Moving on — Stage 1

Thumbnail of last week’s coaching session:

–           Forget technique … “you’ve got that”

–           The time has come to “stop thinking like a social dancer and start focusing on PERFORMING”.

So, first and foremost, I need to focus on intentional and dynamic movement … “iffy” is no longer an option … two of the most essential elements of the dance are clarity and readability of every step, and there has to be clear intention behind every movement.

Physical connection is essential, but now I have to start working on the “emotional” connection. It starts with the eyes always on either a) my partner or b) someone in the audience. It’s critical to make those connections, to put yourself out there; you’re always teasing, “would you like to see what I can do?”, and answering your own question with “THIS is what I can do”.

From this point on, guesswork is no longer acceptable in terms of knowing the routine, knowing the counts and being clear in my mind exactly what it is that I’m trying to convey to the audience, and exactly how I’m going to do it.

I don’t think I’ll have any issues with the technical elements.

I do think I’ll have somewhat of a struggle dealing with the emotional.do-what

Madame and The Icon, after spending some time discussing this part of the equation, actually got me to “test the waters” so to speak. It was a trap!  I should know their method by now – they have me try out something new, and voila, I do it. So of course that sets the stage for the follow-up of “You’ve shown us that you CAN do it …. now you need to continue to do it !”

Sigh.

My coaching was on a Tuesday, and in spite of the scarcity of coin, I kept my standing Thursday session in order to review the material we had covered and to set in my mind the salient points of this “new” direction.

With this in mind, The Icon had thoughtfully set aside for me a copy of a local dance publication (“The Dance Calendar”), which contained a short article by a lady named Lynne Gambone, entitled “Finding Your Inner ‘Ginger’.” It struck a chord with me. Especially when she touched on these two issues:

The learning curve was challenging, not because the dancing was hard; it was actually easy. The challenges were emotional. The barriers loomed large:

  • Embarrassment
  • Worry about others thinking “show off”

She goes on to say:

It is embarrassing and awkward to be expressive, publically, while you are learning … “

So essentially, my first goal will be to accept that I will be embarrassed in upcoming days, but not let it get in the way of me moving my dancing to a level I never imagined I’d achieve.

I’m going to leave you here for now so that I can go off and ponder some of the amazing milestones my dance life has reached over this past year.

Wishing you all a very Merry and Joyous 2019 … and may it be filled with reaching new heights in your dancing journeys !!!!!!!!!!!!

2019 Happy New Year glowing gold background. Vector illustration

 

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Still here. Still Dancing.

And still getting immense joy from the thoughts, feelings and ideas that you share. You are not only my Village neighbors, but my ballroom friends, so here’s a dancefloor full of wishes for you ….

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To quickly catch you up, last competition was the Constitution State Challenge back in October … and it was around this time in past years that we’d start preparing for my dance checkout. But last year I officially qualified for and closed out the final level of our studio’s Silver syllabus.trophy

It’s really strange not having any more dance checkouts to prepare for. I do feel very much at loose ends simply because up until now, this time of year was dedicated to getting ready for my checkout. Truth be told, it’s hard to wrap my head around the idea that I’ve actually achieved one of my major dance goals, and can consider myself truly back up to Gold Level.

But you know the old saying about one journey ending and another one beginning … because now we start on reviewing, assessing and re-structuring all of our smooth and rhythm routines with strong focus not only on technique, but performance and “stage presence”.

With that in mind, we’re going to kick this new goal off next week with a coaching session with Madame, in order to get some actual choreography going with my ChaCha.

In the meantime, The Icon and I are having a serious back and forth about doing a joint Showcase  on January 11th … he wants to, I don’t. Can’t tell you why I don’t, other than just not in the mood ?

And last but not least, there are two competitions coming up — Golden Star in January and the New York Dance Festival in February. I would love to do both but finances dictate a choice must be made so I think I’m leaning more towards NYDF in February. So last decision to be made will be should I go for Smooth or Rhythm.

And in closing out this session, let me leave you with:

(to be continued) ….