Checking Out

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In case I hadn’t mentioned it before, I agreed to check out of my last two dances – Bolero and Mambo. This is from Silver II to Silver III and also from Associate Silver to Full Silver. We skipped those two dances last year when I checked out of all the rest so OwnerGuy proposed doing these last two this year. Thought about it and decided it was worth doing. Might as well get those two on the same footing as all the rest.

Since we’ve been mainly focused on a couple of dances, we went back to Fox Trot. We were working on the small floor since the curtain was drawn for a group class. Z was there with Tex and his wife but they were doing rhythm so we at least had some room to move around.

I’m going to admit that I was kind of brain dead when doing the lesson which is why I’m kind of having a hard time remembering the high points. Should have taken some notes. I do remember a couple of things. After the explosion, we do this step where I get her in shadow position and we go into the open naturals. It works better if we kind of end side by side after the explosion. Gives me an opportunity to move forward on my next step and that sets up the rest to roll her in and it doesn’t feel like I have to cut my step short. The connection in the shadow is important. When I have it, I really drive through the open naturals. When I don’t, I get tentative thinking she’s going to roll away. That’s kind of on both of us to remember but I need to really initiate it. We worked a bit on the alignments as well.

We also got into Viennese Waltz to go over the newest parts. We didn’t have space to do a lot with the Viennese so we had to break it into pieces. On our second lesson, we had the whole floor so we started with the Viennese Waltz and then we could use the entire floor. The canter spirals are tricky but they made a little more sense with the music. Right now, the pattern kind of ends in an awkward position with me backing line of dance so we have to do a couple of turns to cover the short side and put us back in the right alignment to loop it. I’m thinking that at Showcase most of the Viennese Waltzes will not go that long since there aren’t usually a lot of people doing it and we probably won’t ever have to try to loop it which will be a good thing.

After the Viennese Waltz, we went back to Bolero and Mambo since we just added new stuff to them and those are the ones I need to do in 10 days to check out. The trickiest part of the Bolero is still the oversway. Well the start that requires me to come out of the sort of pivot but step strongly into promenade – think OwnerGuy called that a challenge line. But it requires having all my weight on the left leg while facing promenade and having the leg slightly bent (fortunately, this is my better knee but it still isn’t happy with me for doing that). Then, I have to keep my weight in the left leg while rotating my hips to turn her and to get into the twisted oversway position. The timing is tough because we aren’t in that position very long which means I have to get into it quickly which becomes a challenge because I’m still thinking about all the moving parts and there isn’t really time to do that.

The only addition to the Mambo was these swing timing steps where we are side by side. I don’t think that the timing is different but they come at the end of the pattern and it feels like you have to kick it into hyperdrive. The rest of the pattern cruises along but then you hit the afterburners to do that last part and it gets a bit frantic. Kind of sure that is also because the steps aren’t locked in so it requires thinking about them and thinking always slows you down.

We got off the lesson and we were both a little worn out. I got to go home but JoNY still have one more lesson to teach. This was a couple who were still in Bronze so it would be less activity than our lesson but still must have been hard to do. Don’t know if we are just working too hard or if it just a function of going all out in practice. I know my trainer had me do some leg and core stuff yesterday before the lesson and my legs were kind of dead at the end of the night.

I also think we are getting more comfortable with each other. Well maybe that is just me getting comfortable because I know it takes longer for me. I’m in a place where I can laugh off the screw ups. Still not the best at taking criticism but that’s always going to be a work in progress for me. Guess the point is that I’m in a good place right now and that also helps with the progress on the lessons.

OwnerGuy taught the group class which was Waltz. We did a step in his pattern that was called the same thing as something in our Viennese Waltz. So I came off the lesson with one thing in mind and the steps are similar but not exactly the same. The Viennese Waltz starts with an Advanced Left Turn and has Canter timing. The Waltz is basically an open box but where I don’t change weight on the last step. Once I got used to that, the rest of it wasn’t a problem and it was a fun little step.

The best thing was that I was able to get lost in the dancing and all of the junk going on at work was put into a back part of my mind. That was nice.

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