Ballroom Dance > lessons: what are you working on?

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

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  1. mamboqueen

    mamboqueen Well-Known Member

    Reading a book called "With Winning in Mind" and putting together a game plan for myself (setting goals, improving self-image, etc.) because when I compete ...and I don't get to do it enough to really be mentally prepared... my head is usually what will give me problems. This book is very good and what's in there makes sense. I can only think of what Sasha Cohen looked like as she was about to get on the rink in her long program - her face already spelled defeat...and she blew it. She lost before she even picked her skate into the ice. Anyway....I have nothing to lose, and in fact, had an excellent, excellent lesson yesterday because I've already started to change my attitude.
  2. alemana

    alemana New Member

    you're right about sasha.... great observation.
  3. latingal

    latingal Moderator Staff Member

    Hey MQ! Thanks for the tip...I think I'll go pick up the book, it sounds like good information!
  4. SPratt74

    SPratt74 New Member

    You know that it's interesting that you mention Sasha, because I thought of Stacy Keibler from DWTS. I know they are mentioned in another thread, but as soon as Drew pulled ahead of her, it was like her face just shouted defeat to me and I was disappointed in the rest of her dances. I don't know if the ankle thing even happened etc. Anyhow, I won't go into any more I don't think, but that's whom I thought of when I read your post.
  5. Magdalenka

    Magdalenka New Member

    hi, can you tell me how you can "develop your ankles more", what exactly does that mean?
  6. Josh

    Josh Active Member

    For spot turns, bathrooms are great (credit goes to Edie "the salsa freak" here for this). Any time you are in front of a mirror, you have a great opportunity to work on turns and spotting. In short, any time you are standing, do a turn. It's even better when others notice... it helps develop your confidence when they give you a funny look and you don't care. :) Either that or you get into a conversation with the person and it helps develop your communication skills. Either way, it's a win-win. :D
  7. chica latina

    chica latina New Member

    When you make a step, you should work the calf from your standing leg, which will make your ankle show in every step. My teacher used to put her hand in top of my feet at different positions and asked me to push as much as I could against her hand. By doing this repeateadly, you should be able to do it more each time... This is what will make your feet part of your leg and show really nice in all poses, standings with leg extended and pointing. I beleive everyone can improve it, but someone said to me that how much you can do will be limited by bone structure.
    Anyone knows if it's true?
  8. alemana

    alemana New Member

    i watched a local pro couple work on their bolero last night and got inspired to revisit my own - hopefully my coach will agree for tonight's lesson. i have a long way to go in understanding the character of bolero, but i do love the choreography we have so far and want to dance it as best i can.
  9. HCMikeC

    HCMikeC New Member

    I admittedly don't work very much on American V Waltz, but have to compete in it this weekend. I seem to feel like I lean back when I begin my left box. So I think this afternoon's lesson may have to revisit this.

    I also recently worked on a slight change in arm styling for cha cha (cross over breaks, etc). Feels much more comfortable now...much more natural than what I was doing before.
  10. cl5814

    cl5814 New Member

    anybody ever tried practicing their routine with closed eyes ? An interesting comment was made in the dance book, that when you compete there are no mirrors to give you feedback like during practice at studio. You have to rely on your other senses. It was suggested that you practice standing still and dance the routine in your head, next stand still but move your body - still with closed eyes and lastly, you end with dancing your routine with closed eyes. Of course you'll need someone to watch you so that you don't bump into people/objects.
    As a follower i was hesitant to move/step forward at the beginning of my dance hobby. My instructor asked me to close my eyes and just follow - he moved forward and backward, i just had to follow. I was able to step forward without hesitation. It really had a positive effect on my dancing.

    Anybody willing to try or have thoughts on this ?
  11. yanka

    yanka New Member

    I find that I'm a much better follower when I close my eyes. All problems that I run into, can eventually be corrected (temporarily) by my doing it with my eyes closed. I haven't done it in a while, but thanks for reminding me.

    I think the reason it workes is that normally (with eyes open), you try to guess what happens next, which isn't that hard since your partner will send visual cues that your brain has decoded to mean "I'm going to lead an alemana," etc, so you start heading in that direction before the leader really leads you. Hard to help it. Mostly subconscious. Closing your eyes aleviates that problem. It makes you align your body so that you're ready for ANY step, not just the particular step that you think will come next. Also, because you allow the leader to lead, you end up with clearer, sharper, and more committed movement.

    btw, you can't do this in latin competition bc it will look ridiculous. In standard, I've seen some women get away with it, but it still looks a little funny, esp. if the eyes are closed the entire time.
  12. Ithink

    Ithink Active Member

    No way should a woman dance with her eyes closed in competition in standard either! Are you kidding - what about floorcraft?! The follow has a huge responsibility to help the leader with floorcraft when he's backing line of dance. If I were those ladies' partner, I'd be very upset that they're just taking a backseat in competition and "just following". A competing partnership is 50/50 - when you're dancing with an essentially blind partner, you're facing a big handicap (pun intended)!
  13. wyllo

    wyllo New Member

    Not to mention that leading/following also has a visual component. Especially in latin/rhythm/smooth where there is work done without physical contact.
  14. caityrosey

    caityrosey New Member

    I agree that closing eyes is not a good idea in competition. It is useful while practicing sometimes.
  15. So my first open smooth competition was a great success. First place in all the single dances and third in the open Scholarship. Sunshine was really happy and my coach said I exceeded her expectations. Does it get any better that?
  16. dancesportgirl21

    dancesportgirl21 New Member

    Congrats Sunshine! Yesterday I had an awesome lesson- we worked on waltz and tango. In waltz we worked on the throwaway oversway and in tango we are working on a new open routine. I also removed some skin on one of my toes- lol! Gherman and Iveta were at my studio having a lesson with Peter Eggleton (my trainer's coach) and I got to talk to them and give them directions! They are such nice people! (With awesome Chrisanne practice clothes by the way). Can you believe Iveta makes all of her own dresses? She said that Dore may sponsor them soon and she was telling me about all the comps and how the pro 10 dance in Italy was great, so they stayed another day to play tourist. It was pretty cool to hear about all of the couples they compete against and their plans for the next couple of months. While I was sitting with them and my trainers I was putting band-aids on my nasty feet and Gherman just smiled at me and laughed to himself. Hey, at least someone gets it.
  17. SPratt74

    SPratt74 New Member

    Oh my feet are so ugly now! I have band-aids all over my feet! They look like I've been wearing the wrong kind of shoes or something if you didn't know that I was a dancer! Ewe lol! :p
  18. scotttocs

    scotttocs Member

    I never do it for long, but for certain steps when I am concentrating on musicality or other pieces I do close my eyes. Never for more than a beat or so unless I've someone watching/an empty floor and even then...

    But I find certain things work better when I don't look.

    (Still need to fix the problems when I am supposed to look and don't)
  19. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    eyes wide open at comp...end of my lesson...meh...just happens sometimes...
  20. Purr

    Purr Well-Known Member

    Yes, during a lesson, and tt really brings out any problems with partnering.
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