I was a little frustrated with my dancing this past week. After a breakthrough the week before and feeling like I was understanding more about why my body hurt while dancing and how to fix it, I went home from Tuesday’s lesson with my back aching in that old trouble spot. We were working on Foxtrot, and I thought I employed the same tweaks as the week before that made my movement in Waltz so much more powerful and less painful. Apparently not, or at least not with the same results. Thursday, we returned to Waltz and while I felt like I made some minor progress, my back was still aching.Continue reading
I’m officially back to regular private lessons, twice a week! I think it’s been over a year since I’ve had more than one lesson in a week. It felt strange, in a good way, to return to the studio for that second day. My sense of what day it was, shaky at best since the pandemic, was also thrown off, but for the chance to dance more, I didn’t mind.Continue reading
I had the opportunity to apply some upgraded technique to my Open Waltz routine this week. Well, maybe I should say I learned that I needed to apply less. I have a tendency to do too much because I think I’m not doing enough. This week, I learned I was rotating way too much in a slip pivot, which then put me at the wrong angle for my heel pull, which then threw me off for the steps coming out of the heel pull. All that was corrected beautifully when I just stopped trying to do so much. Less was more.
Life continues to be really weird, so it was nice to have a moment when things actually made sense.Continue reading
Happy Fourth of July, dancers! Does it feel different to anyone else? Well, to be fair, every day of 2020 feels different than the years before. But this Independence Day in particular feels significant because it follows a month of protests and demonstrations over the fact that so many citizens of this country still don’t enjoy the freedoms that this country is so proud of.
The energy has quieted down on my social media feeds as people return to their “regularly scheduled programming” after expressing support or solidarity for social justice for a week or so. And now it’s Independence Day! It feels like a prime opportunity/symbolic transition point to commit long term to evolving into a better country that believes that all are created equal (no qualifier necessary).
For my part, I’m continuing to work to evolve into a better dancer and person overall. As we go through this series, I’ll share different parts of my vision for my future self. Something that the last few months has made me recognize (and I can’t remember if I’ve already shared this with you) is that our ballroom bubble is an illusion.Continue reading
It’s not easy to admit when you’re wrong, and even harder to admit when you were wrong about completely sucking as a dancer. It’s weird because it’s like you’re humbling and boosting yourself at the same time. “Ok ok, I was wrong. I am a good dancer.”
It’s been two and a half weeks since my last dance lesson, which was also the last time I danced ballroom at all. Being busy with other things, like driving across country, Thanksgiving, blog- and book-related work, and the day job (yes, still working the day job!), has helped keep the withdrawal symptoms tolerable. The Zumba game has helped too; I think it’s going to be my ticket to avoiding too much holiday weight gain in the next month. But finally, this morning, I broke out my ballroom practice shoes.
Are you still out there? I apologize once again for being M.I.A. for a week. I haven’t even been around to the other Ballroom Villagers’ blogs, which I also apologize for. I haven’t been completely inactive in the realm of blogging; I’ve been working on guest posts for another website and my upcoming virtual book tour. You can check out the link for more information on where Dance Diaries will be! I’ll be honest, my internal emotional rollercoaster has taken me on bigger loops and steeper drops the last couple weeks too. Makes it difficult to organize my thoughts and produce something readable.
But that’s no excuse to neglect you.
So while I’m still waiting for the ride to at least slow down a bit, I thought I would give you a simple update on the latest development on my ballroom journey: the practice partner!
This past week, I had my two regular lessons, one working on rhythm and the other working on smooth. During the rhythm lesson, we danced the cha cha routine to music and I NAILED that stupid spin TWICE! Then we worked on rumba and I “upgraded” my hip movement, according to Teacher. During the smooth lesson, we revisited tango. Teacher wanted me to focus on keeping my right arm forward (I tended to let it pull back, especially when the movement required me to put my left side forward). We worked on these tiny adjustments I could make to be able to take my left side forward without affecting the right.
You know how your teacher will tell you to do something and keep telling you you’re not doing it and then all of a sudden, after making the tiniest adjustment that you may or may not be aware that you made, they exclaim “yes, that’s it!”? Usually, in that situation, I have no idea what adjustment I made. But during this week’s smooth lesson, I actually started to feel it. I consciously made a tiny correction while we were dancing and Teacher felt it and confirmed it was correct!
Sounds like an awesome week, right? Well, it was!
So what’s the catch? There must be something, it can’t all be good.