Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Quickstep on Sore Legs

Part: Follow
Dances: Cha-cha, Hustle, Quickstep, Tango
Hovers: 0 (quickstep ones don't count)

Since I got a little under 5 hours of sleep last night, I assumed I would be utterly dead by practice time. After some serious coffee during the day, including a Starbucks salted caramel mocha (a little sweet but still amazing), and a workout and choir rehearsal, I was tired, but not dead to the world, surprisingly. I have realized that working out, especially doing some kind of intense cardio, is remarkably reenergizing when I'm overtired. I'm always tempted to skip out on those days, but then afterwards I'm so glad I didn't, because I'm more awake and alert and ready to finish up the day. Tonight I ran a couple of miles, and was surprised by how well I did considering the lack of sleep etc. Perhaps eating a banana and nuts first was also a good idea. I've been trying to gradually get my body used to running again since I normally do the elliptical, and I've realized that it hasn't given me quite the cardio endurance that running did. Because running has a tendency to trash my knees for dancing and otherwise, I decided that I would work out extra hard on the elliptical on my normal schedule, maybe for a longer time, but definitely maintain a higher heart rate, and then run maybe once or twice a week, hoping that the elliptical help me boost endurance such that I could increase my running time and speed over time without overdoing it. After only a week, I think it's going pretty well, though my knees did hurt a bit tonight.

Our practice plans seem to be helping us a lot. Even though Jeff continues to tease about my detailed does seem to help us focus, and for me personally, I feel more like we accomplished something when we work on a specific issue and make some progress, even if it's a short practice and baby step that we make. It's not the duration of practice time that that matters to me so much as quality. Today Jeff was having fun with some new music and danced a cha-cha and some hustle with me to start things off, which was funny because he hadn't realized that I had put cha-cha down as our warm up dance. Perfect! We then moved on to the second corner of our quickstep, which is essentially the hover corte into 6 quick run bit. Jeff had been saying that we weren't together on the timing there and I felt the shaping was either off or non-existent, so we worked on that a bit slow. I was thinking about keeping my left hip connected with Jeff's throughout and following his leg line with mine so as not to be left behind or inhibit the movement, and also the left side up and forward on the hover extension and the back lock piece. It was feeling smoother when we finished with it.

Since Jeff also had sore legs due to his leg workout day, we ended practice with some tango lead and follow (also in the practice plan). That went really well, I thought, in terms of lead and follow, until my foot slid out from under me in the oversway and I almost pulled Jeff over. Until then, though, our connection was pretty good. I also had a particularly violent promenade close in which I pretty much body slammed my poor partner and sent him flying. What can I say; it was a strong and aggressive lead! In general, I think that tango is the easiest standard dance for me when it comes to lead and follow (except Viennese, of course). I look the worst in this dance, I think, but somehow it's always easier for me to feel what is going on, perhaps because the position is much more compact.

Overall a good practice; I think we're setting a good trend for the week, thankfully, as last week was definitely not our best.

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