Monday, February 4, 2008

Last Week's Lesson: Cha Cha, Smooth Education, and Samba

Hi Everyone! I walked into last week's lesson, not really knowing which direction it was going to be taken. Unfortunately my attitude was off, and thus I didn't take as much from this lesson, dance wise, as I do from most. RT, as always, was very attentive to the difference in my mood, and after making sure I was ok, we began this week with a Cha Cha. I'm really pleased with the way my Cha Cha is beginning to shape up, it's sad that after a year and a half I only now feel like I'm starting to develop in some of these dances. It feels like I'm finally on the verge of being able to insert my own personality into them, rather than exclusively, rather desperately, trying to follow. I don't know if it's the fact that, as much as I would love to, I can't devote every moment to working on this craft, or that I've spread my limited available time over so many dances that I'm just not where I want to be in most of them...but Cha Cha, with the exception of a couple of steps, is really starting to move into the level of comfort that I have for East Coast Swing.

RT and I did work on the one step I never feel like I have, I commonly refer to it as the "spinnie" move, even when I'm told it's been done ok... it never feels right. Sometimes it just feels slightly better than horrific. I just have to hold on to the fact that I WILL get there, I will become comfortable with everything I pushed off because I wasn't confident enough to actually go for it. After many many tries, we gave Cha Cha a rest and moved onto some of the smooth we've been working on.

RT must be on a smooth kick, because in the last two weeks I've worked on Tango, Fox Trot and even Waltz, more than I have in ages! My confidence in smooth is rock bottom terrible. Smooth dances have always held this kind of elite status in my mind, not better than the Rhythm, but I envision the smooth dances as possessing all the qualities I don't have. Smooth is classy, graceful, elegant, proper, and strong. Strong, is really the only thing on THAT list that I feel I possess. I forever feel like the proverbial "bull in the china shop" when I'm dancing a smooth dance. Tango, being the most aggressive of the three smooth dances I know, is the one that I think I could excel at if I allow myself to get there. We worked on the two open fan steps, and RT even showed me the closed fan step, which is supposed to be nearly all action in the foot and the top line doesn't really move much. That's going to take some work. Oh, we worked on my version of the corte as well... hips forward, shoulders back, extended leg all the way back and I better keep that extended heel in, and not let it rotate out. Actually, I'm pretty sure I can do all that. We T-A-N-G-Oed around the floor a few times and it was time for our next dance...

We brushed over Fox Trot real quick, and I was informed that I shouldn't think of Fox Trot with all those adjectives I used above, no.. instead it's supposed to be the sexy dance in the smooth collection. Huh... well THAT'S different! I guess I'll have to let that sink in before I can actually approach Fox Trot with a saucy, sexy kind of attitude.

Next up... SAMBA... oh lordy! I was not in the right frame of mind for this on this night..but forward we move... around through the basic... RT must be determined to get me though this, I've never felt so much like a beginner dancer as I do when I try this! This lesson's detail was making sure I've got my hip brought up when I step forward, similar to that in the whip on West Coast Swing. SHEESH! I do think the forward and back basic is sinking in, we'll see... I'm not going to say anything, after all I didn't this time, and I bet RT has me work on it again next week.
We ended the lesson with the Samba, and with that, my mood had been lifted, as dance always does. More practice... I wonder if it's possible to wear through the linoleum floor in my kitchen? Time to put it to the test!

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