Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Dance The Weekend Away

AB Swing Dance Team Practice
We get through all the choreography from start to finish today. None of us first timers has it down, but we muscle through it. Mark comes to his first practice, and I don't envy his experience. Like drinking water from the fire hose. He seems to have a lot more experience than I, so it might just be a matter of remembering choreography and less about learning new steps.

Had a fall during practice. My foot slipped out from under me during a kick. Took most of it on my hand and shoulder. More stinger than anything else, but I was gun-shy the rest of the practice.

Got lunch after with Scott, Gerald, Steven, and Liz. People leave at various times, but Scott and I leave between 1430 and 1500. Guess we could have invited the Swing 1 and 2 teams as well. Scott asks for most embarassing dance moment, and I coin the phrase, "and then my pants fell off." Scott has a good "I sent her right into a metal I-Beam" story, and I tell my "Shesha demos me as a follow in the middle of OC Swing Class" story.

And then my pants fell off.

4/15/2007 (Sunday)

OC Swing Classes
Charleston Kicks for Lindy Hop
This class focuses on "front" Charleston. We work on a more 20's step pattern (tap, step, tap, step), briefly cover 20's heel styling, and move on the main content. We learn the transition from side by side to front to front, work on lead and follow in this position, and then get the transition back to side-to-side.

Intermediate Lindy Hop
We're doing a routine. Shesha says he'll post it at some point.

Swing 1: Swing Technique
We build on Friday's "Flying Lindy" class by doing more up-hold footwork, this time, adding more six count moves. Same series of swing out, circle, tuck turn, then we add two "changing places," which is an inside turn from open to open, led with a rock-step. Again, we're doing up-holds instead of triple-steps on these. During the second changing places, we kick back on the up-hold (with the right foot), and do a foot-switch on 8.

Again, Jerry and Jenny focus on my Tuck Turn technique. Jenny observes that my technique (which I don't mention I just had reinforced at OC Swing) of rotating my torso to completely face my right side, is overkill for high level dancers. They have me extend my arms fully, but keep my torso square. Jerry refines and justifies this by pointing out that that much rotation sends the follow slightly away from the lead instead of back to closed on 3 & 4. Followed by opening up the palm and giving a strong "stopper" feeling during 3 & 4, already at turn height. Again, I'm not getting this kind of instructional attention elsewhere.

The whole class requires a ton of energy and Danie is the only follow taking the class, though instructor Jenny is filling in as a follow. With myself, Gerald, and Mark as leads, we can technically get some rest while the follows are on the go the whole time. I tend to not sit out when I don't have a partner, trying to lock down my footwork if nothing else. I do this for the genuinely interesting content (I definitely sat out some rounds during Mikey's Monday classes), not validation, but I do think Jerry appreciates it. It might be a little awkward if one has an audience, but the goal is to get better, not please an audience during instruction time.

Between classes, I ask Maleka, of the constantly bored look, if the AB series is good for her. Surprise, she's bored. She knows the East Coast, Charleston, and Lindy basics, so I convince her to join the Swing 1 series instead of the AB one. Or at least talk to Jerry about it.

Swing 1: Social Patterns
Maleka, joins us for the class, and Jerry's comment is, "Good luck!" We do a normal swing out, a swing out with outside free spin (why don't I do that socially?!), and a 6 count left-side walk-through from open. This is interesting as we actually turn to our left to initiate the move. Seems like we could add lots of stuff here. Turns?

Swing 2: Bal/Shag Routine
I'm still tilting my torso on come-arounds instead of getting the swing out twisting torso feel. Work on that.

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