What’s going on, ballroom dancers?
I had lesson 5 with Teach yesterday. I got to the studio and it was bustling. EVERYONE was there. Emmanuel was there giving a lesson, Liana arrived later (she said hello to my teacher and then SMILED AND WAVED AT ME! EEK), Yulia and Riccardo were giving lessons (!), Ina and Troels were practicing, a bunch of dance couples practicing or taking a lessons with Vibeke…greatness overload.
The aforementioned teacher from my former studio was there giving lessons. And the happiest part here? I saw my friend Janet, who my pro used to teach. I was thrilled to see her – she is a total doll. She was there to practice with her new amateur partner. So exciting!
This ended up being a lesson where I just ended up being extremely grateful I picked my particular teacher. I’m a good student, I learn super fast and all, but I don’t think I would be learning so much so quickly with anyone else. We enjoy the same female dancers and think a lot alike. And he just has a huge dance vocabulary. It’s pretty awesome; we are starting to build our own “vocabulary words”, so to speak.
This time, we ended up delving even deeper into Sliding Doors. I had been practicing them, so fortunately it didn’t hurt as much to do them (I felt it a LOT in the center of my foot). Only now, he was teaching me the dynamics of the Sliding Doors; every action is totally different, which I realize now is what makes it such a beautiful – and difficult – step.
Teach is really showing me how to use the floor, which is so exciting to me, because I hated how airy I looked when I danced before. However, I’m still having trouble balancing. I guess it’s a process, though. I told him someone he used to work with told me before, which was “your hips should go in the opposite direction you’re stepping in”. At the time, it was how I knew I was doing my samba Voltas correctly, but it’s become a HUGE thing for me now; Teach made it a word (we’ve named it after the teacher that first said it), is using it all the time, and it’s working wonders. It’s reminding me to push one body part against the other and really create resistance, which is naturally creating better balance.
We also scraped the surface of cha cha. It used to be that what I had trouble with was keeping my legs straight during chasses. That actually is a nonissue (well, at least so far). We’re focusing on back breaks and checks.
Lock steps are next week. I bet it’s way more torturous than it sounds. But runaway chasses are my absolute favorite thing in cha cha, so that better be in my routines!
I usually hate feathers, especially when they’re used as a tail, but I am in love with this dress. It moves gorgeously and Liana worked the crap out of it. It’s funny, when you see her off the show or competition floor, she’s so adorable and smiley. She looks so young, not in a bad way by any stretch of the imagination, but she does look young. But catch her on the floor and she is all woman. There is no one out there more sexy! I can’t put my finger on what it is, but she’s got some incredible swag.
I remember the first time I watched a competition – Manhattan Dancesport 2010. I don’t know if this goes for everyone, but when I didn’t know so much about dancesport, the couples who caught my eye were usually not the ones who won the competition, but this one sure was. I couldn’t take my eyes off Emmanuel and Liana! At least my instincts didn’t fail me on that one.