Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Bluesalicious Retrospective

I snapped out of my Saturday evening funk and had a very nice time for the rest of Bluesalicious. I was much more “on” the second night, which was nice. I finally figured out the disparity between my dancing experience this year and last year. Last year I felt like every dance was a life-changing experience – I learned something every single time I went out on the dance floor. This year I didn’t have that… and I realized it’s because I’ve become a better dancer since last year. When the only place you have to go is up, of course you can learn from everything.

Anyway, it was a good weekend. In addition to dancing I did a bit of geocaching, which was fun. One of these years maybe I’ll manage to find a Memphis hotel that isn’t god awful.

Notable leads: anyone from Austin, Texas. In particular: Reed, who I danced probably 15 songs with and who had a super fun relaxed lead with room to play. Also Clint, who is still fun to dance with even if his body rolls aren’t quite as smooth as last year (or maybe that’s just my back?). Matthew, from who knows where, but I had a super fun side-walk dance with him. Same guy who made me blush with micro blues last year, but he didn’t remember me and I didn’t remind him. Tyler (and the entire Purdue group) was great as well – I realized that last year he was the first guy shorter than I am that I danced with confidently. All 3 Jeffs that I danced with were great fun, as well. I definitely got lead in some dips and drags that were totally new to me this year.

Continuing to work on lead matching and turns. Need to smooth my doubles out a bit, as they’re hitching in the middle at the moment. Also need to figure out what’s wrong with my pirouettes with regards to balance – I’ve been trying to keep my free leg up longer so I can kick through the end of the turn, but it’s proving difficult. Back and knees behaved in a so-so fashion – some pain, but no swelling, which is a plus.

This weekend is the ATLX late night and Boulevard Blues in Macon, both of which I am anticipating greatly. Also, need to wrap up a quick Sweet Molasses Blues post, as I’ve been putting it off. My next big event isn’t until Show Me Blues in June, but I have 2 Soul Shakers shows and 2 Boulevard Blues to tide me over until then!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Bluesalicious 2010 Interlude

I'm trying to get a nap in before the Bluesalicious evening and late night, but instead I'm laying awake thinking about dancing. What makes an "on" night versus and "off" night? What causes variations in my quality of movement? Why do I inherently trust some leads, but others I dance too carefully with, as though I'm afraid I'll break them, or knock them over, or something?

Just a few of the questions floating around in my brain. I had an excellent night of dancing last night, but I just didn't quite feel like I was "on." I felt like I was using the same movements and tricks in a lot of my dances, and with the exception of one or two notable leads, didn't feel like every dance was broadening my blues experience. Have I finally hit a plateau in my upward momentum? For a long time I felt like every single dance made me a better dancer - I suppose it had to end sometime.

Hmm. Words. Don't get me wrong - I'm having a great weekend and there are great leads here... I'm just feeling a bit pensive. I suppose we'll see how tonight goes. After that - I think I need to go to a workshop weekend where I actually attend the classes instead of dancing myself to death during the social dances. Anything to get myself up and moving again. BluesShout, perhaps?