Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Waltz Repair

A Day Goes By by Artist on Grooveshark

I've been dancing a couple times in the past few weeks.  The weekly orthopedic massages are producing a significant step up in functionality every week.

I started taking a tai chi class at the local community college.  The class is next door to a social dance class taught by JW.  The music that comes through the adjoining doors is enjoyable but I get distracted and feel like I need to waltz instead of doing my tai chi form.  I think the tai chi teacher likes the song above because he left the room probably to check out why Chinese sounding music was playing for ballroom dancing.

There was a huge gender imbalance in the social dance class so I asked if she wanted an extra follow for the hour before my tai chi class started.  I got two days of free dancing although the level of the community college class doesn't compare to around Stanford.  Things I don't experience dancing around Stanford include: the lead inserting his arm quite far into my T-shirt sleeve more than once, getting a big thumbnail scraped up the entire inner side of my forearm leaving a wide red line (I feel like I need to bring antiseptic in the future), and having multiple guys putting their hand pretty much on the side of the wrong female anatomy part.

On the plus side, I am now able to do light dancing for an hour immediately followed by almost two hours of tai chi although I still take the rest of 24-48 hours to recover.

On Friday, I went to FNW and had another new experience of dancing with a guy whose belly was so big that I had to stick my butt out to dance with him which makes underarm turns interesting.

I've been to FNW a few times in the past month and am gradually increasing the number of dances I can do.  At this point, I skip the polkas and had to quit in the middle of a schottische.  My rusty dancing is starting to feel a bit better but I've been having problems with left-turning waltz.  Finally, after dancing with J during the previous FNW, I mentioned that I still didn't know what I was doing wrong.  He said, "I do!  But I don't know if you want me to tell you."  To which I responded, "YES, I DO!"  Basically, I forgot that crossing the left foot in front helps get around.  It's nice when someone is able to break it down precisely and engineering-like.  There were three levels in this process, the verbal, the demo, and the actual dancing.  It didn't actually re-click until I found my foot crossing in front during an actual dance.  "And there it is...!  Now it feels normal."

Last Friday, it still didn't feel quite there again so I thought about it and have to test the hypothesis that I'm stepping forward with my left foot closer to the lead's right foot instead of his left foot which might help with the right side step.  I think the latter is the mirror image of what I do with right-turning waltz.  I also want to try right and left turning waltz going clockwise around the room to see if that helps me figure it out.  In other words, is my right-turning waltz going clockwise around the room better than my left-turning waltz going counter-clockwise around the room.


Lady M said...

It's great that you are back dancing again! We're trying to get more of it back in our lives too.

dancing dragon said...

Hope to see you out dancing more too!

Anonymous said...

Great to hear of all your progress. I totally see why your teacher thought it was a Chinese song. I always thought the intro to Madonna's Take a Bow was very asian-y:

Fourth Breakfast

dancing dragon said...

That's funny, I always thought the beginning of Take A Bow sounded Asian too.