Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A Poor Beginning to the Week

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

Today's workout was good.  More weight and I'm able to do the whole thing in less time.  That a good marker of progress.  Unfortunately I can't say the same for our practice.  It was definitely an off day.

Our round was disastrous.  Sarah and I weren't dancing together and the partnership was bouncing around worse that I-5 is during peak traffic hours.  Strangely, this was across all dances.  There wasn't a single one I was happy with.  I didn't let it get us down though.  It's natural to have bad days.  Luckily they are relatively infrequent for us.  After the ill-fated round, we started work on the Tango.  Specifically the Reverse Outside Swivel.  Its still a massively awkward step and Sarah continues to complain about being left behind.  I think because its so awkward a position to be in, it's too easy to let your frame torque to accommodate for it.  Of course on Sarah's end, it's easy to over anticipate the crappy step and do something weird as a result of that.  But I think a large part of why we fail in that figure is due to the preceding one.  The Fallaway Reverse and Slip Pivot while usually successful, is often times rushed through.  Plus I don't think we've really mastered the Slip Pivot part.  So today I danced through that very slowly and in small pieces with Sarah.  Stopping right before the Slip Pivot to make sure everything was in line and balanced before proceeding.  By the end of practice it was feeling a lot better.  That meant we could go into the Reverse Outside Swivel at least in a more stable situation.  I also tried altering the timing of the swivel a little bit.  In part to see what would work better for us, and in part to make sure Sarah isn't just picking one on her own.  We usually just blow right through it.

We also got into a discussion about trust in our partnership.  I guess to sum it up, it all boils down to trust versus muscle memory.  I'm fairly confident that Sarah trusts my leading and driving ability, but usually her muscle memory gets in the way.  Be it a routine from her Pro-Am days, or our own routines, sometimes she likes to just pop into what she "thinks" is happening.  We got a good laugh as I demonstrated how that trust works for me.  I trust her, then I get bitten in the ass (using my hand as an imaginary dog biting down on my left cheek).  I guess you would've had to have been there.  It's funny how that video of William Pino has stuck with us for a few weeks now.  Its great that we think about things outside the act of dancing.  I think it'll be a key component of our success.

Even though it was still a very off day for the two of us, I think we got a good practice in.  We'll need to hammer out that first long side of our Tango just like our Quickstep.  No alternative other than to just beat it into submission.

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