The Learning Curve

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Up until now, the majority of dances I was doing with the Body Double were ones I hadn’t done with Z.  Mambo was the exception but that’s still a relatively new dance for me so I don’t have a lot to compare it against.  Viennese Waltz was the first dance that I would put into that category and marked the start of the real transition to the Body Double.

Well the last two nights we worked on Rumba, Bolero and Tango.  The Rumba was changed to add a new silver step so the first part of it was the last part of the closed routine I used to do with Z.  Bolero and Tango were exactly the same.  But dancing them with a new partner feels totally different and it will take a little getting used to.  There were parts of the Tango that I used to just whip through with Z but seemed to struggle with when doing it with the Body Double.  I know this is all part of getting used to a new partner. Physically, she’s different – much taller – so the hold feels different and where we line up is different.  And, she’s not the advanced dancer that Z was so I think she’s still trying to get control herself in certain parts so we feel a little unbalanced and off kilter from time to time.

In the end, I think this will help make me a much stronger lead.  Z danced competitively and has many more hours in so she was able to take control and smooth out some of the rougher spots.  But it will be more on me to make the leads clearer and my footwork sharper.

I used the “frog in boiling water” analogy earlier and that still holds.  During Tango, she just gets right into close position so we have more body contact.  I know this is something I should have been doing a long, long time ago but we’ve discussed my personal space issues on many occasions.  But this is also one thing that I’m really going to blame Z for.  She continually found ways to make fun of my awkwardness which just made me more self-conscious and resistant.  Here, we start a Tango and the Body Double just gets right into my space without any comments like it is just the most natural thing to do.  Yes, I have a brief moment of “there’s somebody pressed against me” but I’m in the boiling water and there is nothing to do but just dance.  We had a Tango group yesterday and I noticed she was doing it with me during group class as well.  Sneaky, that one is.

We did work on trying to be more aggressive in the Tango.  I do have mild (cough, cough) periods of road rage from time to time if I’m caught in slow traffic so she asked me to channel that and make the quicks much sharper.

Yesterday, M-Dawg was working with a new couple who looked to be a wedding couple.  At one point, he turns to the Body Double and asks if we would dance for the newbies.  We were doing Bolero but he wanted to show them Viennese Waltz.  We hadn’t done any that night but, remember, my love for performing so I was all over it.  It wasn’t the best because we did it cold and we are still working out the kinks but they were happy and it made me feel good.

I also had a lesson with Kid T on Wednesday to work on our West Coast Swing routine.  We didn’t add anything new but just drilled on the parts we had and tried to connect them to the timing.  Again, working with her is really going to help my leading.  We do some steps where she is turning but they aren’t free spins so I need to hang on to her which only works if we stay close together.  So, after a couple of times of having some issues, it finally hit me that I need to watch what she’s doing and adjust my steps so she’s close and I can lead the turns without doing damage to her shoulders.

Tonight is party and them I’m off again for another vacation.  Well this one is just family.  We are all meeting in the town where my parents live so we can hang out together and annoy each other like we did when we were kids.  No, seriously, it will be a good time.  Just letting you know in case blogging is light for a week.

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