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!

Liberty & Phoenix Swing 2014

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!

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.

Dance Notes

Private Class with Deborah (26 Oct 2013)

1. Sugar Push / Tuck Turn
Make sure full weight transfer on 3. Back leg bends as front leg straightens.

2. Turns
During triple step turn, do a small small big, i.e. turning right, last left step will be big step and remember to drag in right foot.

3. Differentiate Tone and Frame
Frame moves the whole body. Tone is firm arms that allows the lead to move you.

4. At All Times!
Do not split weight.
Always have weight in straight leg while dragging in bent leg.

Dance Notes

Private with Chuck on 24 Oct 2013

1) Foot Position

  • Don’t open feet outwards so much. Small V.

2) Sugar Push

  • Count 3 – should feel like a “check”. Weight should push into the floor. Do not pitch forward. Breathe in to expand frame.
  • Count 4 – push/ glide back, marginally diagonally right. Make sure to post on 4.
  • So not rush the 5 & 6.
  • Hold the 5-and. Make sure nose over toes. The “and” should be at the base of right heel.
  • Step 6 slowly. Make sure not to land on heel till last moment.
  • The 5 & 6 should feel like walking backwards. Don’t think too much.
  • If there’s a need to adjust distance on the ”and”, make sure to collect right foot b4 moving forward for 1.

3) Underarm & Left-side Pass

  • Do not bend knees / plie on count 3-and.
  • Step right foot slightly out on 4 so left foot doesn’t detour around right foot.
  • Make sure to post on 4.

Asian West Coast Swing Open 2013

The Asian WCS Open, aka Swingvitation has come and gone. Great fun. I took the choreo class by world champs Jordan and Tatiana and we performed the routine on the Saturday night of Swingvitation. It was really challenging and my takeaway from it is, in performing any choreo, it’s vital to have the right partner.

I also took part in the Jack & Jill. Newcomer category so no points awarded the world swing dance council. Came in third, which was more than what I expected so that’s really happy news.

Here’s a pic of the partner, Matthew, I drew in the finals.

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I’ll still be continuing lessons at Mosaic. Hopefully, I’ll be good enough for novice level next year. 🙂