Tuesday, August 7, 2007

July 2007 Dance Wrap-up

Sunday Series Classes
I'm so tired after class that I have to totally rely on Mark's recollection of things.

Swing 1
No one else seems to have shown up for Swing 1, so I decide to fill in as a lead for the AB class. Jenny pulls me aside and we work on some things together. After doing a bit of me-led social dancing, Jenny comments that I should be "playing around with rhythms a bit more." As in, throwing in footwork variations. Kick-ball-change-ball-change-step or just a kick-ball-change instead of 1-2-3-&-4. Kick-switch instead of 7-8.

Jenny says my Apache feels solid, which I'm extremely pleased about. I don't know if I'm throwing the arm, or handing it off, though.

Balboa: We practice the crazy Saturday night swing-out special a couple times: come-around with outside turn, into an Apache spike-out. We also work on the pure Apache spike-out, where the lead spends a basic putting the arm behind the follow's back to get a head start on the Apache.

Locked whip with inside and outside turns.

Club Night
Amantha, Crystal, Michelle, and Charles are there. Michelle, Amantha and I work on Jeep Jockey Jump. Charles doesn't seem that interested. I totally bonk. Probably due to spin the day before plus bad nutrition (eat that oatmeal!). I leave after about an hour.

No one else shows up, so it doesn't happen. Michelle and I join the AB Balboa class.

Double Turns
We do 6 and 8 count double tuck turns.

Footwork variations again. Michelle and Charles's first(?) exposure to the odds/evens idea of footwork variations. Cool again. Remember: scuff-step, kick-step, kick-ball-change (on 5-6 of a swing-out!).

No Team Practice because of Camp Hollywood. I meet up with the team at Dinah's. Hurting a bit from a spill during the afternoon bike ride with The Falcon, but good food. I have the Spanish Omelet again, and finish it myself. Not the home fries, though I have about half. Wow, I'm looking for those carbs!

Charles, Jenny, and Amantha sit in a booth instead of the big table with the team. Is that because they were on time? Everyone's all dressed up, which gives me the barest feelings of being under-dressed. Pearl Harbor theme, and I'm not in sailor gear, navy dress blues, or even a Hawaiian shirt, just my khaki cargo shorts and lime green polo. I put it out of my mind. I have a repressed clothes-horse in me but I don't want to spend money on major fashion that I can't wear that often or that will be too big for me if I drop more weight.

I miss the team competitions as I'm shopping for Aris Allen dance shoes from The Dance Store. I end up getting a pair of the faux sneakers in white/black and the ubiquitous white cap-toe. They're actually pretty light-weight in feel and construction quality. Jerry tells me I should get another pair of cap-toes so I have a beater pair and a dress pair. If they had more than one pair of wide-widths in my size, I would have. As it is, buying and wearing the white cap-toe is key to dancing that night, as the floors are slooooow.

I meet up with Ori, the only person I've ever met because I blog, and we hang out a bit, dancing near each other. He took the intermediate track and sounds like he loved it. We've been trading emails about dancing, and it was cool to meet up with him and see him actually dance. Funny that he has a solid Lindy now but when we started exchanging emails his main concern was triple-stepping. What progress we beginners can make! See and dance with Krysia (she's in her awesome green dress). She dances with Ori, but I don't talk to her about it. Amantha dances with him and does give me feedback to pass along. I venture onto the main floor one time, but it's sooo crowded I head back over to the side, where it's nice and open. The Jitterbug contest is really interesting, but I wonder about the wisdom of incorporating aerials which look like they're barely being pulled off. On the other hand, one couple was doing aerials where the guy was intentionally making it look like the follow was really heavy, which was awesome, in retrospect.

As I leave, I realize there's a groove/westie room across the hall. Damn!!!! It's 2am and I'm leaving! On the way home, my eyes start to droop, so I pull off and crash out in the car for a couple hours. Get home safe, young man.

Because OC Swing is teaching Tandem Charleston, I signed up for the it and the intermediate class as well. We'll see if I can sustain the effort for the whole rest of the day. I spent all of my time in the time between classes social dancing. In fact, I actually had women racing to ask me, a big ego boost. Most of the other good leads are still at Camp Hollywood.

Tandem Charleston (OC Swing)
This is the slow, methodical way I wish I had learned Tandem Charleston: at the speed of an absolute beginner. I could have skipped the guys footwork, but I get it into my head to spend the time working on follow footwork and arm swings for Charleston, so it's not a waste of time. Shesha and Nikki teach the footwork as going straight back, not guys going out to the side. Fair enough. We learn the Chase entry into Tandem, nice and slow. All review for me. Next week is more of the same. I wish this class had come around a few months ago.

Intermediate (OC Swing)
Move of the week:
Fake swing-out from open, switching hands, leading a turn, turning inside, clap, connect hup!

Rock-step-cross, rock-step-cross
Swing-out stepping under the connection on 3-&-4, swinging the follow out behind our backs, following to closed.
Swing-out with inside turn (?), following to closed.

Harlem Swing
Jenny's still at Camp Hollywood, so Jerry teaches. He switches some of the choreography on the California Routine. After the "hit on 5" he has us hold on 7-8. 4 counts of crazy knees, 2 counts of Tango step.

Jerry breaks from the California Routine and we do some Tandem Charleston stuff. Very cool, namely a double follow turn into cross-kicks. The cross-kicks technique he teaches is very helpful too: My connection is too much in my forearm, not enough in my shoulder. My second kick with each leg needs work to be more of a kick and less of a knee swing that gets me around. I need to keep my eye on the connection. A variation is to not connect and come around kick-step, kick-step, kick-step to another cross-kick. Very cool. Just the kind of basic variation that I needed to add to my dance vocabulary. I need to work on that cross-kick technique a lot. Especially the arm extension which requires keeping my eye on the connection.

Danie is lots of fun to dance with, but interestingly, her connection is a lot softer than Michelle's during the California Routine section, which makes it hard to keep small.

Big John's Special
We get through to the push-out to circle, and really nail that down. It takes up most of the practice. The circle wasn't as hard as I thought, as some of the over-rotation is during the swing-out immediately after.

The Atomic Routine We start in from the beginning, but then focus in on the tap section. Very helpful to have a different take on teaching it. Jerry breaks things down a bit more. Jenny assumed we had things and did repetitions. Jerry focuses a bit more on slow technique, waiting to build speed later. Very helpful.

Michelle, Charles, and I eat dinner at Pat & Oscar's afterwards. Good conversations. Tasty food (Santa Fe Chipotle, which I believe I had with SL after Knotts). No protein, but not bad.

Swing 1 (Jerry)
No real recollection of what we did in this class.
Swing 2 Walkthroughs (Jerry)
Interesting content here. We do a couple walk-through variations.

Walk-through with free spin:
Leads stay connected and facing sideways during first triple, then flick for counter-clockwise turn on the second.

Walk-through with hand-changing lead turn

Something where we ended in no-looky handshake position.

All variations could be done on the end of a swing-out with inside turn, so we did.

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