Dance practice highlights

Good day overall, entirely because of my dance classes. In lindy hop we learned this spectacular set of moves where you and your follow form a two-person train that does something akin to the twist in one direction, and then promptly pulls a 180 (i.e. so that the one twisting behind is now twisting in front) before doing other stuff. All the while you’re also waving your free hand in the air in time with the music. As Marc (the instructor) warned us on the first day—you don’t lindy and look refined. If you can throw your self-consciousness out the window, though, you’ll have a blast.

I’m still working on that “self-conscious” thing.

We also learned two different methods to do breaks (which should not be confused with breaks in the music, which I have referred to in the past): the real version, where you jump as high as you can and pull your legs up as you jump, and the geriatric version, where you completely fake jumping. Both extremes are hilarious.

West Coast, on the other hand, left me wondering if I might actually be doing quite well in the dance—at least as far as technical form goes. (Style has never been a personal strength.) Time may tell.

During the break I got to play lead to Marco’s follow; during that dance he revealed to me the ultimate secret of West Coast: I’m not really the one who should be listening for breaks in the music. Follows end up listening to the music as they wait for their lead, he said, and so good follows will warn their lead when there’s an impending break.

This means that I’m not really supposed to listen to the music closely in addition to keeping the beat, leading the follow and moving myself appropriately, planning out future moves, and generally being aware of where others are dancing. (A good thing, because that’s a pretty full plate for me.) Instead, I’m supposed to also be responsive to the follow’s lead for breaks. (Dammit!)

I’m a lead because I’d be an even worse follow!


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