Monday, June 9, 2008

Buenos Aires Blues Recap

Ok, saving the bellyaching about this event for LJ – this post is just about the stuff I learned.

Tango is Le Hard! It’s so very different to stay “up” and on your toes and a little forward. Some takeaway points, other than the obvious:

  • Always collect your feet under you after a step. Make your ankles brush if necessary – seems a good reminder to have your feet together, and it looks nice.
  • Pay attention to the lead’s chest and shoulders – this is good for getting visual feedback about when to do pivots. Once I manage to get better and following tango this crutch will be less necessary.

Hmm. I though I had more points than that, but maybe not. In spite of the difficulty level I do really want to learn some more tango - I think the subtlety of it w

On blues stuff there isn’t much to write about, except to give myself a reminder to try and teach Bert the really cool counter balanced pivot turn. If we end up doing a private with Mike I’ll definitely bring that up a something to learn – Bert actually does the counter balance stuff well enough that I think we could pull it off (unlike many of the leads from BaB. Blargle). I think I spent most of the weekend over-thinking my blues dancing, and thus didn’t do a very good job – I just need to shut my damn eyes, stop thinking, and go with it. Still, the class with Michael and Jaya gave me some interesting blues-style things to think about – namely with tap stepping, using each stap or step to send your hips back and up. This creates an interesting body dynamic, without being to lindy-bouncy.

Tying a couple of things back into Mike’s Master Class from the other day: she’s totally right about trusting my lead. I caught myself being very tentative when dancing with a couple of new people... if varied by how well I felt like I could understand them. The couple of great dancers I danced with I followed unerringly and unabashedly, but especially with beginning/intermediate people I found myself holding back a lot. The result is that my dancing seems hesitant sometimes, or I don’t end up where I need to be, because I don’t trust where they’re putting me. I also think some of the styling from Michael & Jaya will help me put as much oomph into my “up” stance as my “down” stance.

Oh, and as a reference note: my knees both got swollen and achy by the end of the day saturday. Not sure if it was the standing or the dancing. Ice packs and advil brought the swelling down in time for the evening dance, but I was tingy again the next day (albeit without the swelling).

Guess that’s it. Glad I managed to get something useful out of the weekend.

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