Sunday, August 21, 2011

Curved Feathers...Definitely not "Yucky"

Part: Follow
Dances: Waltz, Foxtrot
Hovers: 2

Thursday of this past week was our last practice of the week since Jeff was taking off for a camping excursion for the weekend and was leaving on Friday. That meant combining work outs as well, but Jeff was merciful and didn't make us do twice as much work to do that. I'm not sure if it was because he took pity on me or was just tired himself or a little of both, but I was grateful.

We were both pretty tired this Thursday, so after warming up to a night club 2-step and experimenting a little with some shadow position figures, we decided to forgo the slow practice and work on the smoother dances, namely, foxtrot and waltz. Our shorter practice essentially consisted of dancing through these dances a few times.

Apparently after watching our video footage, Kora thought that waltz was our best dance, and Simeon thought Viennese. Waltz has been good lately, and on Thursday again it felt very smooth; I'm especially appreciating the control with which we're lowering, and our waltz promenades seem to keep the connection well, without either of us falling away from the other into that ever so common (especially for us) V-shape. Perhaps our frame tilts in some places, but it's feeling good. Apparently our prep also continues to be a winner. I wish the rest of our dance was as good, but we'll take what we can get. One figure that's been a bit tough for Jeff in the waltz is the closed impetus....I think that it involves a heel turn for him, and as I well know, sometimes those are very difficult to execute cleanly in certain situations. On our first run through, I'm not sure exactly what happened, but I felt like Jeff so over rotated me that I couldn't keep my body over my feet and I was losing my balance. The tricky thing with that figure is that you have to rotate the upper body very strongly independently of the hips and legs, but I think that sometimes in order to get that strong rotation the hips get turned too when they shouldn't and then we get all screwed up and I lose my balance. Now maybe it was something I was doing...thought I don't think so, because I trying really hard to stay over my own feet and keep a good balance, but I do know that the next time we danced it, it was really smooth and balanced and felt great, so if Jeff changed something it was definitely working. Our hover was also very nice as well...slow and controlled.

Foxtrot was good; the curved feathers in particular were kind of yummy. Jeff also got the rotation right on for the reverse wave, so that was fun because I love the shaping on that figure. Anyways, at the first curved feather in our routine, for some reason I almost always feel like I get so curled up and twisted that I have no choice but to pick up my foot to drive forward out of the position, but somehow this time our configuration was just perfect, and my foot was able to slide along the floor while my leg stayed connected with Jeff's...and it was quite beautiful. I was very proud of us. I mentioned in my title that they're no longer yucky because Kora once called Jeff "yucky" because of what she found to be a poorly executed excuse for a curved feather. Not anymore! We're also doing well with our lower connection, though I still feel that we are started well but as seem to lose it a bit as we get farther into our routine. It's not quite to the habit stage yet, and we're going to have to think about it for a while longer.

That was pretty much it for Thursday night. One thing I discovered from Jeff this week that I suppose isn't all that surprising but is rather nice since we're partners...I think we rate all of the standard dances in the same order, most favorite to least. For me the ranking right now from most favorite to least is foxtrot, Viennese waltz, waltz, tango, and quickstep. The bad part is that we both have a tendency to want to push quickstep aside, for example, or dance more foxtrot than the other dances. On the plus side, it's another way in which we're of one mind about our dancing and have similar stylistic preferences. It might (and it's very likely) have something to do with our proficiency in each dance, but it's the chicken or the egg, really...are we better at one because we like it more or do we like it more because we're better at it? It really doesn't matter. Foxtrot just feels amazing, and quickstep is still a lot of work for little least, it is now. I'm not sure if that will change once we get to open.

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