The original plan for Fridays was to work on the routines and we were going to touch on the Rumba but OwnerGuy was free so PJ took advantage of that to have him come torture us again. That changed the focus to the smooth dances in preparation for Medal Ball which is now just two short weeks away.
Up front disclaimer – I’ve been around the dance floor a time or two and I’m well aware that they won’t push Medal Ball on you unless they think you are going to pass. I mean they aren’t out to totally crush us. So I’m very aware that if I can do this. My issue is always that if something doesn’t rise to my standards, then it doesn’t feel like I’ve truly earned it.
And I also know OwnerGuy holds back a few things. He watches what we do and then he tweaks the big things that need to be fixed or altered but I’m well aware there is more that needs work. Why do I think that? BECAUSE THERE IS ALWAYS MORE!!! It makes sense despite my desire to have it all because it would be total mental overload to try and work on six or seven different things at once. Get a solid core and then build on that.
There are parts of the Waltz and Fox Trot that are similar and my body hasn’t sorted them out yet so I found myself breaking into the Fox Trot during the Waltz. The Waltz is kind of driving me crazy right now. For some reason my mind/body seems to be Teflon coated and the Silver III steps just don’t stick. Still we did make it through the entire pattern a few times so I should remember to take the small victories.
So now we come to the part where I try to describe the various patterns using a combination of the actual names and my made up names that describe the actions. It won’t make much sense unless you are familiar with the Famous Franchise syllabus but it is part of the way I help cement these things.
The Fox Trot starts with a same foot lunch which comes out of a twinkle. It requires some subtle weight changes and shaping and actually moves back line of dance for a bit. We start that on the short side. After picking her up we do a little weave and go into a fall away where we both do a spin. Not going to lie – I kind of enjoy the spin because guys don’t get to do too much of that. Pick her up with a twinkle to an over sway and then come out with an open natural. That sets up a whiplash which again involves shaping – from promenade to parallel. There’s a back twinkle out of it and then a feather step forward to lead into the next pattern which starts with a curved run to a back run to a weave and then a hinge. I collect her out of that and we go into some spirals into a hover cross (all on the toes). We come out of that with a back twinkle which leads right back into the same foot lunge.
The Waltz starts on the short side but facing the center rather than the wall. The first step is a telemark where I rotate around her into an over sway. We come out of that with a back twinkle into the next part which introduces the first syncopated timing. I think it is another fall away where I use the “and” and the “2” to rotate so I’m backing line of dance. We finish that and do something like the whiplash but not quite which leads into a syncopated spot run. That ends with a back twinkle and a wing which sets up a crossover break and then we spin back. Its supposed to be a cornering step but we kind of end up doing it more in the middle (on an edge thought) because the alignments just didn’t work out. So I get another spin which ends with me stepping across and doing a hinge. I collect her and come out into an open natural to set up to go down the long side. I can’t remember the step but it starts with an open box and I continue going back moving her to the other side. There’s a flair and then we come up and finish with in and out spirals which we use to get back to the starting point to loop the thing. I know my description sounds a little vague but it helps me to picture it in my mind.
The Tango starts with a runaway which is just an open box to a cross body lead to get her ahead of me. Then I step towards her and use weight change to help rotate her around me. After the pickup, we go into a fall away and over sway. The first four steps are the fall away and we come out into the over sway. Then a quick weight change to free up the left foot and into some quick pivots. We end those with a lock step back and a tango close which sets up a Ronde. I do three steps forward into a corte and then use weight change and rotation to initiate the ronde. After the pick up we go into a same foot lunge which is similar to Fox Trot. It starts moving forward but we move back into the lunge, do a little shape, and then I swing her around to collect. That ends up outside partner so just do a tango/close there to end up ready to loop.
That just leaves the Viennese Waltz to patch up. The Tango seems to be our smoothest dance right now which is interesting because Waltz has typically been one of my stronger dances. Some of that is probably my new partner just because I’ve found that certain dances were easier with certain partners. That may seem strange but it is just something I’ve found over the years.
And I will also say that my legs are a little tired and sore today. Given all the trips around the dance floor, that makes some sense.
I’m not saying that I’m operating at a high level of confidence. I will say that my level has gone up as I’ve done these more. So we just keep grinding towards Medal Ball and then Showcase after that. I do seriously hope that the masks are gone when we get to Showcase. This is hard enough as it – the mask just makes it that much harder.
You do a great job with your descriptions of the combinations. It’s easy to see this is important to you. Well done!
Thanks, I find I have to describe the action because the step names often don’t mean anything to me. And it all helps me get a mental picture of what I’m supposed to do.