice the improvement.  In the meantime, we shall persevere and continue the battle against balance, timing, posture, connection, etc.

After the Quickstep we did something out of the ordinary for us, the Viennese Waltz.  Before our first major break in practice when I went to L.A. we had had a lesson in Viennese Waltz and we thought it would be a good idea to review it so as not to waste that lesson.  Overall I would say our Viennese Waltz is smoother now.  Both Sarah and I trying hard to keep our shaping up instead of swooping down into it.  She is also trying various things with her head.  I have to keep telling her when she takes it too far and it starts to feel like we're doing a hover every 6 beats.  That's something we need to make a note of checking on with our coaches.  It feels like Sarah is simply trying too hard with her shaping and in the process throwing me off balance and forcing a stretch in my frame.  Though this is hardly new news to both Simeon and I.  We all know how much Sarah loves her shaping.  So much so that she likes to launch herself into each one and surprise both of us.  Sometimes on purpose and to get a rise out of Simeon and I, and other times just because.  All that being said, it seems like the learning curve for that kind of movement is fairly steep.  From the lead's perspective I wouldn't say it's the final shape that's difficult, but rather the movement to get there.  Sure the final shape isn't easy, but if you just pop into it the lead has to counterbalance that all at once.  Versus the gradual easing into that final position that makes it a delightfully transition.

Aside from that, we began working on Fleckerls.  I've had two lessons in this step with Kora and I must say that is something she needs to work on.  While I understand she wants to show me everything that is involved in dancing that step correctly, sometimes you just need to take baby steps otherwise it's simply impossible.  It would be like you wanting to run a marathon having never done one before, then having a coach tell you to start practicing by running 26 miles everyday.  Instead of starting with say 1 mile for the first week, then slowly increasing the distance.  Sarah and I decided to take the baby steps approach.  Basically we just danced through Fleckerls.  I'm sure they looked as bad as they felt.  But I think with practice we'll get the basic idea down and can then benefit from the more thorough explanation Kora offers.

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