Bolero Part 2

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We did go back through the entire Bolero again and OwnerGuy chose not to add anything but was focusing on trying to enhance certain sections of it.  There is still a lot of work to do.  I took a lot of notes after the lesson – so I ended up skipping the group class and party and I’m not sure what I can reconstruct here.  But I’m hoping a second stab at writing things down will help cement it more to memory.

The fun started on the second step.  The opening basic seemed to be better with me getting my head over the left foot to start the rotation and wrapping her up and getting into the swivels was fine.  After the swivels, I’m supposed to take a small step forward and then close and then basically step into her to get her to move to my right side.  While I’m taking my small step forward, she is turning and it right in front of me so I was taking a back step rather than a forward step because I was trying to get out of her way.

Wasn’t even really aware that I was doing it.  Kind of like my body going on autopilot and sensing danger and a possible collision and over correcting and making me step backwards.  And that doesn’t work because it creates too much space between us.  Ideally, I’m taking just a very small forward step and there really is no risk of a collision because she’s moving through the entire step but I had a hard time turning off the auto correct that wanted me to get out of the way.

This is not a new problem for me. I’ve had other steps where I’m supposed to go into my partner while she’s moving and so this is just something I fight all the time.  Some process in my brain says it doesn’t compute to move towards the person who is moving.  I’d much rather get out of the way.

The Switchback worked reasonably well and then we got the Contra Check.  The problem was that I wasn’t moving my right side forward enough because she needs that to help support herself.  So I’m supposed to step on my left and kind of flex both knees while turning my upper body slightly to the left to present my right side and hip to her.  Because I’ve done Contra Checks before and, in previous routines, I had gotten to where I could do them right about half to 3/4 of the time so that one came back and it was going fairly well by the end.

I talked before about the Bolero and my hopeless romantic side.  Yeah, there’s another little problem with that which is my Victorian side.  Really, it is more like that line in The Impossible Dream – “to love pure and chaste from afar”.   Of course, since that line is about an impossible dream, it really doesn’t fit with doing an actual Bolero which does require physical contact.  As we’ve talked about in the past, it just takes me a bit to warm up to that with someone I don’t know that well.

That also came up later when we did the leg crawl.  I was facing flat towards her but OwnerGuy wanted me to come in at an angle so that when I did the rock step and step, my right side was presented towards her.  This gives her a place to put her leg and also means that she doesn’t have as far to travel.  That step was a little easier for me than the Contra Check because I wasn’t having to step into her so she was just kind of coming at me.  But it still requires me to stay close enough so that the leg wrap actually has some kind of contact.

Coming out of that was a difficult step because OwnerGuy described it as a Slip Pivot when I’m supposed to take my right leg (the one she’s crawled up) and slip it around and behind my left and use that to get her off me and back around in front.  And OwnerGuy is a little demanding – on steps he knows I can do.  He’s nice about it though.  The second time we tried, he gives me the “that was weak”.

I can’t remember where it was in the dance but it seemed like it was late in the lesson.  There was a part where I’m supposed to get her from my side to back in front of me.  He described it like a Tango collect and he kept doing that.  I guess I was supposed to try and think like a Tango collect but it all felt nothing like a Tango collect to me.  I hate it when they say a step in dance X is just like a step in dance Y when it feels NOTHING like dance Y to me.  I know they are the pros and there has to be some similarity but I can’t find any common ground.

At the end of the lesson, he tells me that we now have to go back through all that dances and that at some point he’s going to bring Z out to do a progress check.  With only three instructors and me using two of them, I guess it doesn’t leave a lot of options.  Have to admit I’m not really that excited about dancing and having Z offer critiques.  Oh well, I guess we cross that check when we progress to it.

Had a funny thing happen at my work out today.  This trainer decided to do something a little different just as a balance/coordination/heartrate thing.  So there’s a Bosu on the floor and I’m supposed to stay on the balls of my feet and move around it while kicking it with my other leg.  Kind of kick/step/kick/step and so on.  We did this both clockwise and counterclockwise.  Normally, there is music playing but it was softer while I was doing it and the whole kick step thing actually set up a little rhythm and I was using that to do the move and stay on track.  I get done and she tells me my eyes were closed.  Had no idea.   Probably was a good thing.  Ignore what you are seeing and just use the feel to get a good rhythm going.

So that was the week that was.  There are clouds in the area and a chance of rain.  We are hoping it holds off because there is a concert in the park tonight that we want to attend.  We’ll see how that turns out.

Last little bit of news.  Got an email from our favorite store – it was a system generated email just thanking us for being customers but telling us our location is now closed.  Oh well, things change.


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