Monday, March 12, 2012

Triple Threat

Part: Follow
Dances: Waltz, Tango, Viennese Waltz, Foxtrot, Quickstep, Salsa, Bolero, Nightclub 2-step
Hovers: 3 or 4?

Aria Ballroom is hosting four dance parties per week, and this month they are all free, so you could say I'm taking advantage of the situation. Since I've been to three dance parties since my last post and danced with Jeff at all of them, I'm combining them into one post since in some respects they're running together in my mind.

After the Thursday practice party in the post below, we had the Friday night salsa party. This was preceded by a huge salsa class, which Jeff mostly led. I jumped in as a lead or follow depending on what was needed during any given rotation. The music for the dance that followed was mostly salsa, with a bit of bachata and some other Latin music thrown in. I didn't dance a whole lot during the dance, though Jeff and I danced one salsa, and I danced a rumba with Peter, one of the Aria teachers and a competitive Latin dancer. This party wound down a bit earlier, and in the end just Jackie and Lorenzo and Jeff and I were left. I had slipped on my standard shoes and started practicing a bit by myself in a corner, so when it was only the four of us left, Jeff decided to play a nightclub 2-step and a waltz so that we could all "warm down." We still really like nightclub 2-step, probably our best dance...but then again, it's the easiest of all. Anyhow, afterwards we had to check out this new self-serve frozen yogurt place that had just opened that day only minutes away. It was so good, especially when tired, hot, and hungry from dancing, and we predicted that the Aria dance crowd will be returning often in the future.

Saturday is Aria's ballroom dance party. It's intended to be the largest party of the four and features a wide variety of dance music. As it turned out, there was a great showing for this party, about 50 people in total, plus, the intro classes beforehand were well attended as well. Everyone had a great time and the music was a lot of fun (of course!). I believe Jeff and I managed to hit all of our standard dances at least briefly, though we didn't make it through in quickstep. Surprisingly, considering that we haven't practiced in so long, it's feeling pretty decent. I think what's held up the best is our movement; we're covering a lot of ground and our control seems pretty good. I think I'm following pretty well too. It's gotten to the point for me now that I really don't worry about anything having to do with lead-and-follow anymore, I just do my best to come-with and stay-with and move smoothly. I don't know if Jeff's noticed it, but I have fewer freak out "thinking" moments when we're dancing; really, I have no reason to anymore. We danced the last waltz on Saturday night, which was a very long and slow one, and really kept it together well. To top it all off, apparently Kora said that our waltz looks "legit." Of course, she had to qualify later with, "It looked a lot better than I was expecting," but still, we'll take what we can get! And the best part? We're starting up practice again this week!

Sunday night was Aria's first West Cost Swing party. There wasn't huge turn out for this one, but I did get to dance a bit and help out some newcomers. I'm getting a better feel for how the connection and rhythm work, but I still need to work a lot on my turns and balance. Jeff and I also danced a couple of nightclub 2-steps...always fun. Some of the swing dancers were commenting that they'd never seen nightclub move that much...we laughed and Jeff explained about how he likes to incorporate traveling steps from various smooth dances when he gets a chance. Really, how can you not love foxtrot and contra-checks, wherever they happen to show up? After getting to dance quite a bit considering that it was a West Coast Swing dance and it was me dancing (not a WC dancer by any stretch) I ended up leaving a bit early, before the dance ended, since I was pretty tired from the full weekend plus the daylight savings time change. If all goes according to plan, the next post should cover a practice session. Yes...I have missed it. A lot.

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