If you’re on vacation, why not dance?
It was a busy but really productive day today in my dance world.
First, I had my styling detail session with Boss, or at least the first session. We worked through rumba, paso and samba, which are probably the easiest routines for us to work on for styling as a lot of it was either already worked out some, or has a lot of time in hold (paso and samba). It was really productive though to go through each routine in detail and figure out things like where we connect, where I need to make sure my hands are so we can connect (hard to do an underarm turn if my hand is down!), and to try a little bit of some new things (skirt work!).
Going through the styling details like that also helped cement the routines together and provide some symmetry where we were missing some before. I finally worked out my shimmy part in samba–I just have to keep my confidence through it!
Later in the day I had a dress fitting for my smooth dress, and it is really coming along well! It was also Boss’s first time seeing the smooth dress, and he seemed to be pleasantly surprised to like it. We only had a few details to adjust and sort out, but it is well on it’s way to coming together. I also got to see all the stones for it, and I got to see some of the stoning progress on my latin dress (which looks So amazing now!). I am really excited for how all of the dresses are coming together.
In the evening I had a regular lesson, although not at the usual hall due to the holidays. We spent the lesson working through the waltz routine in little details, fixing the places where I just didn’t seem to keep it together. We spent the most time on the fallaway and slip pivot to the contra check, and it finally clicked together for me how all those pieces work together and how the contra check is supposed to work. Because the hall was smaller we were limited to doing small segments at a time, but that worked really well.
It was nice to spend some time on standard today, it’s been a little while as we have been working getting the smooth and latin routines together. Boss told me today we are making a little bit of a change from what we usually do. Instead of using the legs to travel, he has me focusing more on using the legs for swing, sway and rotation. It’s a small change, but I like it a lot. I feel a little more controlled in moving, and finally I can feel standard starting to take shape beyond just the steps.
We did discover a bit of an anomaly in how I get into position. I have a habit of stepping too far forward, which puts me too close, but I also tend to lead with my left side forward, which also puts me too far to the left side. It took a little bit of adjustment and trial and error, but I realized I was doing that because with the loss of sensation through my chest, lower belly and upper thighs, I started using my left hip as my ‘grounding point’ to figure out when I was in position. Unfortunately, this tends to wrap me too much around Boss’s side, so we were working on finding new ways and a new grounding point and a visual clue to help me out. What seems to work for now is to make sure I come straight towards Boss, aiming to put the edge of my right side in his centre, and to only take two steps forward (left foot, right foot) and let Boss close the gap if needed from there. It’s a small change of habit that I am sure I am going to have lots of practice with over the next few lessons.
Boss said today that the intent is to keep working through the standard routines over the lessons this week and I am looking forward to digging into the rest of them some more (waltz is the easiest dance for me to pick up, so the rest should be challenging).
One of the biggest advantages to how I have been feeling lately is that my mind is sharp and focused again and that really showed today. I can feel all of the information from today processing in my brain and I can tell it’s going to stick. I have also had more energy lately which is also helping a lot and I am really feeling a lot like my old self.
As I continue to feel better, it amazes me the details that are coming back. Things that I used to do automatically (like travel, press into the floor, stretch through my whole body) are suddenly coming back–and I didn’t even realize I had stopped doing them. I just feel so much stronger overall and more connected with myself than I have been in a very long time–and not only in dance. It’s such a relief.
Even my lessons have been a bit more intense requiring a lot more effort lately and I have been a bit proud of myself for being able to step up. It seems like it has been a long time since I have had lessons that have been a lot of ‘go go go’ and I am really enjoying that. I hope that my endurance is also improving. For the first time in a long time, I feel like I am really preparing for a competition–not just going through the motions.
It’s back to work tomorrow, at least partly, and I have lessons every night the rest of this week, and will have another styling session on Friday.
I keep saying it over and over–but it’s really true now.