Return to Dance World

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Last night was my return to the world of the Famous Franchise.  After taking last week off since I couldn’t breathe and was potentially contagious, I was finally able to return yesterday.  We had two lessons with a group class sandwiched in the middle.  I’m tired today but that’s because I’ve basically been doing nothing for the last three weeks.  But there were only a few minor coughing fits and I don’t feel worse today so dancing did not aggravate my current condition.

Kid T was very busy in my absence because she had ideas for an Argentine Tango routine.  She made it sound like she was just looking at random Argentine Tango videos from people doing street dancing and picked steps that looked cool.  She did take into account my limited mobility in squatting so that eliminated a few steps.  But she had a bunch that she wanted to try.  She still hadn’t stitched them together into a coherent package so this was just experimental to see how things worked and felt.  Oh, and she did pick a song as well.  She told me the name but I’ve forgotten.  It is a nice piece of music though.

We’ve got one step that is vaguely similar to a passing twinkle and by vaguely similar I mean that we are in opened to each other connected just at one side like parts of the passing twinkle.  Really, that’s where the similarity ended.  It starts with us in frame and I cross my left foot behind my right and then take a step away from her while she is doing some other thing and that’s where we end up side by side and not in frame.  There are a couple steps and then I cross my left behind my right again and we get back into frame.

Then, there is the first of two grapevine like steps.  In this one, I’m supposed to step, swivel and bring my feet together.  That basic move is repeated a few times so we move sideways across the floor.  The challenge is not opening up away from her even though my feet are moving in that direction.  Well, the swiveling is a challenge.  We do something similar in our tango but I’m just not the best at that type of movement.

There is a different type of grapevine where I don’t swivel but there is the left foot crossing behind the right leg like the other step.  Start with that and then I go sort of forward on the my right foot and step between her while she’s doing all sorts of swively things.  We repeat that for a couple of steps so it moves on a diagonal line across the floor.  That turns out to not be too difficult.

Then we get to the weird but cool part.  We stay in frame but she sort of squats down a bit so it creates a bigger height differential.  Then, I walk backwards six steps around her.  I think she just stays there and lets me move her.  Then, she comes up but I take two steps away from her while we stay in frame.  She stays in place so she’s leaning forward and I end up supporting her.  Lots of trust in this one because she won’t fully go for it unless she feels me being solid.  My challenge there was finding a position where I could use my core so I wasn’t just supporting her with my arms because that started to hurt.

All in all, it is a challenge but it certainly has potential to look cool.

The group class was a Viennese Waltz and there wasn’t much to say about it.  One couple was new to silver and they hadn’t done any Viennese Waltz so he was struggling just a bit.  I do love Viennese Waltz but it is one dance where partner experience matters.  You can do a Fox Trot or Waltz with a newbie and it won’t be smooth but it can still flow.  With the speed of Viennese, posture is important to help create the rotation that certain steps need and both partners need to understand when it is their turn to drive because the lady provides the power in some of the steps.  And a Viennese Waltz that becomes choppy and stop/go is really not a good thing.

For the second lesson, we went back to the Mambo and buffed up a couple of places.  I have this habit of not giving her all my fingers so we do a step where we are side to side and then we turn towards each other and I flare my right foot.  She uses our connection to pivot away from me and do some legwork and then we end up back facing each other.  For some reason, I was only giving her my middle two fingers at times and it was making the connection falter so I had to focus on making sure that I had my fingers together so that she had more to work with.  I will admit that doing the Mambo is what finally wore my out so we stopped with about 15 minutes left and went back to the Argentine Tango.

I was looking forward to another lesson tonight but Kid T is out with the flu.  Oh, the irony.  I was worried I gave it to her but I never really had the flu and I shouldn’t have been contagious.  So I don’t think I did.

But I’ve decided to go ahead and skip the party tonight.  We’ve had the temperatures drop a bit and the wind has picked up and it is kind of gloomy.  It is a night when staying home has a lot of appeal.  Besides, I’m still tired from yesterday so I really don’t want to push it.  Next week should be a return to full normalcy.

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