On February 2nd, I finally tested out of my Bronze I program. From the foundational program up until my test, I had been consistently dancing for a little over a year. I started my lessons on August 27th, 2010. In my personal opinion, the phase between Bronze I and II is the hardest because it’s really the first time a student has to concentrate on the more technical side of dancing. As a ballroom dancer let me tell you, when I say the word technique, I mean it in the most extreme sense of the word. It’s not just “shoulders down” or “lead with your heel.” It is, in essence, a dissection of figures and movements down to their most component parts. And man, it can be rough. However, I’m very grateful that DP is a very technical teacher, since technique seems to be the eggs and butter to this cake.
We only focused on waltz during our lesson, and I’m just starting to get a taste of what higher levels of dance expect from the dancer. The main thing we focused on was a thing called alignment, the position of my back in relation to the dance floor. It’s different and slightly difficult, but it’s not as hard as it could be. And, of course, we focused more on my feet as well. Since I only waltzed, there’s not really anything else to note. But, since I don’t want this post of what to me was a momentous event to be hideously short, I’ll move on.
As far as I know, I’ll be in Bronze II for a comfortable amount of time, and there are some things I’d like to work on:
This is my primary focus in Bronze II. Not only will the test put special emphasis on this technique, but a dancer looks pretty dang sexy when he/she performs Cuban motion correctly. In layman’s terms, Cuban motion is the movement of the hips in the Latin dances. However, it is much more than hip action. Moving your hips isn’t really too difficult for most girls, but Cuban motion is a different matter entirely. Proper Cuban motion is really derived from movements in the legs, feet, and lower back muscles. If this sounds difficult, it is. I kid you not. It took me six months to get the bare basics of Cuban Motion! 😮 I’m happy to say I’ve greatly improved. Want to practice Cuban motion? Practice rumba. Here’s one of my favorite songs I use to practice.
If there is one aspect of ballroom that will never die, it’s this. I have now-fond memories of my first teacher placing me stiffly against the pillar that stands in the center of the floor to correct my slouching shoulders. Interestingly enough, the teachers have now started calling the pillar “the forbidden pole.” Well, let’s just say that pole and I have known each other very well 😉 .
Those are the two primary things I’d like to focus on in Bronze II, though I’m sure I’ll add more. So, for all the hobbyists out there, what are you working on?