Learning to (Rumba) Walk Again


In terms of technique, I excel in Smooth.  Nick and I have worked on it extensively.  I’ve now improved in dancing together as one unit, what I call “sandwich dancing”, my posture (Ballet posture always!), reaching backwards with pointed toes, split weight, transferring my center from one foot to the other, elongating my neck, keeping my shoulders down, and not hanging off Nick like a towel on a hanger.  For Rhythm, my main emphasis has been Cuban Motion.  I’m quite satisfied with my progress, but that’s the only technical aspect I’ve worked on.  Hence, I tend to follow more when I dance Rhythm.

That’s changed.  Smooth can wait for a bit.  The lesson on Wednesday was dedicated entirely to Rumba Walks.  Yep, I basically spent forty-five minutes working on walking forward the sexy way.  Much like a simple box for Smooth, Rumba Walks utilize many nit-picky, technical nuances.  For example, when I extend my leg forwards to move, it needs to straighten as soon as my heel touches the floor.  I also have to work on pushing my weight from the ball of my foot to my non-standing leg.  Let me tell you, working on the finer aspects of muscular control hurts!  Pain means progress though, especially if that pain is concentrated toward the backs of my knees.  Nick is quite certain that I’ll be walking full speed, which isn’t that fast, with a couple more lessons dedicated entirely to this.  This means that, assuming Nick keeps drilling me for the next couple of lessons, I won’t be updating on my personal dancing progress.  Now, if it pleases the reader, I’d like to digress for the rest of this post.

Ahem, and now for story time with yours truly.  My mom and I were ambling through the streets of Kusadasi, a city in Turkey, two summers ago enjoying the lovely weather, and when I say lovely, I truly mean it.  My fellow Houstonians can attest to this statement: our weather is awful.  We have high humidity and high heat, so stepping outside during summer is like stepping into a sauna.  Our four seasons might as well be summer, summer, summer, and winter.  Sometimes our winters are hot, too.  I think the highest temperatures for last winter were in the high seventies but with no humidity.  Anyway, back to the story.  Mom and I were enjoying the weather when this precious girl, probably around four or five, came running up to chat happily with us.  Unfortunately, we couldn’t speak Turkish, and she probably couldn’t speak English.  Yet, her smile was infectious, and it made me grin back.  She let me take her picture, and later she gave me a white flower she was holding. (Reminds me of when I saw La Traviata…)  In return, we gave her the spare change we had on us.  I’d heard a saying once that stated a smile transcends language barriers.  I never knew it was true until I met that little girl.  Dancing, too, makes me smile.  So, I’d like to end with this: I hope you keep smiling. 🙂

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