Dances: Foxtrot, Waltz, Nightclub 2-step
After our bit of a breakdown last week, and then an actual break while I was out of town for a family wedding over the weekend, we got back to practice again last night. Based on everything that came out last week, I realized that while motivation in certain regards is wearing thin, we have to have a plan for what we're doing or we'll get nowhere and make no progress. I think, as with anything, you can reach a point where without pushing extra hard and getting more training, you aren't going to progress much, if at all. However, as with most things, I think that maintaining a certain level of performance requires regular practice and attention. I've certainly found that to be true with music, and as evidence, I can play piano no where near the level I used to when I was practicing daily, or even weekly. I think dance is no different, and I see Jeff and I at least trying to maintain our current skills, and, using our natural analytical abilities and the knowledge we do have, trying to make some progress, no matter how little. And to that purpose, I'm planning to be more assiduous about planning and thinking ahead about each practice, pinpointing areas we need to hammer out and to help us achieve some focus.
Monday, I suggested we work on foxtrot, in particular our CBM and especially on the reverse turns, where it is crucial to making the rotation work without knocking the partnership off balance. We had some really nice turns, some with turn amounts in a range of degrees, and it was nice to feel the entrance and exits being relatively consistent in terms of our frame and connection. That was good. Jeff also commented that our feather step is "not too bad." I think he's probably right; Kora did say during a lesson once that was one of the best parts of our foxtrot, which is quite a compliment given that it's the most critical and perhaps most difficult figure to execute properly in the dance. Jeff did mention, however, that he feels like he's being dragged along. I find that odd, because whenever he stops, I'm not ahead of him and stop in the same place, and I don't think I'm really back weighted. In fact, I feel very forward in foxtrot, almost to a fault, but I do swing my legs out a lot from the hip and push from the standing leg pretty strongly. I'll have to think about it some more to see what could be causing it. At the same time, I have to wonder if that's such a bad thing, that when he puts the foot on the gas I just go. Probably most of the other ladies he dances with don't...he pushes them around, which in some ways is a less scary and dangerous feeling for a lead, maybe more comfortable, even. But then it's not like I always know what steps he is going to dance either and he tests that often, so I don't think I'm back leading in that way. Hmm...
We ended with nightclub 2-step and the Beegie Adair Moon River waltz. I love those two dances very much. In fact, I love dancing in general so much, that, as I was telling Jeff recently, I truly look forward to it every day, no matter if we're just doing metronome quickstep practice or something kill-joy like that. That is why quitting practice for a while did not sound like a "logical solution" to my problems last week. Maybe I wouldn't enjoy it so much if I was doing it for a living, but right now I kind of envy those who do. Jeff is on the other side of the coin now though as a teacher and studio owner, so to some degree I realize that is hard for him to feel same way about it. Losing most of our relatively short practice time can be a much bigger let down for me because it's my one chance to do this thing I love all day, while for Jeff it's like, the tenth time he gets to do it in a day. I get that. So we just have to figure out how to work with each other on this; Jeff is mostly leaving it to me to figure out what I want us to get out of practice and have me plan that out, since at this point without the direction of lessons, he's hard put to it to muster up the motivation to get excited about working on the same old problems day in and day out. And that's where I come in; I get to be the slave driver. Yay. But I guess somebody has to do it.