Yesterday evening, I picked waltz as our focus. I thought maybe we could work on our movement in relation to the downbeat and the music versus when the steps occur, as we had been doing in foxtrot, but Jeff had a better idea. He wanted to work on the hover, but of course didn't say as much, just started dancing it over and over. Like I was going to complain! Really though, I think he had some new ideas about how to make this figure virtually foolproof as far as balance is concerned, and he wanted to test it out.
After about five flawless hovers, Jeff was quite pleased with himself and told me he "nailed it." He wouldn't tell me what he was doing at first, but I had to agree that it felt worlds better. I could extend, stay balanced, and had space, all without that precarious teetering feeling and fear that if I moved the whole thing would crumple. Eventually the truth came out. This time, Jeff was making an effort to rotate me to my left as I went into the hover; this allowed my extension left to balance out the whole thing and kept his body out of my space as we sort of rotate around each other, providing the counter-balance that makes the figure work. We were quite happy. Of course, since it felt so good, we were concerned that we must be doing something wrong, so we had Simeon take a quite look at option A and B, a vision test, and Jeff described it. Option B, the new version, received Simeon's approval, and he said that Jeff should have been rotating that way the entire time. Yay! The only thing wanting for me was a right shape coming out of the outside change following the hover, because then I get to kind of check and turn my head, and it looks so pretty. Jeff didn't think that was required, and then I actually said it. I can't remember having said this for maybe 8 months, but Jeff called me on it immediately. "But...Simeon doesn't do it like that!" But then my partner was quite proud when he realized that he hadn't elicited that response in a long time. Though from my point of view, I don't recall saying that often at all...I could probably count the instances on one hand. Still, it did come out, and then Simeon confirmed that I was correct, so I guess I called that one right in the end.
Our practice essentially consisted of dancing lots of hovers and then figuring out that we could now dance good hovers, or not "near death" hovers. I had nothing to complain about there. As Jeff was explaining to Kora, we went from maybe a 60/40 success ratio to 98 out of 100. That's a big leap, especially considering how in the beginning (in Jeff's estimation), we were at about a 25/75.