DWTS Week 2 Review, My Jam Monday!

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No dance intro?! I like the show’s intro numbers. I think there will be something next week since it is Latin Night!

On to the dances …

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Private #9 – Revisiting Rumba, Cha Cha Technique & Samba Run-Through

Tonight’s private was a lot of fun and well-received.  I usually try to go into the studio with my mind open and ready to learn.  I think I was very tired during my last lesson and I got mentally frustrated with myself and left feeling like I didn’t accomplish anything.  Well as you all know, this ballroom game is not cheap and I made a promise to myself to make every lesson worth every penny and productive.  Today’s lesson, as you can see, was very productive.  Three dances in 45 minutes, what?!

We started with the neglected rumba.  It has been over a month since I’ve danced rumba.  I was a little rusty on the routine, but saw overall improvement.  My rumba walk and hip movement is much better.  C didn’t have to remind me to open up my hips as much as before (I still had some reminders of course) and I have gotten better at settling in my hips.

Next was cha cha.  More drilling technique with my legs.  It’s funny how my legs feel straight but they’re not.  C said judges love it when your knees are locked, the shape of them.  They apparently go crazy for bowed legs.  Well, these bowed legs of mine that I’ve kept from locking all my life are finally good for something! (This is not the bowed legs looking at them from the side, but when your legs are straight back)  I still have some things to work on with my footwork.  C had me record him to do drills as practice at home.

For the last five minutes, we touched on samba for a bit.  He put on a really fast samba and I just didn’t have it in me at that point to even attempt it.  After doing rumba and cha cha for forty minutes straight, my legs instinctively would straighten and not bend like it’s supposed to in samba.  He would stop and we would dance to half-tempo, and I’d be fine.  I guess that’s one skill I have to work on when it comes to doing a competition and dancing to heats of different styles of dance, being able to change technique right away.

I finished the lesson proud of the work I put in today!  I will continue to try to practice more at home so I can continue to improve with each lesson 🙂

And to end this post, some 2008 bronze dancers at the Ohio Star Ball:

Private #3 – Cha Cha & Rumba Review/Styling, More Samba and A Couple Revelations

Today’s post will be short. Not sure why, maybe because the lesson was mostly review…

I felt so much better for last night’s lesson in comparison to Thursday night’s lesson.  I got to about 85% recovery yesterday, and with the exception of being a little congested and a stuffy/runny nose, I’d say I’m at about 90% today.  This up and down weather in Florida kicks my butt every year!

We went over the same cha cha and rumba choreography as last week, adding some fun styling into the routine. Trying to add some sass and maintain the technique we were working on is some tough work!

Our instructor/student relationship is developing as well. I’m apparently pretty witty and had him cracking up at a few times and we even have a “thing” now.

A few lessons ago, we had an intro to samba, now he started to dive more into technique. The hip action doesn’t feel as natural to me just yet when broken down, but when in motion it makes more sense.

Revelation #1 – My toes hurt! Yesterday’s lesson was the first time I didn’t wear socks with my dance heels. They are new shoes and I wear socks to help break them in (and I don’t want to make the shoes too sweaty). I didn’t realize how constraining socks were. I felt more grounded, more of a connection with the floor. I woke up today with just my toes sore. It’s pretty interesting.

Revelation #2 – I’ve always known dancing is not an inexpensive hobby to have, especially if you plan on investing time and doing performances and competitions, which is my intent. I have come to the conclusion that I am willing to getting a part time job. A couple nights a week after work and maybe a shift on the weekend. I hope I will find something soon!

Private #2 – Cha Cha & More Rumba

Today’s post will not be as long or detailed as the other posts. I started to get a sore throat Thursday (the day of this private lesson) and it got worse that night and even worse Friday. I spent pretty much all of today in bed taking medicine, sleeping and drinking soup while watching The Mindy Project in between. I haven’t been this mentally and physically drained due to illness in a very very long time.

My brain was a little foggy that night, but I was able to focus and complete the lesson. It was pretty productive. We reviewed a bit of the cha cha routine, concentrating on technique. A majority of the lesson focused on the rumba.

C led me through what rumba we went over the last lesson, then continued on. I was able to follow most of it successfully and at the end he said, “and you’ve just learned the whole bronze routine.” Very cool! I felt pretty accomplished, but I knew there was a lot of work to be done with my technique. I realized the one thing holding be back with cha cha and rumba is that I don’t lead my body with my upper body, I lead with my legs with the rest of my weight a little behind. Maybe it’s a reflection of my living in flat shoes, maybe it’s a reflection of my “go with the flow” personality? I’m not quite sure.

At the end of the lesson, C let me record him doing my part of both choreographies so I can practice at home, as well as a couple drills for me to do. Being sick, I haven’t even looked at any of those videos. I’m hoping with my excessive amount of sleep today and more sleep to come tonight, I’ll be well-rested enough to enjoy at least one day of my weekend and practice before my next lesson on Monday.

My study material: