Delving Deeper: School Figures, Icing, and a Brief Glimpse into the Future


It’s been four days since a new post due to my fickle Muse. Luckily, very pleased with this next topic.  As the button indicates, I *heart* the Rumba, and that’s DP and I worked on today.

Normally, Nick is a very technique-oriented teacher, which I think is great.  There’s really no point to learning steps without the technique because it’ll just look sloppy.  More on that later.  Today, he taught me the two Bronze II school figures for Rumba, the bancare turn and promenade swivels (I apologize if my spelling for the first figure is atrocious.  I just learned these today, and I forgot how Nick spelled the first one).  The first figure is definitely the harder of the two because it involves a half-turn with a complete weight shift to the right foot.  I may be new to ballet, but I’ve already found that it’s influencing across the genres.  Simply put, I’m used to full three-sixty turns, and anything less than that is difficult for me to nail down.  But, by the end of the lesson, I got it down reasonably well.  He mentioned that teachers will often teach the spiral turn along with the bancare turn because they believe it adds more “cool” to the move.  This move, right here, is one that I’ve heard the most complaints about.  I can’t say whether I dislike it yet or not because I haven’t learned it.  Anyway, he told me that the spiral turn is kind of like the icing on a cake.  But, what’s the point of having icing when the cake is absent?  A very excellent point.  Sure, the moves may look flashy, but it’s really the technique that makes them look that way.

Promenade swivels were pretty straight forward since I’ve already encountered them in Salsa.  Moving on, the real thing that got the mental wheels spinning was what Nick said as I was doing my after-lesson routine.  That is, put my initials on my progress chart saying I had a lesson and all that jazz.  We went into the currently empty owner’s office to just do the business-whatever-stuff there because that’s where all the binders are kept anyway.  He closed my binder and told me, “You know, Alaina, one day you’re going to be so great at dancing that you’re going to want to do some major competitions.  And I know you can because you have beautiful body and great flexibility, and we want to show that off at those competitions.”  First of all, thank you, Nick.  You have no idea what that means to someone like me.  I’ve always been sort of late-bloomer.  Aside from the fact that I was born premature, I was late learning how to walk, late learning how to read and write, and late in just about everything.  I didn’t learn how to email until my freshman year of high school because I never needed email until then.  When I found my love of dance in the eighth grade, I knew almost immediately that I was late to the scene.  The balletic dancers were so much more graceful and they danced circles around me at our school dances.  To be honest, it made me not want to pursue dance because I felt like I really didn’t have a chance.  Both Victor and Nick have helped me see differently.  But, Nick still surprised me.  Normally, he’s hyper, goofy, and an overall blast to be around with.  He’s never too serious during our lessons.  Yet, I could feel the sincerity and seriousness in his tone as he talked about my potential.  I trust him completely.  Yet, it’s hard to envision myself as a serious competitive dancer.  I’ve only been dancing consistently for a year and seven months, and that’s probably why.  It’s a blurry glimpse into the future, and it echoes like a far off dream.  I like doing local competitions because the competitive air gives me energy, but the more family like atmosphere takes the pressure off.  The question is this: Will I be able to handle the real pressure of a major competition?  I have my competitive streak, but not too a great extent.  Still, the prospect of a bigger arena is tantalizing.  If Nick thinks I can do it, then I’m pretty sure I can do it.  But, that’s a ways from now, and until then, I just have to dance.

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2 thoughts on “Delving Deeper: School Figures, Icing, and a Brief Glimpse into the Future

  1. Hey Alaina, I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy reading your blog. It feels like you are one of the few others out there sharing personal stories from experience. I thought I had added a link to your blog on my blog long ago but as I was driving today I realized maybe I hadn’t so I checked. Bad Stefanie! 😦 In any case, the situation has been amended. I hope everyone who reads my blog also goes your site and enjoys it as much as I do. Oh, and by the way, you would be a great competitor! I support you in taking on that challenge, if it is one you want to take on! I’ve loved my experiences very much. Okay, maybe stupid, but just wanted to share. Keep up the great writing! -Stef

    • That’s alright! Truth be told, I haven’t added your blog yet either, which I really need to do. I’ll definitely try and compete in bigger competitions in the future. Even if I may not be the most confident answer, I have the fullest confidence in my teacher.

      Off-topic, but I’m going to the rodeo tonight. Gonna see Train. Yay! 😀 Depending on how things go I may blog about it just to add a bit more variety.

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