For the record, I have fallen down while standing on both feet. My menace are the stairs, which are hardwood. Add socks to the equation, and you have a disaster waiting in the wings. Interestingly, I fall up the stairs more than down the stairs.
Ahem, digression aside, this is just a little report on my progress as a dancer. Two days ago, I had quite the tense lesson. I mean physically tense. Nick and I started off with Tango. He taught me a new concept called the link. Most newer dancers use the basic step and move to a more complex steps after that. A link is used to make a cleaner transition. For Tango, you start with the basic and when you go for the side-together, the man makes the woman pivot into promenade position. Linking is pretty hard right now, not only because it’s new, but because you have to land it just right. Nick called over the studio owner to help out, and we began a tangent on posture.
Posture is one of the most difficult things in dance, in my humble opinion. As the woman, the guy supports and leads me, but it’s my job not to hang off him like a Christmas ornament. Since his right arm supports my left, he’s got double the weight to hold up. Oh, but it doesn’t end there. Dancing doesn’t look beautiful if the dancers shoulders are hiked up, concealing the neck. But, you have to keep that arm up as well, so the shoulders can easily hike up without your knowledge. It’s a difficult balance to maintain. Then, there’s the issue of your center, which Nick told me was a little below my bellybutton. That has to be up at all times as well. For Smooth, the lady has to extend her left side toward the guy’s right. So, I’m stuck extending my ribs up and out without trying to shift my hips in that direction while trying to keep my shoulders down, elbows extended, and arm up. Gah!!! To use a quote that will never, ever wear off for this dancer:
There’s so much to think about!
General frustration aside, it’s a tad painful to hold myself in such a position for an extended period of time. The fact that I’m not breathing during this doesn’t really help either. But, I will say that my posture has improved exponentially since I picked up ballroom again. I really can’t wait for Victor to see me at the Team Match coming up in April. He’ll get to see my posture at it’s best. Before I started ballroom, it never really occurred to me how gosh darn hard posture really is. The professionals and celebrities on “Dancing with the Stars” made it look way too easy. I know better now. What has to be the worst is when I have to practice my posture without Nick, or with little support from him. I feel like I’m going to fall flat on my face! Of course, slowing everything down really builds up those muscles. As of now it’s hard to imagine me really nailing posture and linking down, but I know it’s because I have to practice more. I’m pretty sure that some years from now, I’ll look back on this post and go, “Whoa! Have I progressed, or what?” In that respect, graduating from college is doubly exciting.
P.S.: This is my forty-ninth post, and I’m trying to think of something special to write for my fiftieth one. So, it may take awhile. Keep dancing until then! 🙂