First day back at work and those of you who work know that means a stack of emails to wade through. Then, I get home and I’ve got a stack of mail the needs to be sorted and it of course contains many bills to pay. But I’m not motivated to do that just yet so I thought I’d kill time by doing a post. Should be a short one but then you never know what happens when I get started.
Work also means dance so I had my lesson with Mindy at Studio B tonight. I always feel a little guilty when I come back after a vacation with some rust but I probably shouldn’t since it was vacation. Still, we started with hustle and I noticed that I got farther along before getting stuck.
We do a roll in and then I roll her out and after that we’ve got some side basics or change of places which, for some reason, I want to forget. So I just totally skipped them on the first run through. There is a step after that when I turn her and then go around my own head on the next step. It is weird to describe but it is one of those steps that just kind of happens on its own if you let it. After that, we have a New York Walk and something resembling a whip and another step where I put her in a hammerlock. We did that to music and my footwork got a little mushy which just means I don’t have it down yet. Still, I don’t feel overwhelmed with it; I just need more reps and more work with music. We still have about six weeks to showtime and that should be plenty. She has to put one more step on the end and she said she’s looking for something we haven’t done yet that is a little fancy so we’ll see what she comes up with.
Then we moved on to the Swango. I’ve noticed that I’m having a hard time at the beginning making the transition from hustle to swing or from swing to hustle if we start with the Swango. I started out doing the and-1 which is like the rock step in Swing and then I sort of forgot about the triple steps. The second time was better.
But the main focus of that part of the lesson was to go back over the Tango stuff we worked on before I went on vacation. The steps aren’t difficult but what I’m learning is that body alignment is more of a thing. We move in and out of promenade and I was having trouble keeping up. So she would have to stop and tell me something like “open your right shoulder more”. Fortunately, that wasn’t difficult but I just need to remember to do it. There were other places where she needed me to take bigger steps and the contra-check where I needed to give her more room to move. I don’t look at these as real problems – just some tweaks and polishing that will make it look and move much better.
With about six weeks to go, I’m feeling some confidence with both routines. Still need to dance the Swango to our song more because I get the swing timing but not quite the Tango. It is harder to hear that part.
Speaking of timing, I was watching Mindy on her lesson before mine. Poor guy was trying to learn timing but it was clear he didn’t quite know what to listen for. The song had a real strong beat and I’m counting to myself because that’s what I do now when I hear a song with a strong beat but he kept missing it even with prompting. I only bring this up because I was much like him when I started. Again, I’m not perfect but timing is one thing where I’ve made major improvements. I’ve thought about writing about my struggles and overcoming them but then I realize I don’t have any magic secrets so it probably wouldn’t be useful.
Last note because the mail and bills are calling my name. I was browsing for ebooks to take on vacation and somehow I found this book called “Dead on the Dance Floor” by Heather Graham. It was actually released in 2004 but re-released with some preview of a newer story at the end. Kind of described as a Mystery/Romance which isn’t my normal genre but how could I pass up a story centered on ballroom. The best part was when they were describing the studio and mentioned the little room where the instructors wrung money out of the students. Could definitely relate to that. And the things about encouraging students to compete so they rack up extra lessons was familiar. There was a lot of gratuitous fraternization which seemed a bit over the top and unlikely but there was supposed to be a romance portion to it. They made the studio personnel (both instructors and students) a little quirky which seems to be a common theme among books/movies relating to ballroom. I guess maybe we are. Wasn’t the best book and I found myself not really caring about the mystery but it was a fun little read.
Now, on to the mail.