Monday, February 25, 2008

This Week's Lesson... Swing, Cha Cha, Mambo, Tango, Fox Trot, Samba (and Rumba of course!)

Whew! It's amazing what you can cover in a single lesson!

We warmed up with a hustle... always good. We then moved to a nice paced East Coast... we worked on a new step for a second... if we don't work on it more I'll never follow the lead for it right. It's a little different than most of the steps I know, which means it will take me a second to get it. (I don't even remember it well enough to really explain it to you here.)

That over, we worked on Cha Cha, which I'm pleased to say worked out really well I think. RT informed me that it was good, but I need to work on getting my arms to match the rest of my body. I guess they look disjointed. THAT I have to work on because I really like the way my Cha Cha is shaping up over all. It's really becoming a favorite right up there with East Coast. I think teaching it that one time REALLY helped me get it. In fact, it had been so long since RT and I had done a Cha Cha that I almost started as if I was leading! Got a good Cha Cha in, I expressed some exasperation over some thing or other, and RT paid me a really nice compliment. He said "You know, you're better at dancing than you think you are." To which I kind of rolled my eyes, but definitely made note of the statement. I'm awful at taking compliments! However, RT only pays compliments when they're due, so I may react poorly, but I always take note!

We moved on to Mambo, which I always call Salsa... I didn't even pay attention if we were dancing On1 or On2, I just wanted to follow, which means we were likely On1... we worked on the box step, which I think I can follow. That finished, we went to the music machine and commenced in the great debate over what we should work on next. RT suggested Bolero, but I wanted to lean in a different direction, so I said that it had been a really long time since we'd worked on any smooth. RT picks Tango... well ok then way to get me back into smooth... pick one of the dances that I've always had issues with!

We really concentrated on my basic. Now I have to tell you, my footwork in smooth is AWFUL! Always has been, likely always will be... but I digress... We worked and drilled and it was nice to be the only ones on the floor for this. By the end of it, the Tango basic now feels completely different than what I thought it was before. More to work on at home... I'm back to the little steam engine that could... saying "I think I can, I think I can" until it actually happens. It's too bad that Tango takes so much space to practice, wait until the weather gets better, then I can have my outdoor space back... I don't know how long we worked on Tango, we definitely worked longer than any of the other dances tonight. It's terrible, I'm always very defiant when we drill like this, it's more out of habit than anything. I don't really mean it... and I end up taking a lot from those portions of my lessons. Then we worked on Fox Trot a little, again the last time I did this was for that lesson I taught, so my feet got confused for a second. I have to make sure we work on a touch of at LEAST Fox Trot in every lesson. I have to keep that up at least so I can follow it.

Then it was Samba, at RT's suggestion, of course. Once again, I REALLY need to work on this. Happily I think I remember the basic enough to practice at home now. So, yea! I'll get to use some of the Samba beats I have in my music collection.

Rumba time! I'm feeling pretty good about my Rumba, thank you very much! So we pretty much established that I can actually use my Cuban motion for good instead of evil. Now it's on to the shoulder blades...pushing the corresponding shoulder blade down with the appropriate hip etc... that has to be worked into the rest of it... This I think I may get before too long.

You know... after the Salsa Congress, teaching that one lesson, and my last few lessons with RT, I think I may actually be getting the hang of this whole dancing thing. Now I just have to hit my target weight and... yeah... life is going to be pretty dang good!



Ginger said...

Combining comment from two blog entries: If I may- and it goes without saying: If something's giving you that much frustration, the silliest thing to do is to blacklist it from your practicing. It'd be wiser to attack it head-on and pick it painfully and mercilessly apart until it begs for reprieve. And swing, cha-cha, mambo, and what else? In ONE lesson? Good luck with that. We've found that sticking to one or two things per lesson improves clarity and differentiation between dance character for us.

Miss Kitty said...

Thanks for your comments Ginger! I do hope you enjoyed your visit!

If I were anywhere near a competative dance floor I would agree with you 100% about keeping Waltz in my collection of dances, as it turns out I'll end up keeping it anyway at RT's insistance :-).

As far as the lesson that covered everything but the kitchen sink, that was more of a "tweaking" lesson...and a real concentration on Tango. (Sometimes when I write I can take one paragraph to describe 20 minutes, and two or three paragraphs to describe 2 minutes so it may read a little off kilter)

Thanks again for your comments!