Sunday, April 1, 2007

Mixed Messages

Friday 3/23:
Gerald and Scott are both present. We rock. The Balboa classes are combined. and Jenny leads us through:

Transitional Step
Come Around
Come Around w/break
Come Around w/down hold

The transitional step is a right-foot rock-step-cross on 5-6-7. The down-hold is on 7 while opening the follow's torso (similar to the opening of a tuck-turn).

Jerry teaches Swing 2: ECS Patterns
ECB (x2)
Tuck Turn
Walk-Through, Spin to Charleston
Charleston Basic
Vintage Charleston
Tuck-Turn with the lead turning as well
Funky-Hand inside turn to closed

No idea on the actual names for those last moves. With the walk-through variation, leads re-establish connection early in the walk through and do a right-foot rock-step on 4 (instead of the second triple step). During the rock-step we open way up, then snap closed and lead a spin with the left hand. Follow spins to the side, where we end up in Charleston position. The Vintage Charleston is done in closed. It's rock-step, triple-step, kick, triple-step. My knee gets tweaked and I have to sit out a bit.

7:45pm Swing 2: Double Bug
The Double Bug is when a single lead dances with a follow on each of his hands. Very advanced kung fu. Scott was doing the best, but I think he has several years more experience than either Gerald or I. Or both of us combined. I seriously tweak my knee and have to sit out the last third of the lesson. I don't even bother to stay for the dance, as I want to get some ice on the knee and be ok for the team practice the next day. Sucks.

My knee feels great in the morning. Testament to icing it. I pick up some chemical ice packs from the drug store on my way to team practice. We don't work on choreography at all, just swing outs. Normally, Jerry teaches a swingout where the leads are holding ground while the follows are doing most of the traveling. We spend some time during this practice traveling in each direction: Follows anchor on 1-2, bringing the leads forward, while on 5-6, leads send the follows, continuing the motion in the same direction. Very cool. We also travel the other way, with leads anchoring 1-2 as normal, but then hooking the right foot around the left after 4 and getting a push on the right shoulder from the follows, stepping backward on 5-6. This is pretty fun, actually. We spend time working this, getting across the floor, synchronized as a team, with fewer and fewer swingouts. Neat exercise. We also work on rotating around the center axis as a team during swingouts. This is a lot harder, as leads have to over or under-rotate, depending on where we are. I'm still worried about learning the choreography, but apparantly Jerry isn't, as we don't work on it at all.

Jerry invites us to check out the Swing 1 team since we have to learn the choreography to advance. We stay, and they do See Ya Later Alligator. Gerald and I have actually done this, so it's not new, but I don't actually know it. They do Jeep Jocky Jump (the AB team choreography) once and I get worried about learning it all over again. I start to take notes on my Treo, then have a head slap moment, and record with the camera. But Jerry and Katie ask me not to. I'm puzzled as they want us to learn the choreography, but don't seem to want us to do so at the same time. I keep asking for the written notes, and they keep saying they'll get to giving that out. Jerry also seems to not want us to watch the performance videos on YouTube, or record the practices. Clearly there's something I'm not understanding about this. Scott points out in a later email to me that they might not want to give away their teaching techniques nor do they want to see unfinished product out on YouTube. I guess that makes sense for the recording of practices, but how about getting us the choreography?

Not even sure how to approach the subject with Jerry.


  1. I of course have nothing against dancing, nor people who take dance lessons. In fact, I admire your determination.

    But I find your dance posts to be a fun-filled, action-packed exercise in obscure terminology. Half the fun is making up what the terms mean.

  2. Sorry. YouTube is a web site where users can upload video to share with the world. :-)