Saturday, September 3, 2011

Social Dancing: An Endorsement

Part: Follow
Dances: Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, Viennese Waltz, Night-club 2-step, Salsa, Rumba, Hustle!
Hovers: 1

Friday night was the end of a full week of practices for us, and this last practice kind of fell flat on its face. After warming up to night club 2-step, which keeps getting better, we tried to practice a little bit of foxtrot, working on keeping our lower connection. Somehow Jeff's position in an exaggerated attempt at this ended up like tango or something it felt really strange when we tried to dance the bounce fallaway, for example. After maybe a few attempts at our first side and an extended conversation about rip off designer Chinese imports, Jeff decided we had done enough for the week, in terms of practice. At my request, we ended with a waltz run through. Then it was time for social dancing!

Danceworks wasn't as crowded this time, most likely due to the holiday weekend. That was okay though, because it made navigation a little less difficult. I think our social dancing has been getting better lately; Jeff is doing a good job of mixing up random bits of our routines and other things (patty-cake hands, anyone...or grapevines?) and I know I'm better with following than I used to be, or at least I'm much more used to dancing with Jeff now so I don't tense up or have to think about what he's doing and how to make sense of it, plus, I think I'm back leading less, probably as a result of not stressing out or being too mentally involved when I'm social dancing. I think it's been great practice for me. Just recently, Jeff and I were watching some video footage from dancesport competition, and there was a brief interview during one of the breaks with one of the judges, a well known and respected coach who was a serious contender for world titles in his own career. In response to a question about what competitive dancers seemed to be missing in comparison with the dancers of his own day, he said that unfortunately we don't see many competitive dancers with the abilities a social dancer would have, to be able to navigate a floor well among other couples, to be creative in doing so, to just have that ability to go and mix well on a social floor. Jeff and I looked at each other, both thinking the same thing, "We do that!" We think it will help our competitive dancing when that time comes.

Jeff kind of broke the mold last night and danced a hustle with me; that was fun...I don't really know much hustle other than the basic step, but it's an easy one to get the flow of and not hard to follow. Besides our usual standard dances, we also had part of a rumba, a night club, and a salsa to add to the mix.

The only negatives I can think of at present were that my shoe buckle came off right before the dance, but I credit my "engineering skillz" for maneuvering it back together, and also the fact that the jumpsuit I was wearing (the one I bought at Seattle Star Ball) kept shedding sparkly dots everywhere. Maybe I'll have to stone it one day to cover up the spots. Which reminds me, I need to get sewing on that new ball gown...

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