Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Surprise Practice

Part: Follow
Dances: Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, Viennese Waltz, Quickstep, Nightclub 2-step
Hovers: 2

Saturday of last week we had kind of an unplanned practice. Between Tuesday and the weekend I had been busy every weekend with my church choir preparing and singing for the Easter weekend liturgies every evening, so we hadn't practiced in several days. I showed up for conditioning class on Saturday, but probably because it was a holiday weekend and such a gorgeous day, no one else had showed up, so they opted not to have the class. Since I had come all the way to studio, I felt I might as well get something out of it and decided to hang out and stretch since I had just worked out, and then put on my shoes and started practicing a bit on my own, working on heel turns, foxtrot movement, and extension. Since Jeff was there, he figured we might as well get some practice in, so he put his own shoes on and we ran through our dances. It ended up being a very good practice, probably because there was little distraction, we were fairly fresh since it was in the middle of the afternoon on a weekend, and we almost had the floor and the music to ourselves.

This practice, we ran through each dance and reviewed some of the problem areas a bit. Foxtrot was feeling good that day, and we were remembering how we had worked so hard on getting our movement versus our steps on the beat of the music, and how you actually step on the off beat. Jeff thinks we're doing it correctly now; I actually don't think about it so I didn't know for sure. When I'm dancing my best foxtrot, I'm usually totally focused on the lead and keeping myself with him, versus thinking about my own technique or not thinking at all. Lately, especially with foxtrot, I'm trying to think in terms of myself being a part or extension of that when this or that leg moves, mine goes too as if they were one unit, or if the body rotates or moves in a new directly, mine responds in kind. I know that's obvious, but when I think of what I'm doing in terms of what he's doing, it works much better than when I think about how I'm dancing as an independent thing. I find that my focus and the way I think as a follow has become more and more relative to the lead and less objective. I think that's good though. Anyhow, the natural turns seemed much improved and more on balance, which I attributed to our focused practice on that on Tuesday.

It was good to run through each of the dances and kind of figure out where we stood with each one. I think tango is actually the worst and probably waltz the best. Quickstep is still hard, but I think the polished look and technique in tango is still quite elusive, while I think we can fake it more convincingly in quickstep. What we really need at this point is more lessons. Hopefully, we'll be able to start up with those again in the near future.

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