Blackpool Ending and Lesson 13: Cha-Cha-Chaaaaa

Hi-hi, dancers!!!

First things first: the last of the USA at Blackpool. Once again, Arunas Bizokas with Katusha Demidova win Professional Ballroom, with Victor Fung and Anastasiya Muravyeva coming in 2nd place. YAY!

Arunas Bizokas & Katusha Demidova / Victor Fung and Anastasiya Muravyeva, Blackpool 2015 Pro Ballroom

Arunas Bizokas & Katusha Demidova / Victor Fung & Anastasiya Muravyeva, Blackpool 2015 Pro Ballroom (c)

I wonder how long these two couples are going to be going up against each other. On the other hand, that gown Anastasiya is wearing is one of the most stunning dresses I’ve ever seen. She also wore it to dance at the Emerald Ball – I saw some highlights from ParadigmDVD and especially in high definition, it is just breathtaking. The ombre drapes are my favorite part! So unique and just gorgeous.

I just got back home from my lesson and boy, it was a doozy. Storytime! It was at 2:15 and in Port Authority at 2:05. I couldn’t find the train (some parts of that place are just really weird) and I knew taking a cab would be stupid because it would just make me late. So I decided to walk the six blocks and, of course, people weren’t ever slower walkers than they were today. Two blocks away, I text Teach, “Give me like five minutes”. I go running into the building and bluster into the studio at 2:17. Guess what?

Teach wasn’t even there yet.

I was so mad, yet it was hysterical because I knew odds would be that he wouldn’t arrive before I did. I went and changed, then when I came out of the changing room I saw him wandering around. I figured I’d take the two minutes and do some split warmups because I’m still sore from my workouts the other day (and also due to that, I have multiple nasty bruises that are actually royal purple). “You tight?” he asked when he finally reached me. I was rolling through a split with a pained expression on my face.

It may have been the sprint from Port Authority to Herald Square, but I was now so scatterbrained I couldn’t even answer a question. I just stared at him with my face empty and then threw my hair and started giggling. (I spent most of the lesson laughing and didn’t even know why.) “HEY, check this out!” I showed him the bruises on my legs and his jaw dropped to the floor. When he asked what happened. I told him I learned a new move and was having trouble clearing the equipment, so, multiple times, my knees smashed into it. He visibly cringed. Teach is normally unflappable. Sickeningly, it made me laugh a little bit.

[/End story.]

He told me the plan for today was to start my cha cha routine (yyyyyesssss!).

Roman Kutskyy & Anna Kovalova, USDC

Roman Kutskyy & Anna Kovalova, USDC

Anna Kovalova is a goddess. Not only does she have the best legs I’ve ever seen on any living thing, but it’s impossible for anything to look bad on this slammin’ body of hers.

We warmed up with rumba (it’s getting to be fun) and this is embarrassing – I learned I can remember choreography very well until probably two-thirds of the way through a routine. We’ve had our rumba fully choreographed for weeks and it’s only now that I can remember the end – and that’s because I wrote it down, he wrote it down for me, and I wrote it down again in detail. And I read it a bunch of times. So that’s something mental I know I need to think about.

We went over lock steps again and went into a little more detail on back locks. I had trouble understanding the timing of the positions, but he cleared that right up. I also now know when the fluidity happens in locks (“Chaaaaa”). We started choreographing and kept trying different things, but the one constant was that he is definitely having me do a lot of lock steps.

I threw an idea out there, but he said, “Only thing is that’s Open level so we can’t do that yet.” I asked him what it was that makes things “Open”, because, to me, you can throw a turn in the middle of a figure or change the hold or do a different chasse and the figure now looks Open. He told me there are no rules against styling a figure, but the thing that really makes something Open is when you actually start changing its timing. So that’s actually really exciting because while I love cha cha, I personally think that when done in its most basic, meat-and-potatoes form, it ends up looking the most boring of the five dances.

Not that it matters, but there was something that just got me down for a split second. We were tossing around ideas for a New Yorker sequence and I remembered that on my first go-around in the ballroom, whenever I did a New Yorker, whether cha cha or rumba, I used to be able to see my back hand in the mirror behind my head. I can’t see the back hand behind my head anymore. It’s especially weird when you think about the fact that my back and shoulders are so much stronger now, so you’d think I’d be able to open up on my New Yorker more than I did before.

We played around a lot (or he did; I just held his hand and therefore was taken along for the ride) and we’ve only got four or five eight-counts, but I’m already loooooving our cha cha routine. It somehow is already showing our personality – just Teach and Anna! Is that weird?

I need to practice. We all need to practice!


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