Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Ask not for whom the insoles. Insoles for me!

Before leading class this week I had to put insoles in my orthopedic sneakers to provide enough arch support. My feet are melting, meeeelting!


Leading class was very useful, again; however, it has done nothing to increase my patience for bad leaders, as I am of the opinion that if I can do it, anyone can do it. (By this rule, Jackson Pollack is not an artist, but a crazy drunk person with too much paint on his hands. Once in college I took a picture of a Jackson Pollack poster and a picture of something I made with craft paint and asked the class to distinguish the two; no one could. This is basically my proof for the rule, because seriously. )

So class was a lot of work on ochos and molinetes and changes of weight and the leader keeping balance. I especially needed the last two, because it's one thing to know you're sending her for three steps and quite another to send her, keep balance, turn, hold frame, collect her, collect yourself, and walk out. There's no way to calculate what foot she's on by keeping track; her body is your only real hint where she is. When it works, it's amazing, because even if she messes up of you lead her a step too far, if you can feel in her body what foot she's on, you can fix the step and make something out of it - an ocho or a rockstep or a walk to the cross, whatever. That's the nice thing about a dance that's all improvisation. When it doesn't work, somebody stumbles.

I didn't stumble much, but by the end of class when we were working on big spinny turns and superpivots, I checked out, because there is no way that I will ever have the space to fling someone around in a circle like that. My goal is to learn how to navigate a dance floor while being marginally musical; my favorite step is just the forward walk, maybe some ochos, walk some more, one or two molienetes, walk some more. If I'm feeling the music she shouldn't get too bored, and the style leaves plenty of time for embellishments on her part, and hopefully that should be enough.

I am still running into a bit of a problem with the whole "being a woman" thing. I am very careful to always dance open embrace, and I am really the least sexually threatening person in the whole world, so a lot of the women are as happy to dance with me as they are any of the other leaders. However, one or two women have "accidentally" skipped me in rotation, and one woman is just absolutely loathe to dance with me, for whatever reason, and it's almost comical to watch her go for her lipstick or get a drink of water or walk over and examine the announcements table so that when we rotate she's already past me in line and doesn't have to dance with me. She plans better than Napoleon, I'm telling you.

I have to work on not shifting my hips in the lead; after finally, finally relaxing my hips in following, I have to wind them right back up. Flat feet, solid shoulders, still hips.

Doesn't matter, though, since I'm more than happy to work on it. I love leading; I love moving to the music and convincing the person I'm holding to move with me.

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