Friday, July 20, 2007

July 2007 Dancing Week 1

Since I've let so much time go by since writing about dancing classes, the memories have started to fade. Hence, the compressed format.

The Sunday classes this month are all series (progressive), and all taught by Jenny, who's a big-time taskmistress when she's set loose. I'll have to remind myself to ask her who's she's channeling when she cracks the whip.

5:30pm Harlem Swing
Harlem styling refers to doing up-holds (also known as a scoot-step) instead of a triple-step. This is standard for Atomic Swing Teams choreography to faster music. We practice the variation with swing-outs and various East Coast Swing moves, then work on speeding up our swing-outs with the styling. Faster, faster, faster. I'm left gasping for breath, and soaked through with sweat. Taskmistress indeed.
Jenny has worked on the choreography for Frankie Manning's California Routine for us to work on during the series, so we learn the first chunk and work on speed.

Big John's Special
Another Teams choreography class. Preston is here to join us in learning. It'll be good for him! More choreography learning, and speed work, again with Harlem styling.

The Atomic Routine
This is tough on the people new to Teams, as we've been working on it for a month already. Just one? I guess I'm learning choreography faster than I was before. Fred and Michelle are the newbies there working hard to catch up. I remember being in that same position with See Ya Later Alligator when I first joined. Still haven't learned that, but it's a Swing 2 routine.

Don't remember anything about the first two classes, but the Bal Swing-outs class at 7:45 was pretty darn cool. Really got to work on the Bal swing-out we do in The Atomic Routine (spike on 7, come-around, re-connect, finish swing-out or circle). We learn another one where instead of connecting lead's left-hand to follow's left, the leads release both hands after 5, slight the right hand down the follow's left and spike with leader's right hand to follow's left. Do we do another one? I don't remember.

Social dancing is a blur.

Bal/Shag Routine
Again, I've been doing this for three months, and we have new people joining for the first time. So we go slow. Charles is here too, now?
Flying Lindy
Just refers to Harlem styling again. No real memories, though.

Team Practice
First practice with a new cohort of people joining. Michelle ("my" recruit) and Fred had auditioned and joined earlier (along with taking classes). Amantha (another recruit of mine) auditions right before the practice. Several of these people are joining Swing 1 as well.

Aubri runs the practice, and it's completely technique. Two footwork variations.

Leaders: kick-ball-change, ball-change-step, step-step, crouch-slide open
Harlem styling (up-holds on 3 and 7)

Then traveling swing-outs. Then practice traveling while staying in lines. Tough, team-oriented stuff.

Lunch after. Amantha doesn't come. Michelle, Fred, and Charles are the new members who do. Krysia comes as well (she's not on the Swing 2 team, I'm surprised to find out). Lots of good bonding. We're there 'til after 3pm, over two hours! Nice people.

Back in the evening for swing dancing (first Saturday of the month). Live band! The Fabulous Esquires truely are fabulous. one odd moment when in the middle of the song, the band leader warns everyone that the song switches to 3/4 timing for a bit. It was strange to dance to, but I'm not clear why. Lots of beginners, and one of the cute follows really gushes every time we dance. I find that awkward. Still need to learn to take a complement. The band plays Jeep Jockey Jump! The teams people who know it do it in a circle. Awesome! I think my partner is Liz, and I manage to screw up the B section the first time through. Damn! Rest of the night is a blur, but so much fun.

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