Lesson 15: RumbaChaChaSamba

Good evening, ballroom addicts!!!

Rumbachachasamba. That’s what it felt like in my lesson today.

Here’s the conclusion I’ve come to: I think I’m stupid.

Okay, maybe that isn’t it. I used to think I was pretty good at remembering choreography. Now I don’t think I am at all. I’ve noticed what it is; anything even remotely different from a totally basic figure, like a Spiral that goes in the opposite direction than I’m used to doing (or seeing) it, will throw me off to the point I’m unable to remember anything that comes after that.

Yeah, I’ll admit this spin around the ballroom is giving me a real ego check.

So I was stretching for a while and marveling at the fact that Allan Tornsberg was in the ballroom – and in neon orange, nonetheless. I was kind of terrified, though, because I heard him yelling a lot – is he really tough or is he funny? I was too scared to find out. I saw he had a lot of love for my teacher, though (in the form of big smiles and big hugs), so that made me feel better.

When my teacher arrived, I went ahead and told him how sore I was from Stretch class last night. (The Stretch teacher had zero mercy.) Working on straddle splits (which I don’t have) and getting my toes to my head just has a few parts of my body hating me right now; I probably wasn’t very gentle.

I confess, I didn’t practice as much in the past week as I should have. I did spend practically all week staring at the written versions of my routines. Ironically, when Teach and I started, he said, “Okay, so I have some questions about the routines.” Because I hadn’t practiced, I was balled up into a corner in my mind, like “I won’t be able to answer his questions and he is going to have my a…..”

Fortunately, that wasn’t what happened. We went through rumba and I not only answered his question, I corrected him (WIN). He decided to change a few things. (FYI, the things he does when he’s thinking are hilarious.) I’ll admit, I don’t even know what they are, except that he added a high spiral, which I am actually thrilled about because I think that is one of the most beautiful figures in Latin. I love pretty much any runaway-esque figure.

Plus, I think Teach realized that we don’t cover a whole lot of ground in our routine.

Slavik Kryklyvyy & Karina Smirnoff - Dancing Basics With Passion: Rumba

Slavik Kryklyvyy & Karina Smirnoff – Dancing Basics With Passion: Rumba

Not the best quality, but it illustrates my point. Because all of a sudden I can’t find any of today’s couples using this figure.

Then the same thing happened in cha cha. He had questions and I, thankfully, not only had answers, but was able to dance it in its entirety! Yyyyyesssss!!!!! He changed some things there too. I had input. Which just ended up being me saying, “Which one do I do best? Fine, we’ll do that one.”

The random part was that somewhere in the middle of us running the cha cha routine (which happened like three times), the ballroom cleared and we were the only ones dancing. I didn’t think anyone was paying attention until we came closer to the music machine and Vibeke, THE Vibeke, patted her hair down, smiling at us, and thanking us for “the wicked cha cha show!”

Excuse me while I hyperventilate. Especially because while stretching, I’d been watching her demonstrate lock steps and marveled at how she executed a simple step so gorgeously.

Then Teach just exclaimed, “Samba!” and grabbed my hands. Yaaaaasssss.

Troels Bager and Ina Jeliazkova - Amateur Latin, International Championship 2014 Copyright © 2014 Peter Suba

Troels Bager and Ina Jeliazkova – Amateur Latin, International Championship 2014
Copyright © 2014 Peter Suba

I NEEDED to have a picture of Troels and Ina here. What is it about this couple that just makes you love them? I can’t figure it out. Anyway, they were in the studio today. I was trying again not to notice, but as I am a woman with functioning eyes, I have to say it: Troels Bager is stupidly handsome.

Anyway, when Teach is choreographing, all of a sudden he gets super serious and his eyes get unfocused and he looks in weird directions and just starts doing all the possible figures. Fortunately, I’ve figured out when I’m supposed to move with him and when I’m supposed to just stand there.

We already have a pretty lengthy samba routine. It’s just bones of a routine and I’m thrilled with it! Probably because it’s got some way more advanced stuff than I thought he’d throw at me.

So basically, finalized rumba routine, finalized cha cha, and a pretty long structure for our samba.

And all in 45 minutes.

He did say that once I really got rumba down, we would pretty much blow through the rest of the dances. It’s going quicker than I thought.

The Yankee Classic is in Boston this weekend. My teacher is dancing and so are a few of my friends, so I’m thinking of going! I’ll keep you posted.

Anyway, for Ballroom Around the World, this is such exciting news – Nino Langella and Anna Melnikova had their first show together, this past weekend in Mexico! I had some queries about how they would dance together because I always felt like he had such a youthful way of moving, but that’s changed with the professional training he must be doing. One of these videos came from Anna’s Instagram and the other came from Boyko’s.

A post shared by Boyko Ivanov (@boykoco) on

Not sure why I’m surprised by this, but I think they’re already magnificent together, and if you ask me, they will only get better. You can completely feel the heat between these two – the magnetism between them practically warps the walls. And, of course, she looks absolutely stunning, and her dress is beautiful.

How do you feel about them? Are you as excited for this partnership to solidify and advance as I am?!

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