Since I last posted, we've had a couple of practices focused on quickstep, with the usual weekend parties in between. Quickstep, along with our tango, is a problem child. Jeff and I find that the smooth slower dances come more naturally to us. We have relatively good control at slow speeds and big shape that lends itself well to wide sweeping and slow figures, but we lack speed and the perfect alignment and balance that make a good tango and quickstep possible.
For quickstep though, unlike tango, it's not so much the general technique that is our problem; it's more the speed. It's tough to execute that much shape and that many steps with the correct footwork and body position in that short amount of time, and for Jeff, it requires some really quick thinking as he determines what needs to happen in a split second. For my part, I have to be able to respond immediately without making something up out of thin air...either feeling the lead late or just plain back-leading can be disastrous.
Mainly, we just ran through the tougher spots plenty of times to get really comfortable with the transitions and iron out the shaky parts. Sometimes, the problem with the speed is more a matter of confidence. It's those moments when you know you're going into a tough figure and you have that doubt about whether you'll make it or not that can make or break a figure, so we need to at least get that confidence that we can at least get the execution under control. I think with quickstep it's getting better though.