Lesson 19: Center collecting and Nino and Anna!

Hey again, dancers! Happy Friday!

Twice in a week! Miraculous, eh?

I had a my first lesson in eons (it felt like that, at least) with Teach on Wednesday. I didn’t write right away because I went away for a couple of days. I barely got back home an hour ago. There was barely any traffic coming from Boston to New York – this Friday’s small miracle.

This lesson wasn’t really a big deal, I feel like, even though I learned something extremely important. And – YAY! – I saw the fruits of my labor in this lesson. I’ve been spending a lot of time practicing my spirals and also grounding myself. Teach said my core was definitely stronger and he also said my spirals were better! I was really excited when I stopped falling out of them and even more excited when he noticed the difference.

So he decided to introduce to me the whole…well, Maksim Chmerkovskiy calls it “the engine of dance”. The Chmerkovskiy minor (Val) calls it “collecting your center”.

Look, I’ll be completely honest. Teach told me to keep things forward. I keep thinking about it and I have no idea what he said or how he illustrated it or what I did to follow his instructions correctly, but a lot in my dancing was corrected in this. There was now way more fluidity and power in my movements. And – my favorite part – every time I caught a glimpse of my feet, THEY LOOKED LIKE LIANA’S. My arch was high and gorgeous.

I thought I had gotten cocky and was just imagining it until Teach brought it up. I was thrilled.

That’s really all. I’m excited to work on this!

Couple more things. I planned on, as I gathered dance experience, writing posts about tips and DIY for, I guess you could say, ballroom on a budget. I haven’t done anything but my lessons at this point, but I did find this link on Dance Comp Review on how to make your own rhinestone bangles! Click the image below for the article.

DIY Ballroom Jewelry: Rhinestone Bangles - DanceCompReview

DIY Ballroom Jewelry: Rhinestone Bangles – DanceCompReview

Absolutely love that web site. Almost every day, they post funny little videos on Instagram, things like “Ballroom dancer in heels vs. non ballroom dancer in heels” or “Ballroom dancers during the day vs. in the evening”.

For my last subject here, remember how excited we all were about Nino Langella and Anna Melnikova’s partnership? Well, the first full video of their show has surfaced from Ballroom Dance Tube’s Youtube Channel! They performed two weeks ago at the World Promotions South American Open in Argentina. Of course, the two look absolutely gorgeous together. My only qualm here is the slow, sad song just made me want to sleep. But I can’t wait to see more from them.

OK, I know I said that was the last thing, but I found this as the last upload on Ballroom Dance Tube’s Youtube channel and it was such a tasty little morsel I couldn’t not share it! Eugene Katsevman and Shirley Ballas dancing rumba at the Killick Klassick dance camp!

I swear, she defies all the laws of nature. I remember forever ago Derek posted a video on his Instagram of himself dancing salsa with Shirley and the sharpness in her turns (he – typical – was doing tons of arm wraps) was absolutely incredible. Her heyday was 20+ years ago (depending on what you consider her peak) and she hasn’t lost a step.


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