I’ve ended up being sucked into the group class challenge the studio is running. Attend twelve group classes in the month of January and I get a t-shirt. Probably a shirt I’ll never wear. But I’ve still mapped out the path to the magic number of twelve.
As I’ve mentioned, in the new year, the group classes are now “themed”. Tuesday is smooth dance day and yesterday’s class was the Waltz. Again, they divided us up in lower and upper Bronze with us Silvers going into the upper Bronze. JoNY had the upper level class and my other instructor had the lower level.
And part of what we learned was the natural spin turn which is also what we learned in Quickstep last week. Perhaps this is a theme within the theme to show a step across various dances. I guess I’ll find out over the next two weeks.
I have to make a confession here. There are just certain ladies that I don’t enjoy dancing with. I feel bad about this because I know everyone is trying and I know there are different skill levels and I know there are other physical limitations that come into play. But I also have to be honest and I do cringe a little when the rotation puts one of them in front of me. This becomes even more true when we are doing a step that is brand new to them.
At its best, ballroom is a conversation to music without words. The whole concepts of lead/follow and body position and frame should allow for a seamless transition between the various steps. And it is one of those good conversations where the other person listens and doesn’t interrupt.
With some people, it feels more like an argument. Ironically, it can turn into a real argument for certain couples. That’s kind of the funny thing about ballroom. You have a lot of patience with other students but tend to have none with your significant other. That did happen last night for a bit and that’s always awkward for the rest of us.
There is really nothing worse than trying to lead and the lady is on her own timing and taking the second step before you. I honestly don’t always know what the right thing to do is. I hate trying to muscle someone through a step but I end up hoping if they feel where it is supposed to go, that it will trigger something. One thing I avoid doing is trying to explain their part or where they should go. If someone asks, I’ll try to help. The only thing I will do is move someone to an offset position before we start. (The Famous Franchise always starts you off face to face even though the advanced figures really only work if you are offset)
On the positive side, it did give me an opportunity to work on posture and head position and keeping a strong frame. I know that my frame has a tendency to collapse in the spin turn so that was a focus of the night. And with four of the five ladies, we made it work rather well.
We worked on the Fox Trot routine on our lesson. At the very end of the lesson, OwnerGuy came to watch. What he wants is for us to accent certain parts of the music more. I think he choreographed certain moves with that in mind and we weren’t doing it enough for him. Think we damaged his calm a bit. Basically, doing certain “hits” on slows to create more artistic flair.
But this is kind of where I am with my dance journey. It is about being stronger is certain areas but also finding a way to show some personality and, yes, flair.