Dances: Nightclub 2-Step, Waltz, Tango, Viennese Waltz, Foxtrot, Quickstep
Workout: Legs at the gym.
Today's leg workout wasn't as bad as usual for some reason. Practice seemed fairly tolerable after it. One thing that really sucked though was the practice round. We chose a video that had been professionally edited. That meant no breaks in between the dances. We got through the Waltz and Tango just fine, but my legs decided they were done halfway through the Viennese Waltz. So we took a quick break and finished off the round. It's getting slowly better. Sometimes too slowly, but better than nothing I guess.
I wanted to bring up a specific Tango step or element (not sure which at this point) that many championship level competitors like to dance. It involves the lead dragging to a halt (maybe a Spanish Drag) then starting to wiggle his frame in what appears to be random directions. This translates to the lady wiggling her frame in an amplified version of the lead's. Pretty soon she is convulsing randomly with her head flopping around, and frame just squirming like crazy, almost as if she's experiencing a bad seizure. Then it all snaps back into a Promenade or Contra Check or whatever they are doing next. To be honest I think it looks ugly. I have yet to see any couple make that thing work. We were watching a video of Victor Fung and Anastasia Muravyeva performing the Tango and they went into this figure. Still looked terrible in my opinion. I'll have to ask Kora or Simeon what exactly it is and why people think it's cool to dance. It's terrible. Now I've been known for coming up with very random names for many of our figures and when I saw this I immediately blurted out "It's a Worm in a Box!". I hope we never had to dance the Worm in a Box.
Tonight the focus was on the end of our second short side into our third long side in the Quickstep. It all starts with a Closed Impetus. Now I've ranted many times about the difficulties in leading a heel turn for the lady. Dancing a heel turn is no picnic either. First off, you have to be able to even dance the heel turn. I think I'm mostly there. The one thing that isn't in my control is Sarah. She needs to be careful of not either landing on top of me or pulling me forward. If she even veers slightly in either direction, it makes my job quite a bit tougher. Then there's the exit from the heel turn. I have a tendency to step back and side. Tonight I focused hard on stepping straight back. The first few times were interesting. We fell forward, and backward, and pretty much every other way you can fall. Finally we were getting the hang of it though.
Next was the Cross Chasse. It's just pain awkward. Not as bad as the Wing or Zig-Zag, but still. One thing Sarah and I noticed was that we were falling into each of the next figures. Every time we tried to stop in the middle, we'd fall over. So we spent some time dancing through all of them slowly, making sure we were both on balance at the end of each one. Other than that, the third long side is fairly simple. I had to make a few adjustments to make sure Sarah knew exactly when and where she was supposed to be outside partner or closed.
We ended with Foxtrot lead and follow. I thought I was being clever by dancing our Quickstep as a Foxtrot but Sarah didn't seem to amused since I had to make up A LOT of random timing to get it to work correctly. Overall more good progress on our least sufficient dance.