Wednesday, June 6, 2007

May Dance Wrapup

Get tentatively paired with Amanda at the team practice today for the performance of Jeep Jockey Jump on June 2nd. I'm pretty solid on the choreography, but get mixed up on the switch between A and B solos and the Shorty George's are still a problem at tempo.

Jerry asks most of us to move up to the Swing 1 team to learn the choreography. Gerald, Scott, Steven, Mark, and I agree we're not going to do this until after the first performance.

Later talk to Liz and Andrea who weren't asked to move up. We all agree that this could have been handled better.


After a tiring day at Knotts, I'd missed all of the OC Swing Sunday series, and one of the Atomic classes. I made it for the social patters (still anti-social patterns?!), and the mystery slot which might have been aerials.


Dammit! If there's a Double Bug class on the schedule again, I'm -not- taking it. I mean, it's never enough to anchor the thing, it's probably boring for the follows, and you need twice as many follows as leads! Stupid!

Did Nicole totally diss me at the dance tonight?! She turned me down for a dance siting a sprained ankle, but danced the song with someone else later on! You're on my eyes-narrowed-with suspicion list Nicole!

I take the last two club classes, which are fun, but the main point for making the trip to Atomic Ballroom is the informal team practice. That lags and lags, until I ask Trish if it's going to happen. She candidly tells me that Jerry doesn't want to empty the club dance floor of the team members who have come. At least we're getting the straight story, unlike last week.

We run it a couple times on the regular dance floor, and even do it to the music once for the 5 other people there for club night dance.

Jerry's Swing Rueda class is a lot of fun. Almost like square dancing. Find out the the "socks" swing out is really the "Sioux" swing out. The pronunciation comes from how the German guy who named the move pronounced Sioux. What a horrible story. :-)

I'm doing a lot of social dancing, but feel like I'm in a rut. I need to add another move or family of moves to not be boring. Again. To myself if to no one else.

Team practice. I wear a HR monitor, and here's the recorded results:

When we run the routine, my heartrate is way up there. You can even see when we run small parts of it instead of the whole routine. Wow. It's not the sustained effort of cycling, but it's certainly a lot of effort. Training Center says 2 calories burned, so it's clearly using distance as one of the main ways it calculates calories.

At lunch, I chat with Liz about the Team Unlimited lesson plan, and taking more lessons. I hope she does it. Not sure what Jerry thinks she needs to work on, technique-wise. Perhaps she needs that clarified? Andrea decides to quit the team. I'm sad, but perhaps if this is a negative thing in her life, she should do it some other time, or do something completely different.

OC Swing classes have guest instuctors Audrey and Sky, while Nikki and Shesha are up in the Pacific Northwest doing a workshop. Audrey's intro class is pretty cool, Sky's insights into Drags are interesting, and the Intermediate choreography is pretty cool, including the Chase entry into partner Charleston. Bailed on spins and went to Atomic.

Liz bought a Team Unlimited package and came to lessons tonight. Do I get a commission?! :-) I think she saw the value today with Jerry's Technique class.


Jenny's Dance Frame and Connection class was terrific.

I started to do a progressive series of moves in my East Coast.
Tuck Turn, Changing Places, 6-count Circle
Inside Free-Spin, Changing Places, 6-count Circle
IFS, Changing Places with hand switch. No-look walk-through
IFS, CP w/HS, block turn, Sioux Swing Out
I need to do the hand switch on that last series without ending up in the no-look position. Also need to work on doing the series without any basics in-between.


  1. John with an "H". I came across your blog a couple of days ago as I was trying to find someone to relate the learning-to-swing-dance-properly experience. Thanks so much for writing all about your swingin' ventures! Sometimes you mention how probably nobody's interested in reading about your swing dancing goings ons, but I am (for the most part).

    I've been swing dancing for about two months now. I tend to look at things pretty technically, trying to analyze/figure out what moves I know and which ones I should do next. I know, sometimes it takes away from the fun of the dance *sigh*. But I just want to do the dance right, how it should be done, and not mess up and look like a fool in front of or be a fool to my partner. It seems like you do sort of the same thing. Anyway, if you're interested in trading some stories and sharing some experiences, send me an email: (not my "official email" but we can go from there) Thanks,

  2. anon: Thanks so much for your comment. It's nice to know that there's someone out there with similar issues, isn't it? I've emailed you, and hope we can converse in the future.

    Let me say publicly that "planning moves detracting from the fun of dance" is a fine idea for advanced or experienced dancers who can pull lots and lots of moves out of their pockets. For us beginning dancers, giving the follow a good dance means planning, choreographing, practicing, and thinking!