Showing posts with label Zouk Lambada. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Zouk Lambada. Show all posts

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Reflections: Entries on Socials archive 7-12

The Entries on Socials series have been discontinued. I'm archiving them here for future references.

8th July
Say what?! Not another Friday yet and you already have a socials entry here? You got that right, I went to Swouk socials yesterday at Le Danz and swung to some Brazilian zouk beats. I intended to get a preview of how Brazilian Zouk is danced, and unlike salsa where I came in quite prepared (hooray addicted2salsa), I couldn't find any tutorials that taught the zouk, so I had to start entirely from scratch. The only thing I figured out was that the beats to step on were 1 34, 5 78. The rest was a blur. That, and I was pretty uncomfortable with dancing really close hold as my paranoia of stepping on the guy's feet/crashing our kneecaps kept on surfacing. He even commented that I move like a salsa dancer (oh well), and that in zouk, you're supposed to slide a lot.

Looking at the dance from afar, it looks really beautiful. The motions are fluid, more fluid than west coast swing, and the girls have a tendency to look like vines/snakes/ragdolls but that's what makes the dance unique. By the way, did you know that you can also combine zouk with swing too?

Anyway, after that trial session with Zouk I decided to stick with just swinging WCS. Dancing with a pro (like the owner of Mosaic Dance) is really really FUN. They'll actually know how to adapt to your level and at one point even help you introduce some moves into your dancing repertoire or vocabulary. I now have an idea on how the rotating dip feels like, along with a few "ducking under the arm" moves. I also realised how one can combine moves like the reverse whip into a basket whip into an outside turn into asdfghjkl; before one can anchor too. So girls, don't hesitate to go to a social dance when you think there are too many pros, because they can slow down for you, and introduce variations that will make the dance fun. Plus, earning a compliment from them can be a major ego boost.

So anyway, I shall be seeing my WCS 2B classmates on Wednesday to further elaborate my story concerning this swouk social dance, which will include all the movements that I would find hard to describe in words. What can I say, a dancer's language is non-verbal (thanks Captain Obvious)

July 14th
That awkward moment where you accidentally elbow a stranger in the face, feel absolutely guilty about it, and to add oil to the flames, he goes up to you and tells you off, "I know you're a beginner but I really don't like it when people hit my face."

Ouch, major guilt trip.

That pretty much soured my night at salsa socials. Although that managed to help me take my mind off dancing and pretty much do a lot of following with other salseros, (and my frown kinda killed the fun for some guys, oops) I was pretty reluctant to dance salsa for a while. Then again, I was still able to execute some salsa 3 moves, which was pretty cool :) There were also a couple of songs that played during Black Mambo night, and that brought back memories too. So all in all, I guess it was alright.

West Coast Swing socials were pretty okay. Just caught up to more stuff I missed from class (but they were moves that I got to know from dancing in the Swouk socials) so it was easy to catch up, except maybe the whip to double turn. I kept forgetting to spot, and I kept forgetting to step forward more for the basket whip. I'm still pretty reluctant to go off beat in WCS, mainly because if I don't feel an anchor there and I'm already lead forward I'll feel off balance and it'll mess up my footwork. Maybe I should improvise less so I don't mix up the signal for an anchor as well. Sometimes it feels like an anchor on the hands, but if the feet has one pointing in the air and the other being brick solid and not moving to a triple step, and then the guy pulls forward, you're like OH GOD STEP WITH RIGHT FOOT IMMEDIATELY.

I quite like some of the advanced WCS combos that employ torque, but unfortunately not many guys did stuff like that. Those moves that send me spinning around in circles makes me feel like Tatiana Mollman, just for that split second LOL. These moves are now my latest obsession, I got over my craving for dips already because I've done them too many times to count.

21st July
I am in love with yesterday night, it's almost perfect (minus the wardrobe malfunction.) I had a couple of memorable dances from both salsa socials and west coast swing socials. Though I wished I could balance better doing stuff with momentum, I don't know whether being sick had anything to do with that (swollen glands causing less air space in the Eustachian tube on one side? Then again I'm not a doctor...)

What's more is that I had a friend to tag along and try out WCS for the first time too, and I think I got him hooked! I feel like a social dance missionary or something.

I'm glad that the memorable dances had been the first dance and the last dance, it feels like writing a composition. Strong intro, solid ending (with a nice dip to add for that matter!) Anyway, I'm on a drowsy expectorant...I should actually go and sleep.

28th July
I'm. So. Hungover. Because. This. Happened:

In fact, there were TWO birthday dances yesterday! (The other video was on Facebook and I can't embed into my blog) And I had to do the West Coast Swing one before the salsa one, so guess where the salsa footwork went when I got to the salsa dance? Yep, down the drain! LOL. Though actually it didn't look that bad in the salsa birthday dance video, but my hand position was very WCS styled :P

Other highlights for yesterday evening included me giving a "crash course" within socials for my old WCS 1 classmate and a new WCS dancer too. One of the biggest disadvantage in giving all the technical stuff in one single night, is that it becomes really dense to absorb it all. Hopefully they'll get to practice in their own time and remember as much as they can.

At another point, there was this dip that I did, and I had to plank and fall backwards doing it. It resembles one of those trust exercises you do with a partner and they catch you from behind, and I haven't had that experience for a long time (and most of them involved me kicking and flailing about because I didn't trust my partner during the exercise LOL) However, this time around, I actually planked properly and fell back nicely, it's like a miracle or some sort! Then I got dragged backwards a bit and pushed back upright and continued dancing and boy, that felt awesome. What is the name of this dip, seriously?! I also felt like this guy while doing the move:

"Swish swish, clang clang" - Slim, A Bug's Life
Don't get me wrong, it feels kinda awesome to be like a walking stick. Just don't pick me up to hit someone with my body.

Good game, Amanda. Tap class nearly killed your body off, but at least you're alive enough to post an entry here.

4th August
Alongside discovering my mistakes, I've pretty much enjoyed the company at socials. I somehow find myself enjoying the company of the swing dancers more than the salsa dancers though. Maybe because the salsa crowd feels too big and unpredictable, and it's hard to pinpoint the regulars other than the Jitterbugs fellows and a few NTU Salsa En Sync people.

At this point in time, is it also possible to say that I've developed a style? I think the moves I'm doing at invitations in west coast swing socials are becoming predictable and repetitive, even for songs with different feels and lyrics. But I should probably take a look at myself in the mirror as I don't think some of my moves are graceful enough lol.

But anyway, my feet are dying. They've Thai massaged the floor enough to feel like I've given an elephant some spa treatment, alongside a gassy tummy ache right after.

11th August
Last night felt a bit uneventful on the dance floor. In salsa, I did manage to have a more relaxed and open frame for the good leads to lead me around this time, because after asking my dance instructor, I finally figured out what was wrong with my frame all this while. I had been getting them too closed at the back, when in actual fact, they're supposed to be open, like a ballerinas's preparation.

However, this would cause my arms to open outwards too much for WCS train tracks, and I had to adjust a bit to fit into the WCS socials that night. There wasn't anything much for me to catch up on WCS 2 class either, just the ones that I got a sneak preview on the previous revision class that I stayed back for. I also realised different dancers in WCS tend to either swing me out into big steps, so I'm assuming that on some occasion, it's completely ok to take really big steps for added styling.

Other than that, it was kinda hilarious watching my classmate who was tipsy explaining the whip to my university friend who is new to the dance. She sounded really fierce to the poor guy, its almost as if she's gonna whip his ass for messing up!

I currently have a song stuck in my head though. It's Good Feeling by Flo Rida - Wild Ones (Deluxe Version). I can't help but to pop around with my partner during the song's breakdown.