Kicking into 2018

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We started off 2018 going back to the Peabody and working on the kick pivot which Kid T added last year.  It is a weird little step because you are stepping on one foot at the same time you are kicking the other one.  Actually, it is more like a backwards little flip – similar to a gancho in Tango but just a little more light and lively.  Oh, and while you are doing that, you need to be doing a pivot as well.  Both partners are kicking so there are feet flying everywhere.

It takes a bit of coordination and it made my brain hurt for a bit.  The biggest problem was the second step of the pivot which is where the first kick occurs.  She’s got us coming out of a basic with a little skip step which starts the “1” of the eight count.   On “2” I step into her with my right foot which initiates the pivot.  Step “3” is back on my left to start the rotation happening but, at the same time, doing a little kick with my right foot.  Step “4” is me coming onto my right and then kicking my left which is easier because my left leg is not near her.  Since we are doing a pivot, my right leg is in close proximity to her and it felt a little weird (OK a lot weird) to be trying to do that little kick.

We don’t get the full inner thigh contact (I know how that sounds but this is dancing and it is acceptable) because of all the kicking so it makes the pivot just a little harder to do.  I had a tendency to pull away and not keeping her close so my frame would get a bit wonky at times.  Eventually, I need to add head movement since your head is supposed to follow the leg that is kicking.  But, Kid T insisted that we only work on the feet.  She reminded me of my tendency to want it ALL and to want it right NOW and to then get frustrated when I can’t achieve perfection on the first or second night I’m learning something.  I kind of think she’s on to me.

Oh, and I got into a discussion of alignments because I’m all about the alignments.  I have this fear of doing a step and suddenly ending up facing a corner and having no way to continue the dance.  Ideally, this pivot thing just goes around in a little circle and then we continue merrily along our way down the line of dance.  Kid T did answer my question although she again pointed out that I shouldn’t expect to be able to get there while I’m still learning where my feet are supposed to go.  NO!  It must be PERFECT!  I must get it ALL right.  OK, she’s clearly on to me.  But I need to be gently slapped every now and then so I can just focus on the process and let progress come at the right pace.

I did figure out that the second step was kind of the key.  Doing a lot of contra body and winding up and really stepping into her is kind of like winding a spring.  Then, you release and it just goes “sproing”.  (I don’t know how that relates to dancing, I just felt like saying sproing.  Sometimes an analogy just runs off the road).  But that helped kick start the rotation and then we were actually able to get the alignment fixed by the end of the lesson.

But then she was all in my face (but nicely) about moving more.  This was a theme of the last coach we had.  I guess I tend to dance a little too “up” so I’m not getting enough “push” off the standing leg to really make things move.  Kind of like running track and needing a starting block to really get the acceleration going.  Of course, I’ve never run track in my life and I’ve avoided running in general for many years.  So we worked on that for a bit as well.  Now, I’ve been avoiding doing a lot of leg exercises because of my knee but I must find a way to strengthen those as well.  The problem with trying to move more right now is that it doesn’t feel natural and it ends up feeling a bit out of control.  Like everything else though, that comes with time so the trick is keep trying.  (That’s more of a reminder for me by the way)

There is actually a Peabody championship put on at an event called the Great Gatsby Gala.  There is video of the pro division and everyone wears 20’s costumes and looks like a lot of fun.

Oh, and for some reason, OwnerGuy made a random comment about a Viennese Waltz sounding Victorian.  Suddenly, Kid T and I are looking at each other like we are sharing the same thought.  I will admit to actually looking at Men’s clothing styles just to get an idea of how easy it would be to pull off a Victorian look.  I don’t think we’ll go that way but the possibilities are intriguing.  But I’ve already done two V Waltz routines so a third might be a bit much.  There’s only so much you do.

Last note – it appears OwnerGuy is going to be on our lesson today and we will be working on Rumba.  I guess my discussion of Rumba is the reason for this.  I don’t know what he has in mind so we shall see.

It was a good start to 2018 despite the fact that it was so freaking cold that I really didn’t want to leave the house.





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