Monday, March 5, 2007

Order Part 2

I dropped-in on the Sunday 2pm OC Swing 6-week class on week six. They're working on the same progressive routine as the Thursday 4-week class, so I was ok. Also helped that my hours at the Atomic have gotten me solid on the basics, so the transitions are really the only new things. Well, that and remembering what the move sequence is. The OC Swing intro routine is:
6-count basic (2x)
Swing out (8-count)
Swing-in (8-count circle)
Basic Charleston
Pendulum (Charleston variant with 6 second-leg kicks)
6-count basic and repeat

Saw at least one person I'd taken a class with at the Atomic, Samir. Also saw a gal (Victoria?) who I'd seen at both Friday and Saturday Atomic dances). The 3pm class was "Charleston Kicks for Lindy Hop," but at $15/lesson, I decided to skip and head to the Atomic, where I'm pre-paid. I noticed that the instructors talked a bit about women's styling, doing hip swivels instead of the rock step. I think I can safely worry about styling a bit later.

Headed to the Atomic Ballroom for their free 4:45pm intro class. We walked through some ballroom basics, as well as the 6-count basic. I think I'll hold-off on the ballroom for a while, until it's more an issue of picking up on a different style rather than trying to get competent at a million things at once. Core swing dance seems to focus on East Coast, Lindy, the Charleston, and some Balboa. That's a bunch of dances to learn and get good at (and doesn't even count time to learn styling and flare). The free intro class was just enough to give a taste. Interesting, worth the time to do once if one is new to the idea of dance, but not worth me repeating.

Katie ran the 5:30pm beginner series a little faster-paced than some of the other classes I've taken at the Atomic, which I'm thankful for now that I feel pretty solid about the basics. We didn't spend the first half of the class learning the basic (perhaps the mix was of dancers who already had that down?), moving into the Lindy Hop (an 8-count dance) basic with swingouts fairly quickly. The final routine:

8-count swingout (closed to open L-R)
inside turn
outside turn
circle (swing in)
6-count basic

A note to myself on technique: the outside turn is signaled by the lead raising the left arm from the side at the end of the first triple-step. This leaves the connected hand upside down from the standard grip. Undoing this is as easy as doing an inside turn, signaled at the same point in the Lindy circle by bringing the left hand up to the right shoulder. Forgetting to do either of these things until the last moment is signified by me grimacing and tightening up my grip.

This class was the absolute beginner series, so we'll theoretically be building on this sequence every week.

Who should show up for the 6:15 class, but Samir who I just saw at the OC Swing 2pm lesson. Jerry taught this class, which was again, a bit faster paced than the previous ones.
6-count basic
6-count basic with oppositional rock-step send out
sugar push
sugar push
circle (swing in)
6-count basic

The oppostitional rock step was an interesting variation. I had to fight not to really stomp with my left foot and kept losing that fight. Jerry had useful personal pointers and "debugging" of problems for everyone in the class. I was pretty solid in my footwork (though I was usually forgetting the sugar-push sequence, and covering up for it), and Jerry told me to focus on my posture, dropping my shoulders and shoulder-blades. Wow did that feel strange! I'll have to work on making it feel natural.

March Swing Lesson Totals:
OC Swing: 2 Lessons, 2 Hours
AB: 6 Lessons, 4.5 Hours

Running Total:
SL: 2 Hours
OC Swing: 3 Hours
AB: 6 Hours
(I stopped counting the one Salsa class I went to)

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