Dances: Waltz, Foxtrot, Viennese, Night-Club 2-step, Hustle, West Coast Swing
Friday we ended up skipping practice, but still made it out for some social dancing at Danceworks. Our dancing went fairly well; on Friday's I'm always exhausted and so sometimes I think it makes me very relaxed and my mind can't focus...so oddly enough I think I follow better in that state. In any case, waltz and foxtrot were good, though for some reason I kept failing to read cues on chasses versus feet passing in waltz, I don't know why, but was having a hard time feeling the difference for some odd reason. Otherwise, though, our lead and follow is getting pretty good. Jeff even did an extended reverse wave in foxtrot, which always makes me happy, especially after he told me once that he doesn't know that combination! Our Viennese waltz was pretty smooth, but that floor is definitely too small for that dance and it's a struggle to keep ourselves reigned in. My neck was hurting again, but it was stiff to begin with. That is one dance where, try as I might to keep my head up and not worry about extension, it still ends up happening, as I think the extension is essential for keeping the rotation flowing.
One thing I'm trying to find the balance for when we're social dancing is my extension and frame. I've gotten much better in that when I dance with other leads socially I will put my arms where their frame is and try to match theirs, no matter how low or broken, and then just keep my back straight and head up and left, without worrying about extra stretch. With Jeff though, because we practice with our full on competition style frame all the time, I generally do the same when we're social dancing, but sometimes I think it gets in the way of some of the things you have to do on the social floor. Maybe I just need to be more erect and less extended in these situations, since collapsing the frame is generally not helpful and doesn't look nice; it's just that Jeff's comparatively good frame feels comfortable to me now, and I like to match it with the best lines I can. Anyhow, it's something I was thinking about.
We also danced night club 2-step and hustle. I actually really like hustle, it's so fast but also pretty smooth. Jeff mixed it up with west coast swing too, just to make things interesting. Last night I also got asked to dance quite a lot for west coast swing by some of the other leads there, and I'm not sure why, because there are a lot of good west coast dancers there, and I am definitely not one of them. I try to fake it though, sometimes successfully and mostly not. As I was telling Jeff last night, if there's an awkward pause where I don't know what to do I can always do a sweeping ronde. I think I would really like west coast swing though, once I get the hang of the different rhythms and general movement. After night club 2-step, I think that's the social/club dance I'd like to learn most. Maybe that will be our next 20% project.
Overall, a good night of dancing. As time goes on and we continue to practice and social dance, I think our dynamic as a partnership continues to improve in terms of the lead and follow and just general flow and connection.