Monday, October 6, 2008

Follower's Footsteps - Week 1

Hmm, I suppose I never got around to writing up a physical therapy post, complete with lists of home-exercises. Ah well, I think they're pretty well ingrained in my head at this point.

Anyway, I started a 4 week class series last thursday, and it was Damn Excellent. It's called "Follower's Footsteps" and it's an int/adv class focused on women and spicing up our dancing. Sadly, I'll only be able to go to 3 of the 4 weeks.

The class size is absolutely perfect - 4 women plus Evin, who is teaching. It's free for leads, and we actually ended up perfectly balanced last week. Ideal! One of the leads is Evin's husband... whose name I totally know, and remembered last week in spite of only having met him once... but it's gone from my head now. Stupid brain. Anyway, he's SO fantastic to dance with, and a fun guy to boot. He gave me some really great feedback on how the different things we tried in class last week felt from a lead perspective.

Right, so, last week we worked on loosening our frame - how long have I been working on that now? My problem is that even if I start loose, I tighten up the longer I go. Just need to keep concentrating and practicing. Anyway, using said loose frame, we worked on a swing out variant that involves kind of walking into your arm, almost like you're clotheslining yourself. This creates an interesting shape, and leaves you room to play with your feet and body isolations some. It's very essential to keep that nice loose frame thoughout, because if you're loose you can really communicate to your lead that you're doing something different, just in the way that your hand creates weight and counter-balance. If you're too tight, the "sproing" of the swingout doesn't change, so he'll be less likely to leave you the play space you're asking for.

We mostly focused on taking the time and improvising, but Evin did give us one specific bit of footwork to try - it basically amounts to a sweep-step on 6 and a pivot with a little bobble-step on 8 to get back in place.

Next week: Tuck Turns!