That was one of the themes of my last set of lessons.
We were looking at the cha cha which has an elaborate new york sequence and in doing the new yorks we had a conversation about body position. Part of that included a switch from a flat body position to one that emphasizes angles.
Essentially, I was told that no matter what step I am doing, I need to work to stretch from shoulder to opposite hip. There is no more being ‘flat’. Its a progression to move my dance forward and bring it to the next level.
It’s actually quite a mindset change for me. Its going to take some work, but because it involves a stretch it should be easy to mark when I can feel when I am doing it. Its a challenge to give myself, especially while I am away.
We also discussed my right arm and the limitations from the scar tissue. We tried a few different positions for it with it elevated and we really couldn’t find a position for it extended over my head that didn’t raise my should or even look really good. My left arm was ok. In the end, we agreed that we would avoid having my right arm up from now on we wouldn’t ever put it into that position, and agreed on 3 positions that would work – on my hip, bent to my head, and extended at shoulder height.
I feel better with that agreement. It really doesn’t look good when I put my arm up and that is a good compromise. I can do it on the left side and in many ways that allows for some built in variety.
We really worked through the cha cha which helped break it down and identify the problem points for me. In a few places it was a matter that I was overturning and ending up facing wrong direction in places.
We also went over the beginning of the samba again to review the promenade runs and iron out and clarify some of the points there. We got pretty much to the same point as last lessons but I feel like I understand it much better now. I have to sort out some arm issues, but in general at least the first few steps are coming together. We also spent time working on cruzado walks, the main point being I need to move my hips more and (of course) work on getting the angles.
In the group class we also focused on samba, working on whisks, bota fogos, and voltas. It was a good review of the technique overall and left me with a lot to think about.
Work has been crazy again and despite trying really hard I haven’t been able to do practice so far this week. Thankfully with the long weekend I will get a chance to practice Friday, Saturday and Monday without worrying about work. I plan to definitely catch up. I am also dealing with a bit of an ear infection, so I am hoping that clears up as my balance has been a bit wonky.
Time to move things forward from flat to angled.