Running Dance Notes

26 Aug 2014
So it occurred to me that since improving in a partner dance basically comprises of making a series of adjustments, I should keep a “running dance notes” to track the little lessons and take-aways I glean with every practice session and social I go for.

So… During practice last night, TM pointed out to me that I need to “lock” my lower back so that my legs don’t lag when the guy leads an accelerated move.

During social tonight, I was quite happy when someone I usually find it difficult to connect consistently with told me that he likes the stretch in my dancing.

Good ol’ Zee also told me that I should take my time for counts 1 & 2 but be quicker on my triples when moving past the lead as it will help me re-establish connection better.

I also need to pay attention to when the lead wants gives me a short anchor vs a long one instead of always moving to the ideal anchor I have in my head.

Dance

My colleagues sometimes ask why do I always go for dance lessons. Last week my boss specifically asked why is there a need to dance every week if I’m not preparing for any competitions?

I couldn’t verbalise it on the spot but having considered the question, I think my answer would be that dancing is a learned reaction. Because different guys will lead differently, because songs have different breaks and feel, because different partnerships will result in different patterns and moves, the only way to widen one’s dance horizon / dance arsenal is to dance more.

In addition, we all have different bad habits to change and the only way to break a bad habit is to reinforce the correct or good habit. And reinforcement means lots and lots of repetition. As
I’ve always said, practice makes permanent. Hence, one needs to repeat classes to pick up the correct technique. And in order to internalise what was learnt, repetition is needed.

Coming back from the US, I was curious what has changed in my dancing and I found out today that the main difference was that my upper and lower body was well engaged. Sadly, it seems that I’m starting to revert to my pre-US level and I’ve been “leaving my legs behind”, especially when I’m tired.

I think I need to learn how to self-diagnose my various dancing problems on a daily basis. For starters, this is a note to self not to leave my legs behind when I’m tired.

On a brighter note, I’m starting to get the hand of doing skaters! Yippee! Very grateful to EW for teaching me and to Kono for practising with me for 15-20 min last night! Managed to do 6 turns within a dance tonight and it was great!

Delusional Desperado

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This stranger just messaged me on Facebook chat. I feel so bloody offended. Does he think all Asians are mail order brides?

Asshole.

Gosh!  June has gone by in a flash.  Was probably one of the busiest month at work and the 2-week trip to the US meant I was extra busy before (to clear as much work as I could before I went on leave) and even busier after (as I sought to go through 1000 unread e-mails).

 

The US trip was great though.  This being my first overseas West Coast Swing (WCS) trip, I was pretty thankful that I was travelling with a group of easygoing folks.  Having my longtime friend and instructor, Zee, also helped!

 

Here’re the highlights of the trip!

Liberty Swing (New Jersey)

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Sleepy-eyed, 5 of us set off from Changi Airport on 26 Jun 2014.

 

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I got an entire row of seats to myself on Delta! Heehee.

 

Singapore had a table to ourselves!

Singapore had a table to ourselves!

 

I got into the semi-finals of the Novice J&J... was quite happy with the result... though when I viewed the video.. I was quite appalled!  So many things to correct!

I got into the semi-finals of the Novice J&J… was quite happy with the result… though when I viewed the video.. I was quite appalled! So many things to correct!

 

Food portion in the US is bigggg.  And one wonders why the people there are so obese...

Food portions in the US is bigggg. And one wonders why the people there are so obese…

 

Elements @ Camelback Mountain (Phoenix)

Joyce, one of the ladies I was travelling with, did good research and found this restaurant called Elements.  It scores on both the food as well as the views!  (I think it’s one some travel list’s Top 35 Restaurants with a View or something).  It’s DEFINITELY worth going!

Beautiful view of the pool framed by mountains!

Beautiful view of the pool framed by mountains!

 

More views!

More views!

 

I love the light of setting sun against the mountain!

I love the light of setting sun against the mountain!

 

Honeydew Cucumber Sour - super refreshing!

Honeydew Cucumber Sour – super refreshing!

 

Tuna tantare - this was really delish!  The fresh tuna with the different herbs - there was an assault of taste!

Tuna tantare – this was really delish! The fresh tuna with the different herbs – there was an assault of taste!

 

My diver scallops main - the succulent scallops combined with the flavourful couscous was heavenly!

My main – the succulent diver scallops combined with the flavourful couscous was heavenly!

 

This was my favourite of the desserts we ordered to share.  I think this was the salted caramel ice-cream & laval chocolate cake.

This was my favourite of the desserts we ordered to share. I think this was the salted caramel ice-cream & laval chocolate cake.

 

Nightfall at Elements.  I really like the pic of the crescent moon (taken with my Nokia 808).

Nightfall at Elements. I really like the pic of the crescent moon (taken with my Nokia 808).

 

Phoenix 4th of July Convention

JW Marriott Camelback Resort & Spa - really beautiful hotel.

JW Marriott Camelback Resort & Spa – really beautiful hotel.

 

My wonderful roomies at Phoenix!

My wonderful roomies at Phoenix!

 

The balcony offered fabulous views!

The balcony offered fabulous views!

 

Such pretty clouds!

Such pretty clouds!

 

My first experience with a dust storm!  The thundering wind was quite an experience.

My first experience with a dust storm! The thundering wind was quite an experience.

 

The representatives from Singapore!  Cheers to everyone!

The representatives from Singapore (and 1 Korean – haha)! Cheers to everyone!

 

Will I go on another dance trip again?  Yes I would!  But first, I really need to brush up on my dancing.  Felt quite inadequate at the socials though at least I take comfort that my following was good!

Happy 35th Birthday to Myself!

My 35th birthday has come & gone in a flash. A couple of months back, I was kind of hung up over it – 35 years old – that’s like the age that tells what the rest of your life will be. Your career path’s probably fixed, are you the family type, etc. Even the government has set 35 as the age singles can buy a HDB flat!

I was on leave today. Pampered myself by getting an eyeliner embroidery (done by Lydia from Browhaus at Raffles City basement. Very good! Hardly any pain), shopping & getting a massage. Feeling quite accomplished as I bought 1 pair of Geox Working shoes, 2 dresses (and got a top free).

All that physical activity was followed by a scrumptious dinner at Ola Cocina at MBFC Tower 3. And dessert was an Awfully Chocolate chocolate cake (duh) that my mom bought, paired with prosecco wine.

Here’re some shots of the yummy dinner!

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Deep fried prawn head tapas (on the house!)

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Tomato gazpacho. Very refreshing and appetizing!

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Grilled octopus tapas (recommended by our waiter - supper yummy)

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White & green asparagus. Flavourful but nothing to shout about)

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Squid ink pasta paella with...Squid. Haha. Good!

It as a wonderful day!

Chuck’s Workshop (11 May 2014)

Things to remember:

1. When anchoring:
- Try to post at 4.
- Take 5 and 5& to be anchored.
- 6 should step down directly → don’t wait till 6 to anchor!

2. Underarm pass:
- Step 3 → body should be parallel to slot, right foot turned slightly out.
- Step 4 → should be slightly diagonal so you don’t trip over your own feet when dragging left foot in on 5.

3. Walking back:
- Place foot then roll down.

4. Focus on 1, 2, 4, 6. The triples in-between should just be about landing the feet under the body.

Disgusting Behaviour

Received a letter from my previous company saying that i breached MAS regulations for a policy placed in 2010 and renewed in 2011 and thus they reported me to MAS. What the fark man, seriously! The misconduct, they claimed, was that i acted as a reinsurance broker when the company’s licence was only for direct insurance broker services.

I’m astounded how i could be considered a reinsurance broker when i don’t know / liaise / deal with the cedant nor the original insured. Fact of the matter is that my then Thai office approached the Singapore office for help as they were not familiar with Political Risk Insurance and thus i helped by providing consultancy / technical advice to them in discussion with underwriters. My previous company used to trumpet being “united” amongst all the offices. Well, that’s unity for you. When there’s money to be earned, they’ll earn it. Any issues, instead of clarifying with me what happened, i’m just made scapegoat. Totally disgusting behaviour.

Am now in the midst of discussing with my current company if i should raise this as an issue and clarify matters with MAS as this may affect me as a broker.

I’m just so pissed off and annoyed at how underhand the whole issue has been handled. Pui!

Pinky

Poor Pinky’s not well. The old boy has cataracts developing in both eyes. Brought him to the vet who prescribed medicine to slow down the cataracts but it’s not really possible to remove them (surgery would be too risky for an old bunny like him).

Pinky has also developed snuffles (a rabbit cold). I hope it’s just URTI and will heal quickly. Otherwise, it’ll be another trip to the vet in the next few days and these trips are always traumatising for Pinky.

Please pray with me that Pinky will recover soon. The Lord has blessed and taken Pinky safely through many health scares before and I pray that He’ll sustain the old boy again.

Choreography

So I agreed to sign up for a choreography / performance class with Champion, on the basis that we would not eventually perform. Missed the first class cos I was in Korea but went for the second class last night. It was a struggle, which was to be expected, cos I didn’t review the videos before going. But that’s not the point of this post.

The class format requires us to rotate partners and there was a point in time when I had to partner Old Man. That, was the most disastrous pairing of the night. I was reflecting why was that so and realised it’s cos I don’t trust him hence I would auto-pilot whenever I feel he’s late, which would then screw up the connection.

Hence, I think I need to put aside my grievances from last year and try to trust him. Hahaha.

Dance Notes – Stretch

The most pressing thing I need to sort out is to always create stretch before moving forward on ’1′. This is especially important when I’m dancing with much taller guys – need to manage my distance well. I need to NOT dance at my max arm length else there’s no more room / give to land my weight for the stretch!




August 2014
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