Friday, September 23, 2011

Racing the Beat

Part: Follow
Dances: Quickstep, Waltz, Night club 2
Hovers: 1

Wednesday night is usually a shorter night for us, and one of our Latin buddies was already there practicing. After warming up with the usual night club 2-step, we decided to work a bit on quickstep. It was back to tick-tock timing again for us, though this time we started at a bit faster speed than when we originally began this exercise, and were intending to click it up from there. Our tipsies are still a bit out of sync; I think I'm usually quicker than Jeff in my attempts to make sure I swing by him fast enough for us to get the rotation in, and as a results our lock step coming out is always a bit rocky, though we tend to get together again by the end of the lock step. After practicing it a few times, Jeff burst out with, "You're just not following...and you never do!" I was frustrated. Was he trying to tell me that these whole past 6 months I've never once followed his lead and I've been dragging him around this whole time? That didn't seem quite fair, given what we have accomplished so far, and if true...I frankly felt that I couldn't see a reason to keep dancing if I've gone this long and never once actually followed. I didn't know what I was supposed to do with this revelation. Jeff ended up qualifying it with saying that sometimes I do and sometimes I don't, it's just not consistent, and this week for some reason it has been worse. Hmm...I don't know why that would be, but at least now I could start thinking about it. I do know that I have a tendency to rush and my muscle memory gets the better of me fairly often, so I believe him when he tells me what he's feeling. I suggested that we try having Jeff listen to the metronome on his blue tooth headset while I get nothing, and see what happens (thanks, Sheila! Though Jeff says he's done this before). He said it felt really different, and I was more with him. To me, it felt quite a bit slower, so that means I was rushing. Maybe not rushing the metronome, or maybe I was, but rushing Jeff, at least. I also tried dancing with my eyes closed, which also felt a lot different for Jeff. It didn't for me, but he said my right arm tensed up a lot and I'm not sure what else. I guess it was because I am less sure of my balance without visual help; I'm not sure. But I didn't feel like being "blind" made any difference in my following/rushing.

We also danced through a waltz, and that pretty much concluded our practice, which also included a discussion of the preferred way to present oneself and bow following a dance. We both have similar theories on this and on what one is trying to present as the lead and follow individually, so I think it would be fun to practice this sometime soon. Jeff thinks that for the lead it's all about projecting confidence and a bit of an ego, and I think that for the follow it's about gratitude and being gracious. We'll have to see what we come up with.

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