Dances: Nightclub 2-step, Waltz, Tango, Viennese, Foxtrot, Quickstep
Monday night. Perhaps because of last week, perhaps because it followed the weekend, we both seemed a bit resolved to make something of this practice. This is going to be a light week for us practice-wise due to other personal plans and commitments we have, so we're making them count. Warm up was the usual, and then came our round. Our round was actually quite good, I thought, though we lost it in a couple of places more due to just forgetting where we were than the dancing itself falling apart. Tango is feeling less polite, and I think I've stopped rising in the fallaways, and even the reverse-outside-swivel-of-doom is actually working. I must say though, that Jeff's attempts avoid the dreaded "polite tango" almost made me giggle a few times, as a couple of our promenade closes sounded suspiciously paso-like. I also couldn't help myself in the waltz when we whisked into the corner and disturbed a large family of dust bunnies who flew up around us, protesting about our invasion of their sacred space. I missed it, but apparently Jeff almost impaled the both of us upon the handlebar of a bike in another corner, but of these kinds of dangers I am usually blissfully ignorant. A couple of times before he has tried to impress on me just how close I've come to splitting my head open on a post, or cracking my crown on a mirrored wall. In each case, he has averted the danger and steered us to safety, so that I've come to dance without fear in that regard, though I think sometimes he wishes I knew what perils he's saved me from. At least he can comfort himself with knowing that he's earned my trust to the point that I'm often unaware of these near occasions of death.
I hadn't updated our practice calendar in time for Jeff to sync it with his...so he asked me what we were practicing. I said quickstep, and then, with some trepidation, he asked, "You didn't put down the...not the...you DID..." as I nodded. Yes, the rumba crosses. After the obligatory groans (rumba crosses are my personal white whale of our quickstep; Jeff's are the tipsies), I explained my strategy. We can dance them fairly well and balanced slowly and at a moderate tempo, but once we get up to speed, I feel like we barely keep it together. My thought was that we should practice them at a moderate speed, and gradually increase our speed time after time by using a metronome until we had achieved a faster than comp tempo pace. This would make the performance of them at regular full speed feel easier. Such an exercise used to help my piano practice plenty; my teacher called it "clicking it up." Jeff felt we didn't need a metronome for this, so we went right into it. I think it helped. We got faster and faster, and while we didn't top comp speed, we got accustomed to dancing the piece at a faster pace.
After we'd had enough of the rumba crosses and Jeff's every other word was "pho time," we danced our final lead-follow dance...the Moon River waltz. I still love to dance to this piece; it's so classic, so simple, and so smooth. Just classy all around, like we want our dancing to be. One day it will be more than a dream.