Monday, January 30, 2012

Revisiting the Old Haunt

Part: Follow
Dances: Waltz, Tango, Viennese Waltz, Foxtrot, Rumba, Night Club 2-step, Cha-cha
Hovers: 3-4?

Due to the snow and ice storm we had a couple of weeks ago, the usual Friday night dance was cancelled, so Jeff and I decided to head out to our old weekend dance haunt, the Washington Dance Club. I'd been there occasionally on my own since we'd started going to the Friday night dances regularly, but Jeff hadn't gone in quite a long time. I do love the size of that just feel more freedom to move there. Unfortunately, for some reason Jeff finds it more of a challenge to navigate among the couples there, and he says it has something to do with the unpredictable pacing and the fact that some couples don't really move and some do erratically. At Danceworks, no one moves much, either because they can't or because they're just used to working with the small floor, so I guess it's easier for a driver to gauge what he's dealing with.

I'll be honest. I didn't think our dancing was at it's best. We didn't really let it get to us this time though, and neither one of us really commented on it. I did tell Jeff later in the evening that while I feel more grounded and stronger in my legs since we've started this new workout regime, I also felt just heavier when I danced that night, heavier into the floor, but also heavier on him and through my upper body. I used to feel a lot lighter and more lifted and like I could kind of float along in the frame, but somehow it felt forced and like more of an effort. Jeff commented that he hadn't been going to mention it to me, but yes, his right arm was more sore than usual and I did feel more heavy than he's used to. It may be that he knew I'd come right back and credit our hiatus from practice with the seeming regression and so hadn't wanted to bring it up, but I think we both know it's pretty fair to expect that our form isn't going to be as good when we've basically had a schedule of dancing together a few times at a social dance once a week versus consistently practicing almost every day. It's fair. (And I'll be blogging soon about a more recent social dance where I think we danced much better).

Nevertheless, we got in our waltz, tango, foxtrot, nightclub 2-step and Viennese. We tried one side of our quickstep and kind of crashed and burned. I can't remember how far we got, but we didn't finish. Surprisingly though, I think our tango has been getting better. I feel much more on balance myself throughout, and I think I'm pulling us over in awkward directions much less. There was a strange moment in the waltz though, where I felt that Jeff had added an extra step or something as we were going into a whisk, and so I also did that to try to get on the same foot that he was on, but I guess my perception was off because he just could not get over the fact that I took 4 steps in the normal space of three. It really felt like he was doing something I thought I was following; what can I say? Either the lead was funky or I just plain misjudged it...but, no matter. Just another indication that our connection was off.

Viennese is getting easier though; we're less winded afterwards and it seems less of a strain. The fleckrels are still rather dreadful (I can feel my neck tensing up and I'm sure I look like a demented chicken being swing around by its neck), but at least the lead and follow in and out of them is starting to work much better. It's probably going to end up as our best dance, which could be a good thing later, as most standard dancers like it least (they find it boring to dance) and practice it the least (because there's so little to the choreography, if it can be called that). It's hard to pinpoint exactly why we like it so much...I guess because, when it's working, it feels really good. To me, it feels like I guess that may bring with it a bit of an adrenaline rush. Plus, we both like to move a lot - as much as possible, and that's basically what Viennese waltz is all about.

After the dance we headed out for a late dinner with our two friends who had come out with us. We had all four carpooled and purposely not taken the new toll bridge...just to show them what we thought! Between $28 to $40 in toll revenue was likely thwarted between the four of us. So there!

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