Thursday, August 11, 2011

Introducing the Last Waltz

Part: Follow
Dances: Waltz, Tango, Viennese, Foxtrot, Quickstep
Hovers: 2 (good ones!)

It's true, I think we actually worked on all of the dances last night! Practice was about an hour long, and it seemed we got a lot of good work in on the dances. We're becoming very familiar with what our problems are now (which is great), so we know exactly what to work on, and I think getting to vary it and not spending too much time on one thing keeps us from burning out as quickly. We'll have to get back to practicing individual problem areas soon though.

We ran through waltz a couple of times. I was rushing a bit in some parts, apparently, though I think it was more that I was trying to be more dramatic with my leg sweep in the left whisk than Jeff was actually leading, so that came out a little out of sync. Otherwise, it's going pretty well, and the usual problem areas are improving.

We worked on tango with the bar again, but before this we ran through the first half of the routine without it. It felt great! Seriously, I am not nearly so terrified of that fallaway reverse slip pivot section of doom anymore. The one thing left is that we still need to confirm what we're doing for the timing of the reverse outside swivel, because I still think we're cheating...but otherwise we're together and not falling over. That's huge.

Viennese was just a run through; Jeff said it's feeling smooth to him again now, so either we've gotten used to applying the principles from that lesson the broke that dance, or else we've reverted to our old ways. I hope not though! I think my head is better; it doesn't hurt or feel strained nearly as much, so that's a good sign. I still think we could be lower into our knees throughout though.

Foxtrot is pretty smooth, but Jeff told me after a run through that he feels like I'm rushing the slows. I'm glad he mentioned this, because it means I'm probably reverting back to the old step on the beat habit, so now that I know this is happening I can really focus on waiting for his movement and trying to move my body versus step on the beat, per the concepts we had worked on with our uber slow foxtrot practice. Jeff is consciously working on delaying weight transfers to get that smooth foxtrot transition from step to step, but if I'm just stepping on the beat by default it's no good. We ran it again after this and he said it felt a bit better, so it's definitely something for me to continue to be conscious of.

Finally, we worked on quickstep with the slow metronome. Of course, the rumba crosses are so much easier slow, though the timing of our first long side was confusing at first because of all the quick-and-quicks mixed up with quicks and slows, and the slows you think are quicks at that turtle-like speed. I think it's helping though. The rumba crosses really aren't too terrible; it's recovering after them that's a problem.

Practice ended with our Beegie Adair very slow waltz. I think we're going to start ending practices with this; it's a good note to end on, and ending with a waltz is a dance tradition. Jeff had wanted to quit after we both fell apart out of a crazy quickstep figure, but I can't stand ending on a bad note. That "Moon River" waltz is perfect.

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