Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Develope Saves the Day

Part: Follow
Dances: Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, Quickstep, Night-club 2-step
Hovers: 2 (one with an accidental develope)

Last night was our first practice since last Thursday. Jeff had effectively killed his legs and was generally exhausted from a day of serious cleaning, car washing, and running around like crazy, plus little sleep. As for me, I did some actual running (not just the elliptical) again during the past couple of days along with a pretty serious workout, so I was feeling it a bit, though not as much as I expected. After hitting the weights, we joined up with our Latin dance friends to tackle our problems once again.

We began with waltz. Something was really off about our balance and center of gravity last night; Jeff said at first that it felt like I was falling on top of him, which is usually the opposite of what happens, and I just felt like we were tipping over at every corner, and the rotations were wonky. Apparently I was rushing some parts too. Anyways, we weren't in our best form, but that is bound to happen sometimes. Another thing that was affecting things was that I had castor oil conditioned the suede soles of my shoes, and as a result I had a lot more traction than normal and my feet weren't gliding like they usually do. Jeff said sometimes it felt like we hit a sticky patch and he could definitely feel the difference. Hopefully they'll smooth out again soon; I've done this before and the shoes got a lot faster pretty quickly. They just need to be danced on for a bit.

Jeff was super excited about his new Mario Bros quickstep and said he just knew it would be a 5-star song even before we tried it. We got about half way through the routine before Jeff I think broke into our waltz routine, so we stopped. Before that it didn't feel too bad though. Maybe quickstep won't be so terrible after all.

We also touched a bit on foxtrot. I suggested we work on the zig-zag (horrid step) since I think it often feels bumpy in the transition from promenade to closed wrong side and back. Jeff disagreed and thought we've been doing fine with this figure, but we did practice it a little. It's sooo awkward, if I haven't mentioned that before.

Practiced concluded with a tango run through and a waltz. Tango was feeling pretty good, and I thought our natural twist turn is getting very together with the connection and the rotation feels centered. The waltz wasn't going so well for us last night, but we got through it, and at the hover my balance got tipped a little too far back, so instead of crashing and burning, I opted to seize the opportunity to throw in a develope since extending my leg was my only option other than falling due to where my balance was. So...I flexed my right knee and lowered slightly, drew my left leg up and in and extended it slowly and gracefully up and forward and came back down softly on my toe as normal. Jeff wanted to know what had just happened. I explained and was quite proud of myself for not biting the dust and executing a nice develope (even though it hadn't been led and I'm normally terrible with them when I'm supposed to do them). Of course, the hover with develope is technically not allowed in gold, so we'd probably get disqualified. Hopefully I'll only lose my balance in the hovers in the novice comps, from now on!

A develope, by Anna Mikhed (with Victor Fung):

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