Thursday, September 8, 2011

Rubber Bands and Baby Powder

Part: Follow
Dances: Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, Night Club 2-Step
Hovers: 1

Tuesday's practice had me nearly crying with laughter, and here is why. We entered the practice room to find a couple of our friends already there practicing their Latin routines, plus, our friend the "twirly guy" was there twirling his baton to music. Now for some reason this gentlemen requires an extra slick and slippery floor to perform his routines, and hence sprinkles copious amounts of baby powder about the room, and then performs in socks. Well, as you may imagine, that has proved quite treacherous for Jeff and I since the floor is often plenty slick enough for our purposes, so we generally have to brush up our shoes extra carefully on days when we are preceded by the "twirly guy."

Our "brilliant" practice scheme of the day was to use one or two of those rubber resistance bands tied in a loop around ourselves to keep our connection low and tight, so that we could feel more easily the parts where we are pulling away. Well, Jeff thought that tying the weakest band in a loop would be plenty of room for both of us, and yet be the right tightness...but to give you just an idea, I could fit my waist inside and then pull it out from me just a little ways. I was convinced this wouldn't fit us both. Since Jeff insisted, he put on the loop and I somehow managed to get in. The twirling baton guy saw Jeff standing there with that relatively small elastic band around his waist, holding it out and saying, "Come on, Sarah!" He said something like "That looks like a really bad idea..." laughed, and quickly made his exit. It must have looked awfully strange from his perspective. Anyways, it was so tight that it wouldn't stay where we wanted it and rolled up to my waist, where it proceeded to cut off my circulation. Jeff said it was the right tightness, but I definitely didn't agree. We tried again with the two of the stronger bands tied together, and that worked out better, though when we tried to get into wing position it was really dreadful...and promenade was a challenge too. At one point Jeff just decided to turn around and walk away...except that I was inextricably attached and got dragged along behind, protesting and laughing. In any case, we provided some good entertainment for our friends who happened to be practicing there that night.

We tried the waltz with the bands, and that's where we ran into the awful business of getting in and out of pretty much didn't happen. Promenades were quite a struggle. Eventually we gave up and just ran through some more waltz, then worked on some tango a bit. Again, I'm working on keeping my left side more lifted and making sure to follow Jeff's shapes. Jeff is continuously working on straightening out his frame, especially on promenades, and I'm doing my very best to do my part to match his shapes and not drag him down on either side. Tango is getting more comfortable, but I'm not sure how good it looks yet. We'll probably have to video tape ourselves again sometime in the near future.

Practice concluded with more mastery of "YouTube special" figures in our night-club 2-step. Jeff tracked down some fun new figures online and we're trying to learn them and incorporate them so that we can give a great performance whenever it is that we enter this night club 2-step competition we keep talking about doing. Jeff keeps teasing me because I got so excited to do the rondes (since I always do them in our dances where I'm not supposed to), and the dip that I'm actually really bad at doing, and the partial splits. I think it's good that we're doing this because it gives us something fresh to work on that we don't have to worry about too much because it's just for fun, and we both really enjoy that dance in any case. It's a good balancer.

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