Footwork blues

There’s been a whole lot of Rumba & Cha Cha lately. Last week’s Monday & Wednesday technique class and the private lesson on Saturday – all Cha Cha. Last night’s technique class – Rumba.  As much as the steps and figures are similar, it is in the focus of how to execute the differences that is the challenge lately. My arches and balls of my feet were cramping up after 45 minutes of quarter turns, half turns and full turns.

You look at the professionals and daydream that one day you’d be able to move like that, then you spot your reflection in the mirror and it dawns on you how far you still have to go to even hit the “good enough” mark.  It’s amazing how much detail to every step you check off mentally when you are practicing to super slowed down music, and then when you hit the floor on a social and the music is real time,  you just hit one out of five of the checks because dammit, it’s just too fast. Connection to the floor (going through demi-pointe to pointe) , engage your core and balance, thigh to thigh, switching knee, correct hip motion, track your feet under your body not forward, isolations… and before I know it I also have to follow through the lead to a fan and then a sharp spiral turn.

So when Top Dog yells “Seduce me with your body!“, I sure as hell make a mental note and try not to giggle at the bizarre-ness of the situation. It’s hard to work on your arms, body, time, space and connection when you’re racing through all the stuff that you want your feet to do. I have also noticed that the better dancer the lead is, the more insecurely I will dance: I want so badly to do it right,  being relaxed is quickly out of the window. I know I have to learn how to walk before I run, learn how to do things correctly before I focus on the styling elements. Sometimes when I look back on the video recording of how I move it’s such a disappointment because it feels like I’m doing such big movements, exaggerating even, yet my projection is so small. I really need to work on that.

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