Had a bit of a breakthrough in this dance last night.

For the longest time, everything I did in quickstep seemed heavy, plodding and slow.

Last night, continuing with the plan to work through the standard routines we switched over to quickstep after a review of the waltz.  After working on the first short line, which has it’s own challenges with pivots and heel turns (who decided heel turns were ok in Quickstep!?!?!), we moved on to the second long line, which just never seems to come together for me.

The line isn’t overly complicated, but it does have a lot of quick changes from promenade to closed position and a couple rotations tossed in for good measure.  One of the biggest issues I had with this line was really a lack of confidence that I knew the steps.  Because of that, I had a habit to think of it in chunks consisting of 3 steps at a time and that was making it slow and heavy.

Last night, I had to switch my thinking from the steps to the full sequence–thinking through the whole line from start to finish and just keeping my feet moving.

As soon as I did that suddenly the entire feel of the line got lighter and made more sense as a whole.

I still had some issues forgetting where to change to promenade and over-rotating at points, but overall the entire sequence suddenly got much smoother and more flowing.  Instead of moving more chunky and up and down, the sequence started moving forward because my focus was more forward.

It seems like a small thing, but it made a huge difference, and it also made executing the sequence somehow easier and much less work. It was one of those ultimate ‘aha’ moments.  I can’t wait to try the Quickstep in a bigger hall where we have more room to travel and see how it goes.

I think I get a little paranoid in Quickstep because it is one dance where if I lose control or mess up there is really nothing Boss can do to keep it together and on track just from the momentum and power involved.  Last night though went a long way to building my own confidence in the sequences, and hopefully that will continue the more we work through it.

At the end of the lesson, we did some work on the oversway as Boss wanted to do some work on picture lines and he told me to expect more work on that tonight.  It’s certainly a different focus and interesting to work on.

For myself, this afternoon is going to be some self-practice on Paso Doble.  I am not entirely sure why but I really have a bit of a block on this routine lately.  I want to do it at about half speed, so trying to do it at full speed is not working.  I can’t seem to bridge the gap between the two speeds, but I am hoping to find some music to help.  One of the biggest issues I am having right now is that my mind knows the steps, but my feet do not.  It’s a bit strange as usually I have the opposite problem–my feet know the steps, but my mind thinks too much to get it together.  I did ask Boss if we could try it at speed last night together and it was a disaster.  We didn’t even get to the first highlight before I was so far behind and confused it fell apart.  OY.  The surprising thing that did work was the section where I have 3 spins in a row.  THAT I could do on time, but simple forward and back steps I couldn’t.  At least that tells me if I can get my mind and feet working together it should be possible and work.  Just.need.lots.of.repetition.

Hopefully today will be the day for a Paso breakthrough!

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