Music City Motion

Monday, October 30, 2006

 

AVS + Slick Shoes = Humbling Experience

I had an awesome time at AVS this past weekend. I learned a bunch, met some great people, and was again reminded of how much I have to learn.The context for my last comment specifically surrounds my shoe adventures this weekend.

I have been dancing since October of 1998. For nearly that entire time I have danced in rubber soles, more specifically whatever sneakers happened to be on my feet (albeit I often did "tape"). Now I do have a pair of hard soled wingtips and I have had a pair of bleyers. Both of which have seen considerable action, but even that may be merely 5% - 10% of all my dancing, and nearly all of that was in the first 2 years of my Lindy Hop "career".

I decided recently it was time to try slick shoes for real... learn to control my weight better, open up the option for slides and spins (I've never included them in my dancing much beyond goofing off in private), feel more confident when dressed up and out of sneakers, and maybe even improve my dancing overall. What I didn't expect was for this process to be character building.

Now my shoe of choice for the past 4 years has been Kswiss. Their sneakers, as a line, just fit my feet better than all the rest, even though occasionally I've questioned their asthetic judgements. I've been in need of a new pair lately, so just last week I purchased a pair (another weekend of sore knees, feet, back, and hips didn't excite me) and along with got some self adhesive felt.

The felt was an idea I picked up in a brief parking-lot conversation while I was in Tampa/St. Petersburg for Swing Dance USA.

The best news is that I never actually injured myself in any of my falls, all 4 (or was it 5) of them over 2 days of classes and 1 dance. Humbling to say the least, I initially thought that maybe the floor the classes were on was too slick. After all there were many complaints and even Sky changed into a pair of sneakers out of his Aris Allens. But still, out of some kind of pride that continued to insist I could control myself, and eventually a recognition of the benefit to my character the experience was causing, I continued on.

The two funniest falls were at the dance on Saturday night. The first was the first dance of the evening. Dancing with Jaya is usually a zen a like moment of music, this time though I was totally out of control, slipping and sliding everywhere (poor Jaya, she must have felt like a rag doll). But in one moment I pulled off a sweet action spin; about the time, though, I had returned facing forward both my feet went flying out in front of me. In slow - motion I fell through the air and landed sitting on the dance floor... right out of a classic slapstick routine.

The second (and 3rd, really) was much later in the evening while dancing with Laura Jackson. Balboa in the back corner and suddenly I found myself on the floor again, only my attempt to recover landed me spralled on my back in front of Laura, who was doubled over laughing. And so once again I humbled, just a little bit more.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

 

Lexington Anyone?

Two of my favorite instructors are gonna be in Lexington the 2nd weekend of November (10-12). I've known Joel and Allison Plys for 4 or 5 years now. They are two of the most fun, energetic, and encouraging instructions I know. A class with them is very refreshing, if only because their approach is so fun, let alone the classes they teach.

I hope to go. If only Lexington wasn't 4 1/2 hours away!

Friday, October 06, 2006

 

Swing Dance USA Classes

Rebecca and I have been assigned to teach a styling class and a connection class. I'm really excited about what we've come with. My thoughts on stying are on my Swing Scene blog, I haven't yet digressed about connection, but I will shortly.

Normally I wouldn't offer to teach a styling class because I don't consider myself much of a stylist normally. But that is a very ironic thought, because as I examine style and the differences in style and how a personal style is developed I've learned and come to the conclusion that style is defined by foundational techniques. Technique is something I study and teach ad naseum, I am a technician. So essentially I am also a stylist.

But the purpose of this blog is not treatises on Lindy Hop or Balboa.

I am excited about this weekend. This is the first "big" weekend I've been able to teach at since the Private Collection and I love these kind of events. I'll be staying at the Ponce De Leon Hotel in St. Pete's.

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