Lessons 7 & 8: Jive & Cleaning

Hi there, ballroom dancers!

I’ve just realized that I didn’t hear anything at all about Dance Legends this year. The web site says it’s “on sabbatical” for 2017. Wonder why!

Well, two lessons ago, Matt and I were both a little loopy. He’d just spent the weekend at Wisconsin Dancesport, and I didn’t get much sleep myself. The lesson consisted of us babbling things that didn’t make much sense and asking each other questions that neither of us knew the answers to.

I finished stretching and then he choreographed my jive routine! He and I hate all the same syllabus figures, which added to the laughs. He put one of the figures we hate into the routine, though. I’m pretty sure we both dance it wondering why it even exists.

Riccardo & Yulia jive, Disney 2015 (c) Marius Mutin

Riccardo & Yulia jive, Disney 2015 (c) Marius Mutin

“You’re done with all your routines! Congratulations!” he high-fived me.

The lesson after that consisted of cleaning my cha cha and rumba. Apparently my cha cha and rumba look kind of the same because I’m missing the precision. So that’s one more thing to keep in mind – I need to know where to hit the accents.

I’ve also been working out first thing every day for the past two months. I used to pole dance to cross train for ballroom, but for the past year, my free time has been limited. Now I can’t pole dance at all. So I’ve been doing old-fashioned crunches and pushups (almost) every morning. Originally I started with 20 crunches and 10 pushups. Now I’m up to 110 crunches and 40 pushups. I’m wondering if I should take up running too, in order to build my stamina.

Anyway, I guess what I’m doing is working! First of all, I’m not getting back pain anymore. Second – and this is the important one – Mario Battista, a very experienced dancer and instructor instructor, was in the studio with us, giving a lesson to a couple. On our way out, Matt turned and yelled “MARIO! CIAO, BELLO!” Mario (who was a national top 3 professional 10 dancer) called back, “Good night, Matt! By the way, she looks good!”

Matt, ever the clown, responded with, “I know, I’m trying to catch up to her!”

The door shut behind us and I hit Matt about 15 times. “HE SAID I LOOK GOOD! I’M MAKING PROGRESS!” I squealed. “You are, and you’re only gonna get better!” he said.

Except, I’ll admit…I still have trouble remembering my routines. I only remember my samba routine the way I should. I don’t know why that is. I’ve always had the same problem – I can remember choreography extremely well until about 2/3 of the way through. Although, I can remember the ends of my routines better when I’m dancing them with Matt.

But what if he forgets?! Shouldn’t I be the one to have his back? This is a partnership, after all. I need to get on that. Know all four of my routines like I know my samba.

Off topic: Rashad Jennings and Emma Slater won Dancing With the Stars! I am THRILLED. I didn’t even watch this season and I threw them all my votes.

I’ve got a lesson with Matt later today! We didn’t get to do one last week, so I’m really excited. It’s always the best part of my week.

I’ll tell you all about it!

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