The Return to Competitive Practice

For the first time since April, I was able to return to the weekly competitive practice Boss runs.

Overall, it wasn’t too bad.  Definitely my endurance has slipped, but I expected that.  In the end, I did managed to dance all the dances twice, except samba, and I managed to dance almost the entire time in each dance I did.  Boss was taking it a little easy and stopped whenever he felt me start to struggle, but he was really pleased with how the latin went.

The standard run-through drove me a little crazy.  It’s been so long since we have done a standard run-through both Boss and I were having trouble remembering the steps.  He made some changes to the foxtrot about a month ago, and neither of us could remember them exactly.  The first watlz I couldn’t seem to find the right position, but once boss pointed out I was really pulling my arms back, that helped me regroup for the next few dances.  We had a really great VW, especially the left turns. I am not used to turning so much though and got quite dizzy by the end.  That’s definitely going to need some conditioning.  My position got better in standard, but it irks me a little how inconsistent it was.

I should really give myself a break as I am just starting to understand how I need to be for the correct position, so it is going to be inconsistent, but I guess I had hoped for better.  Boss seemed please with the sway overall through standard and made a point of saying he was pleased with the first line of the foxtrot that it was ‘pretty cool’.

Definitely, there are some points to work on for future practices, the next one being in 3 weeks (Boss does one week wtih me, one with two students who do 5 dances each, and takes a break).  There is a small hope he might be adding a pro/am practice during the week, so I am hopeful for that.

Boss wants me to relax a little on standard right now.  He knows that everything about standard is going to change after my surgery, so at this point, and since we won’t be competing in it at the competition in October, he doesn’t want to do a lot of work in it, especially since I rely a lot on physical sensations for my progress.  We are really going to have to start a bit from the beginning in January with standard, and I am not looking forward to that.  In the meantime though, I would like to try and get down a little more consistently the physical sensations we are working with.

Latin today went really well.  Boss was extremely happy with all the routines, and the number of details that came out as we worked through them today.  All of them went exceptionally well, and almost all of the details we worked on managed to make it into the routines in one way or another.  I think he was surprised I had so many of the details nailed down, since I didn’t take any notes, and I got to ‘one up’ him a little because I remembered details he forgot.  The Latin routines are really feeling good right now AND I did them in my full 2 1/2 ” heels.  There were some balance issues here and there, especially near the end of each routine as I was getting tired, but I was able to get through each routine strongly.  The first Paso was definitely rough, but the second was pretty bang on.

Boss was impressed with a few different things, so I have to give myself a pat on the back.  We had worked on our natural tops in all dances and I nailed every one with exactly the technical changes he had given me.  The difference is huge as the small changes mean a lot of extra momentum and it was all controlled.  Boss made a point of saying he could tell I have been working hard on the routines because the biggest difference was that I was dancing more on my own and not relying on him to help me do the steps as much as before.  That allowed him to bring things ‘up a notch’ with the things we are doing together.

I definitely feel more confident in the latin routines that I had before.  I am not dancing them ‘inside’ myself as I was previously.  I am just going for them and doing them full steam.  I feel like I have more control, but also that I am not having to work to keep that control the way I used to.

Just a little more endurance and all would be good.  I am really pleased though with how Latin went today and I really surprised myself a lot.  I think I surprised Boss a lot too.  I don’t think I have had so many positive comments from him, but after not doing something for a long time, I think it’s a little easier to impress than when it is week to week.

I feel very motivated after the practice today, and I think it’s something that has been missing for me–just that opportunity to run through routines from top to bottom without stopping and thinking.  Just going out and dancing and seeing how it goes.  It’s great to know I can still do it, even after all this time and everything my body has been through and is going through.

I am not where I was, but I am not as far behind as I feared.

Now I have to go do my latin homework from Boss 🙂

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