Sam

Jazz T… oh wait!

In Dance, Flat on November 20, 2014 at 1:43 am

I was hoping to tap tomorrow but they’re fully booked and I couldn’t get Friday, decided to go tonight at 7:30pm. I had a 6:30pm meeting with some Directors from another development, sadly had to cut it short with them. I just needed to tap!

Tap first!

It felt weird going in at 7:30pm, I half expected Kate in there with her oddly matched socks. Instead I had to wait outside Studio 4 for ‘Pop Dance’ to come out, so… that’s in place now? Only two people came out and they were mates. Hmm never mind, I walked in and turned off the end lights, with just a middle beam I enjoyed the ambient more – never liked anywhere too bright when dark. 

I put on my tap playlist and… off I went. No practise sheets, no across the room… just freedom of expression and an utter loss of inhibition, I let my feet do the talking. I didn’t stand on the same spot, or kept my feet parallel or aligned my arms… I danced freely, flailing left and right with small and big steps, spins, flaps, close-to-floor-tapping, my arms moved to where it made sense. My whole purpose tonight, was to dance to the tunes I enjoy and let it carry me – to let my fear go and let my feet move the way I want it to move. Basically, I had to go for it and be brave.

I was also surprised at the floor in Studio 4, much better than the stickier Studio 5!

Mostly… I made noise but there were moments of rhythm, I searched for rhythm all night – next door must hate me for the ruckus I was causing. To be honest, I found it easier to build rhythm when I go fast but sadly my skill-level isn’t there yet. It’s been experimental (or just mental!) and I’d like to think it’s the first time I ever really let myself loose in tap – without fear of being seen or judged, and I was quite amazed at some of the made-up combos I’m able to do. I have the idea but not the execution yet, there’s hard work ahead to catch up with the tapper I want to be. It was exciting to knock out rhythm… I just need to go loud, then pull back and refine it, I need to evolve! I have to keep my ankles moving!

One of the best sessions on my own yet!

Other Directors

I arranged this meeting before the latest series of disagreements, it was something I’ve been planning to do anyway in my quest for research. I met three Directors from a development and… they were absolutely lovely! They were so supportive of me because they went through similar experiences and understood my position. They said it’s a rewarding feeling to accomplish things but equally, it’s an under-appreciated role – I understood them and they understood me. They saw how lonely my role was and gave me so much support, even encouraged me to sell up and move in with them - tempting!

We spoke about the way their place is run, their management company supply a report document with every repair and arrears for their meetings, plus they get three quotes for every job! There were a lot of things I haven’t considered, normal things that I should be within my rights to ask – our management company should never intimidate with legal consequences. I should not be daunted to ask for information because – as they put it, we employ them. I won’t go into details but they gave me the boost and courage I need to carry on. I haven’t resigned so obviously I’ve felt beaten enough to want to fight back. The dual role of one Director is a VERY contentious issue and that’s the first thing we need to clarify. 

I’m standing in a very big puddle… and I need professional guidance. I know where to go and where to look now, it’s fantastic to hear that support from a similar group. 

I’m recharged and ready to go!

Argentine VS Portugal

In Manchester, Random, Sports on November 18, 2014 at 11:55 pm

I couldn’t miss the chance of seeing Ronaldo or Messi at Old Trafford. At the time I had no idea whether they were even playing. Luckily my mate got us tickets (they were £40 + £4 booking fee!) and we went tonight!

Rojo is injured BUT, cheers rang out in a half empty stadium when Ronaldo, Di Maria and Messi was announced in the starting line-up. That made my evening, a chance to see Ronaldo and Messi knock about! Massive jeering for none other than Carlos Tevez who, let’s face it – managed to piss off United AND City fans, he was brave to make a lone walk to the bench before kick-off. For Argentina, Demichellis and Mascherano teamed up in a solid defence, Higuain was pretty good and Tevez played near the end, Sergio Aguero didn’t feature – probably still recuperating. For Portugal we saw Nani back – it’s as if he was never a United player, not many cheers for him – nor boos, fans just shrugged their shoulders with sheer indifference, ex-Chelsea defender Carlvalho played, as did Fonte (Southampton) and a few others I might have seen in the Champions League or World Cup.

It’s been an ok first half and an ok second half, Argentina dominated and should have won, Messi was booed a lot. Our seats were too low and on the opposite end, we couldn’t really see him well enough - disappointingly subbed in the second half, he didn’t get a chance to run up at our end. Least we saw Ronny and he gave us a sheepish wave lol… plus a miskick into Demichellis’s stomach… that looked painful! 

The evening got a bit cold, we had a Mexican wave that lasted four laps! Pretty impressive from a mish-mash collection of fans, the Portuguese outnumbered the Argentinians by a fair bit but there were lots of United fans too, hoping to catch their former hero in action. It was pretty much Ronaldo-watch all through the first half, we were glued to him and loudly encouraged his every touch and sprints. Shame he didn’t score (or do much!), as usual he did a lot of strutting about and commanding everyone to chase the ball – he stayed up high waiting for the counter, but against a defence as good as Argentina, he didn’t get much opportunity to move behind Mascherano who I thought was quality, say what you want about him but he’s a really, really good defender.

It’s been a very family friendly, good vibe kind of evening. Shame our hero didn’t score and shame I couldn’t see Messi that well, still, I enjoyed the quality of football at times and Di Maria is always good to watch. Afterwards we decided to walk back into town… didn’t take that long, it was good to catch up with mates. Got in around 10:20pm, my feet are knackered! 

Been a good outing, always good to see Ronny!

Monday Tap and Jazz

In Dance on November 18, 2014 at 2:11 am

It’s been a lousy weekend, I planted my arse in front of the telly to forget the disappointment (see last entry). I felt pretty tired all day at work because I slept badly, I desperately wanted to get to tap.

Tap

It’s another good session, we were all so lethargic at first – plumped on the floor gazing at our own reflections on the glass, the darkness outside washed with the noise of traffic. Once we started warming up, I was good to go! The across the room was ok but I had lazy shuffles – urgh, they weren’t connecting/slapping the ground properly – I get that when I move too fast. I’m still learning to cope with the speed of things, not as much as I used to – the steps are fine but sometimes, my shuffles just don’t work – my ankles would go stiff. I have a long way to go despite my good days!

Standing pickups were interesting, we practise turning quarter, then a full turn on ONE pickup. I didn’t think much of it… until she inserted it into the routine, ooh. We carried on and finished it, I was pretty ok up until the new bit – travelling (and balancing) on one leg and then four turns which baffled the hell out of me. Not to mention the finishing double pirouettes. I’m gutted not being able to shuffle and side travel on one leg, it’s something I’ve been practising on every night – my balance was all over the place. Big fail.

It’s been a fun session, there’s so much I want to do that I’m not capable of, my mind is way ahead of my feet and my dream is way ahead of my competence! I have this burning desire to express myself through tap, maybe that’s why the flame still burn brightly. Always forward…

Jazz

Not that many people turned up, still adequately full but we had busier nights. I really enjoyed the tough warm-up, it’s the best thing of Jazz for me! The sheer release of tension around my shoulder and neck… the stretches are fantastic. You know what, Laura is making this into her own Monday night – everything is so precise and instructional (individual feedback needed?).

The across the room was clear and we did ‘Thriller’ as the routine, it’s actually fairly straight-forward when broken down. I think so anyway, the arms were fairly easy to pick up especially the famous claw-side walk? The more I did it, the more it felt like… we’re hanging our laundry up and down a washing line, very quickly – then slap our hips to say you’re done! It’s been alright actually, and my arms were ok – they came out at the right sides! 

I really enjoyed Thriller and the turns that we had to do, I don’t know what it is but Laura’s similar to Ailsa – the structure is making me want to chomp at Jazz. It feels more progressive than a free-spirited class, both good though! Had a brief chat with her at the end, she’s lovely!

Monday blues? I’m all better now!

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