Thursday, March 8, 2007

No Dancing Today

Wednesday is what has become a rare dance-lesson free day for me. Of course, I do have math. Of course, this post isn't about today, it's about yesterday. Specifically, about yesterday's dance lessons at the Atomic Ballroom. Hey, don't think I can't hear the groans. I can hear them.

6:15 class was taught by Jerry, and the first part of the lesson focused on a very simple series,
6-count basic
inside turn
ease to closed

I was one of only three student there; Patricia, one of the advanced students, partnered with and taught a young girl, while Jerry focused on myself and the third student (who's name escapes me). This meant that we got pretty close to a private lesson. After walking through the series at increasing speeds, we spent most of the rest of the time doing some fine-tuning our 6-count basic.

Now I don't want to lie, this is the step that I'm the best at (it really is quite simple), but Jerry's attention was quite welcome. He again told me to drop my shoulders and bring my shoulder-blades together. He discussed the technicalities of how we should be rotating during the basic. This was a big revelation to me: our rock-steps are more diagonal than straight back (got that), but then on the first triple-step, I'm cutting off my partner with my left foot and rotating clockwise, using my right foot as a pivot point. Then on the second triple-step, I'm rotating my right side around my left foot, and using good connection and frame lead my partner to rotate. On that last point, Jerry actually had to debug my right hand grip on my partner's back. I was pressing with my fingers, which made my partner rotate her right shoulder in. When he switched me to making that connection with my palm, her stance natually corrected itself. Very nice. At the end, when the next class was watching, our 6-count basic looked awesome!

7:00 class was taught by Cory, who's taught other beginner classes I've taken at AB (unlike my previous assertion that Jerry and Katie teach them all). We reviewed the Charleston basic, then learned the Charleston kick-through.

Hmmm... I don't think I've found a good instructional video which isolates the Charleston basic. Here's something which is more demo. It starts with the Lindy Hop basic, then mixes in the Charleston basic. It might be unfamiliar, as they don't do any of the wild styling that you might be used to seeing from the 1920's. This is the basic Lindy Charleston (as instructor Cory termed it). It's the part with the kicking.

Ah, here's one that focuses a bit more on the Charleston. I've really only been taught the open (side-by-side) position, but they do some kick-through's so you can see that. Don't think that I've seen or done anything except the basic and the kick-through's. And I've just barely done the kick-through's.

Cory taught the 7:45 beginner class as well. This went back to the Lindy basic and the standard turns. Good to work on this stuff again. I had to vote against the Balboa at the beginning of class, as it's focused on exclusively at the Friday 6:15 class. Sorry couple-who-wanted-to-learn-Balboa. My impression is that Balboa is the least-used of the dances, but I might be wrong. Seems especially useful during very fast music, as you don't have much travel.

Stayed for a bit of the dance, and saw Nikki and her mother Julie again. I remember meeting them for the first time ... was it only a week ago? Holy cow, it feels like so much has happened since then. Well, I guess a bunch of stuff has: 9 lessons, two dances. Wow. Despite her statement that she's forgotten everything, Nikki looks good out there with strong leads. We dance a couple times, and it's difficult not to notice that between the 6-count basic and turns, and the 8-count Lindy basic and turns, we might be mistaken for people who know how to swing-dance!

I'm mindful of my homework situation, and take off after less than an hour. Didn't say hello or goodbye to Julie or get to meet Cory, Julie's son. Ah, well. Perhaps they'll be back next Tuesday. Another day of dance lessons, and that can't be bad.

Just realized that Thursday I'm training after work, then rushing to shower and drive to OC Swing at Heritage Park. Have to plan for that.

March Swing Lesson Totals:
OC Swing: 2 Lessons, 2 Hours
AB: 9 Lessons, 6.75 Hours

Running Totals:
SL: 2 Hours
OC Swing: 3 Hours
AB: 8.25 Hours

No comments:

Post a Comment