Ronde all the Way

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I just got back from the initial meeting with the outplacement specialists the company brings in to help us find new jobs. There is so much to talk about that so I may come back later for another post.

But I did want to talk about my lessons last night so this will be primarily a ballroom dance post.

The first part of the lesson was to go over the two new Rumba steps OwnerGuy wanted to add. He gave us a very brief intro to one on our last lesson but I didn’t take any notes and JoNY couldn’t quite remember it. We each knew bits and pieces but not enough to make a whole.

OwnerGuy was delayed (isn’t he always) talking to a new couple so we just kind of practiced the existing Rumba and tried to remember the new step. It turns out to not be that difficult for me. Start with an opening out and then I lead an underarm turn and we get into two hand hold position. Then, I rock back and bring her in while she does this spiraling action. I lead her back out with just some side rocks and finally step into her on my last step to lead another opening out. It involves a lot of rotation to create momentum and when done right it does really move.

Then, we moved on to the next step he wanted to teach us which in the Famous Franchise syllabus is called the Rock and Rudolph Ronde. Of course, when he first said it, I immediately thought it was Rockin Rudolph Ronde kind of like Dick Clark’s rockin New Year’s Eve. I seriously think someone was drinking way too much when they named this step.

According to OwnerGuy, the Rudolph is Rudolph Valentino and not the Red nosed Reindeer. I guess he did a lot of Tango in his movies and had a step where he would make the lady do a Ronde. Now, this is Rumba and not Tango but I found out there is a similar step in Tango. Guess they figured if it was good enough for Tango, it was good enough for Rumba. I did watch a clip of Valentino doing a Tango (you can find anything online). I think I saw the lady Ronde a few times but it wasn’t really clear enough to see much detail.

Anyway, it starts with a fifth position where we stay in frame and then rotate 180 to do a second fifth position where we expand away from each other. We get back together and go into promenade and then I lead a pivot and on the last step, I’m supposed to lunge a bit more on my right leg and lower which is supposed to lead her to Ronde. Then I bring her around and I do walk backwards until we are in frame again. I have more detailed notes in my book since we stopped to take notes so this is just a general outline of the pattern. Despite the name, it is a cool little pattern although the lunging part doesn’t quite work so well for me.

We finished the first lesson with the Swing since we hadn’t done that in a bit. We worked on that more in our second lesson and I’m pretty sure we are going to need a refresher course in the Flip Flop. But its passable for a Swing so I think it just gets better with repetition.

Also, on the second lesson, we went back to what the coach showed us in the Waltz and worked it into the pattern. He was so right that the last step needs to go into a corner and then come back out so the steps he had us do to get the corner just worked nicely. JoNY came up with a way to finish off the short side of the floor and leave us well positioned to loop. I ended up calling her a genius which I think she appreciated. Later, she conferred with OwnerGuy just to make sure what she had suggested was legit and all and I guess it was.

We finished up with the Argentine Tango again using the suggestions from the coach. The beginning frame does give the dance a whole new feel and his suggestions for timing were on point. The best part was the change he made to our ending to make it a same foot Ronde. I ended up calling it a dual Ronde because that just made more sense to me but it is us doing the same move at the same time and with the same foot. It sets up nicely from the hinge because I’m all twisted to the left and as she moves around me, it is kind of automatic reaction as my body unwinds. JoNY made some other minor timing changes but she’s going to go over the music again and see where else we might make change to better accent certain parts of the music.

One bad note was that that moved the Silver Group Class to Wednesday. Something about too many other things happening on Tuesday. So now I have to decide whether it is worth it to drive just for a group class. The one yesterday was Bronze III and up. I was going to hop in after taking my notes but they had more guys than girls and so I just sat out.

Last random non dance note. I went back to my usual coffee place for the first time since they eliminated our positions but it was around noon since I’m no longer getting there when it opens. Ran into one of the baristas who used to open so she wanted to know why I was there so I explained my current situation and why I might be popping in at random times. Which she said was great because I was her favorite morning regular (who knew there was a contest) but she wasn’t working mornings anymore so I hadn’t seen her in a bit.

OK, that’s the dance stuff. If I can find some coherent thoughts, I might be back to talk about the outplacement stuff.

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