Ballroom Dance > lessons: what are you working on?

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by alemana, Mar 8, 2006.

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  1. alemana

    alemana New Member

    this forum is kind of bad with recurring threads that persist, but i'd love to be able to come and read regularly what folks are working on at their lessons on a weekly basis.

    please let's keep the other chatter to a minimum to maximize the utility of the commentary, shall we?

    so i'll start.
  2. alemana

    alemana New Member

    after my most recent comp i decided i wanted to return to basic movement.

    we'd been doing mostly choreography and i was getting far enough along in my dancing to realize that i needed a lot of work on the building blocks - that without them, the house would crumble.

    after a short struggle, i convinced my coach, and we spent an hour doing forward, backward and side movement in rumba. the results were astounding. it's now been two weeks of mostly no choreography, mostly all movement.

    i told him i wanted to be able to practice these things reliably on my own, rather than worrying (as i did up til recently) if i were doing it wrong and thereby internalizing and automating bad habits.

    my walks are improving almost minute-to-minute as a result. i've been pleasantly surprised with the level of technical expertise he's been able to convey to a beginner like myself, and also with my ability to absorb and execute.

    now when i stand in the practice room by myself, i know what the hell to do - my anxiety about really drilling the movement is decreased, so i practice it more.

    the challenge, of course, is keeping that quality of movement in the choreography. that's next!

    what're you working on?
  3. cl5814

    cl5814 New Member

    slightly off topic......

    I spend 6 months last year on learning bronze quickstep in group class and private lessons, my first standard dance. I looked at the step list the other day (since international style is also popular in South Africa) and realized that only now am i ready for all the other technical detail i have written down.

    Had i had an instructor now or if i was dancing, i would've worked on those technical details in bronze level. Luckily some of the quickstep figures are also waltz figures. Should i ever return to dance, i would stay in bronze until i am happy with it.
  4. Purr

    Purr Well-Known Member

    Monday evening I had a group class. The first part of the class was on bolero technique, focusing on the basic step, the cross over break, and a swivel exericse. The second part of the class was on swing/jive technique, using a practice exercise. Following group class, I had a lesson, which was on the samba routine.

    I had another lesson last night. The first part of the lesson followed up on bolero technique, focusing just on the basic step. There's a lot of leg and ankle stregnth involved in bolero! The middle part of the lesson was dancing west coast swing, which seemed to go well and was pretty fun. The last part of the lesson was again on the samba routine. As with bolero, there's a lot of leg and ankle stregnth involved with samba, and executing the steps with proper technique is quite the challenge.

    I also have a group class tonight, and possibly one Friday, as well as another lesson scheduled for Sunday. Let's get this party started, gearing up a competition this summer.
  5. alemana

    alemana New Member

    you're right about bolero. it's a workout.
  6. chica latina

    chica latina New Member

    My partner is out of town, so I am going to practice on my own to use my feet more during basic figures. I got new shoes that seem to have a higher heel, even thought the box says 3" and I want to make sure I develop my ankles more so I will never look flat-footed.
  7. alemana

    alemana New Member

    what do you mean by looking flat-footed?
  8. fire_dancer

    fire_dancer New Member

    What I'm working on:


  9. I’ve been getting ready for a comp I have this Friday. It’s going to be the first where I debut our new open routines (This time in smooth). I finally seem to have the routines down but of course Sunshine keeps changing them up to the last minute. Also working on Technique, Styling and Arms (always a problem).
  10. Twilight_Elena

    Twilight_Elena Well-Known Member

    Turns. Spot turns, spin turns, threestep turns, spirals, "cross unwind"s.

    Twilight Elena
  11. caityrosey

    caityrosey New Member

    Stretching and extending the back and arms.
    Using the back of my legs.
  12. alemana

    alemana New Member

    god, this is fascinating. it's giving me such good ideas!
  13. latingal

    latingal Well-Known Member

    My pro and I usually take a "fun" break after we complete our comps for the year. We usually work on something other than latin to give ourselves a break, this year we chose to work on some standard. It's been a blast...I'll be returning to preparing for latin comps next month.

    It's had an interesting side effect though, I continue to work on my routines and lots of basics in latin on my own to keep the technique going. It's been three months of no privates in latin and I have come out of this period much more confident, comfortable and more expressive in my latin...and my pro is telling me it shows! :D

    I guess even though all the criticism I receive in lessons is constructive, the constant work on it just beats down my confidence (you I ever going to get it right?). I think we tend to forget that as we get better we just find more and more details to work on!

    So, as we go forward I am working on staying relaxed and confident in my latin. I'm trying to remember to FEEL the movement, not just to do it correctly!!!
  14. SPratt74

    SPratt74 New Member

    Oh I am so having problems with my turns! I don't know what is wrong with me, except that I keep going back to my Ballerina day's lol! Does anyone have any advice as to how to practice turns? I want to nail them, so I can learn other cool things!
  15. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    :-( Why did you leave dance?
  16. latingal

    latingal Well-Known Member

    Hey SPratt74! What problems are you having? Balance, speed, spotting?
  17. alemana

    alemana New Member

    latingal, that is inspiring. i find the same - when i go away from my dancing for a while, it comes back MUCh less robotically and more more expressively.

    i love the idea of working on standard.. i have fantasies of this myself. specifically of becoming a nine-dancer.
  18. SPratt74

    SPratt74 New Member

    Hi! You name it... I'm having problems with it when it comes to my turns! Especially balance! I'm learning the Waltz, and I just can't bring myself to balance without shaking. It's like why am I shaking lol? I feel bad for my instructor, because I do shake a lot when I start bending my knees that type of thing. Do you have any ideas how I might be able to improve on that? ;)
  19. Twilight_Elena

    Twilight_Elena Well-Known Member

    Turns... you can never do too many. I suggest you do what I did: we took one hour and devoted it to turns. We mostly did threestep and spiral (which are both tricky). The key is realising how the move breaks down and then practicing very, very slowly. Be conscious of where your weight is and where you should be looking (incredibly important and helpful).
    Of course the fact that it took me one hour to realise how they're done doesn't mean it will take you one hour. Might take you more. Also doesn't mean that you will be able to do them after the lesson. Practice, practice, practice. It's frustrating. Also try to spot, you won't get so dizzy so you'll do more practice! ;)

    Twilight Elena
  20. standardgirl

    standardgirl New Member

    currently working on activating my center and everything below that, will most likely be working on this as a lifetime goal......
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