All Foxtrot, All the Time

Since I didn’t get a chance to write yesterday, figured two today would be ok.

Since the performance is behind us and we have a high-level standard coach coming in a couple weeks, boss decided to start re-focusing on standard again.

I am nervous about this.  We stopped working so much on standard when I started the drug I am on now because the drug causes edema and body aches and standard is very hard physically on my body as we are really working to develop my frame and endurance.

I am still on the same drug, but I have been doing a lot of work on standard to develop and hold my frame on my own (basically my practice ends with me holding my standard position for 3 mins).  We haven’t had a chance to incorporate that into when we dance together, at least not with any consistency.

The last time this coach was here, my frame was the main thing we worked out–getting me to use the right muscles and stretch them instead of using the wrong muscles and contracting them.  So taking a few weeks to focus on standard makes a lot of sense to me.

I just hope my body is up to it as I finish my treatments.

Standard is challenging for me in general because unlike latin, I don’t seem to just naturally adapt to the movement and my body just doesn’t seem to want to connect all together and move as a block.

Up until now, a lot of our focus in standard has been on my feet movement and of course, posture.  It is only recently that my posture has developed to something consistent and allowed me to make a good frame.  But the problem is that what my upper body does is not connected with the lower body at all.  I keep ‘breaking’ in the middle.  So if I turn my upper body for a turn, that doesn’t influence what my feet do and vice versa.

Boss told me last night he has been experimenting to try and figure out a way to get me to move my body more like a block in standard.  He has tried getting me to focus on pushing up from my feet, to think about moving my upper body, but hasn’t yet found what ‘clicks’ for me.  Part of the problem is that I am not really aware of when my body does things like ‘breaking’, pulling my arms back, etc.  And unfortunately, developing that awareness is not something I can do on my own because I am usually influenced by him, and the main thing I need to do is maintain my forward contact with him.

Last night, though, he thinks he may have figured out something that might work.  Instead of focusing on one part or the other, he wants me to focus on both my feet and my upper body–to see if that gets them working altogether.  Not sure if it is working, but he seemed to notice a difference.

I think the main thing I need is to focus on both of those while consistently working with him.

So it seems, except for my lessons on smooth with the second instructor from here, my lessons are going to be ‘all foxtrot, all the time’.

We’ll see how it goes 🙂


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