Friday, October 28, 2011

The "Zig-Zag" of Tango

Dances:  Waltz, Tango, Viennese Waltz, Foxtrot, Quickstep
Part:  Lead
Workout:  Arms and back at the gym.

Sarah joined me for the workout today, and together we got a good one in.  I'm starting to push harder with her and making sure we keep a more spirited pace for our sets.  The result is us getting though everything quicker and also getting a more thorough workout in.

The rounds are getting a little easier now.  I suspect it'll be a few more weeks before they feel "normal".  I think dancing to the competition videos is working out well.  The ambient noises actually do throw me off from time to time so it's good to be able to get used to it without actually being in competition.  Also I've noticed the pacing for each comp is very different.  Most of the videos are cut as well, so there is little to no break in between each dance.  That's fine by me since it's more taxing that way.  We'll have to work our way up to dancing about three complete rounds in a row with no rest in between.  If we can pull that off, we'll be set for almost anything.

Today we worked on my least favorite step (so far) in Tango; the Reverse Outside Swivel.  Much like the well ranted Zig-Zag in Foxtrot, this step is arguably more awkward, however it does look better.  Our issue with this one is position.  I like to think of it like a retarded Wing.  While the woman is not on the wrong side, she might as well be.  Often times, Sarah complains that she is getting left behind.  It's fairly difficult not to though.  I need to make sure my hip isn't in her way when she swivels and comes back around.  On the other hand, my left leg is swiveling left, bringing my right leg that direction, which means my hip has to travel that way as well.  Awkward.  We've been just plowing through it up till now.  I'll step down on my left foot and just go for it.  Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't.  Today I'd thought I'd stop right before the swivel and check on the overall status of the partnership before proceeding.  It took Sarah quite a few tries to get used to it.  Finally we were able to do it.  This is good for a few reasons.  One, we know we're balanced before all hell breaks loose again.  Two, we can play around with the different timings of that figure without just getting locked into one via muscle memory.

We ended practice with me telling Sarah which parts of each dance I can feel her tense up and poise ready to strike.  More accurately, she just strikes.  I don't blame her for doing so in those areas.  Usually they are the most difficult sections of our routines, though there are one or two that baffle me.  We had a pretty good laugh at it since most of the times it involves her launching herself on top of me while I just fall backward.  Fun stuff.

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