Sam

Jazz Tap

In Dance on October 22, 2014 at 11:55 pm

With that ‘Beginners’ comment still ringing in my ears, thought I’d give it a good go tonight. Footwork I’ve been ok but rightly so Kate said my upper body is too wild and I need to look at my core strength to stabilise my flailing frame. I like her notes, she seeds them in my head and I do try to take them on board when I can. Tonight’s been a mix, I did some stuff well and some others not so, I struggled with the sequence of riffs, just couldn’t program them into my head… it’s been a while since I had a good run on a Wednesday. I do feel disappointed at myself and for Kate because it isn’t good enough. 

I don’t think I’ve been slacking, if anything I work hard at it… I concentrate a lot on memorising the steps, my severe lack of techniques is a hinderance – I flap naturally and out of control! My riffs are poor, that is another thing on my long list of things to master. Am I being too methodical? Can I be too methodical? 

I don’t often look backwards or think I’ve gone backwards, but tonight it feels like that – it’s like I’ve hit the ceiling after learning all the steps and I’m slowly receding. I’m reminded by the fact Tap is just a collection of limited steps, it’s how we develop our own sound and shading (volume). I suppose rhythm steps and improv is where I’m heading, it’s a new territory and one I’m finding it hard to slip into.

Persevere…

I have just renewed my commitment to the cause, must tidy up my steps.

Core strength, bend knees, lift knees, no bounce, spotting, stamp properly, strong arms, listen to the music, height…

See, I do remember them… basically I have to refine everything. 

Wish I could tap every day…

Monday Tap Workshop + Extras

In Dance, Flat, Random, Rant on October 21, 2014 at 1:33 am

Tap

We had a special guest, a Jordan Cunningham with an exemplary dancing background (school and theatre), I can’t remember what they were but it mattered little because he was good! Albeit slightly too speedy for my poor soul.

I played catch-up for the duration of an hour and half, and regretfully I didn’t actually feel that tired – I’m sure I missed a LOT of steps trying to keep up, I can’t even remember the sequence now. They were simple steps but sped up and smashed together into an array of blurry feet. I did my best to keep up and wring it even because I personally didn’t feel I had enough time to digest the steps, that’s just me though, others did better. Slow on the uptake me! 

We had to individually do parallel toe pickups – I struggled! He made it look so easy. something new for me to chomp on!

I didn’t memorise his steps that well, not in the best frame of mind to start this evening anyway (see below). His routine was from 42nd Street, there was so much to remember in such a small space of time, he probably expected us to be Advanced. I remember towards the end, he selected three girls to do the routine alone – two have dancing background (don’t know about the third), the rest of us huffed and puffed along. Me especially. I felt disappointed being unable to follow – what is actually quite a fun looking routine. I hold my hands up – yes, it was out of my league at a higher tempo than what I’m used to. 

My legs couldn’t work fast enough to keep up and my brain wasn’t working fast enough to input. It was all very top level and I struggled my arse off. I didn’t really ask for help because I would have had to ask for every single part! It started to creep in towards the end, but for most of it – I just kept my body moving with little tapping in-between, hence I wasn’t particularly tired! 

As a challenge, I enjoyed it and I’m glad I gave it a go, I have an idea of where I want to be next – just need to keep climbing, keep grafting!

At the end, I thanked him and he asked if I just moved up from Beginner’s? LOL, was I that bad?! Well, no I responded… but I did start from scratch two and a half years ago, I don’t really know how to measure my progress… I wish I tapped every day but it’s more like a weekly basis. Is there any way I can fast track myself? Suppose just keep doing it – everyday! I was out of my depth tonight and it showed…

Change of plans

SW hurt her foot during the routine, it was quite bad, Karen found a doctor and apparently it’s a sprain, I hope nothing is broken, fingers crossed. Me and JH waited with her until she got picked up. Out of sheer coincidence, Andi passed by after Jazz on the way to meet KD. Not seen him for months, after SW got in the car, I ended up in Joshua Brooks to catch up. Each of us really opened up for some reason, it became like a psychological release – I did comment on the Freudian seatings – they were padded in dark crimson leather, like shrink seats. I felt so much better coming out of there… I got so much off my chest, about life in general and everything else! I hope they felt equally better too. I left early at 10pm cos I was starving and shattered… a most unusual detour of my evening.

Director’s niff naff…

My mind wasn’t entirely focussed on tap because, for some reason or the other I decided to challenge another Director. I’m seriously confused by her dual role which, with no other way of saying it, is a conflict of interest. That challenge came indirectly from another situation. To cut a long story short, I think I’m doing the right thing by breaking that long-standing circle of distrust, formality is a necessity, I don’t doubt that but gestures are equally important too. I believe the current crisis is the result of our distance – nay, I say ours but I meant the people before us. It’s obvious that this arrangement isn’t working out, I believe a different approach is required to diffuse this situation. An olive branch is my way. 

Sigh, it does bother me, on one hand I understand my role in protecting the investment, on the other hand, I hate the lack of empathy. It’s so needlessly complicated, I hate it.

Jazz Tap

In Dance on October 15, 2014 at 11:55 pm

I managed to shut everything out of my head by the time I reached Studio 4, work, work out of work, volunteering work – everything compressed, boxed-up and thrown into the deep end of my mind. Tonight was tap – the end.

There were three of us! E and JW came… to my relief because I knew B couldn’t make it, we had people! I was up for it until the spins early on, a combination followed by a switch, it’s simple but I struggled to maintain balance, remembering the combo and matching the beat. As often, it’s like being thrown in the deep end… all I can do is to try and stay afloat. I don’t have an array of steps ready, well I do have a small set but I’m still learning how to pull them out of my head at an instant notice. I can just hang onto Kate’s lessons, but given a bad day – I can fall off the edge and not string steps together.

We continued with a Maxi Ford spin followed by a 4-steps cramproll spin, repeat MF with 5-steps cramproll spin, then MF 6-steps cramproll spin, then one final one – that’s seven turns in moderate speed, I have very poor technique, so it was an ugly attempt going right, ten times worse going left. Ailsa would probably have made us do the steps first before introducing the turns – this is the difference with Kate. BUT, I like the challenge – it’s hard, so my thinking head is on, I’m tense and not feeling relaxed because I’m forcing myself to get over these hurdles. It may look ugly for a while before it look prettier… but I’m fine with that!

I loved the riffs, although when it came to doing them – I struggled. I knew all the steps but I’m far too tense to do them properly. Apparently it’s bad to look up – but that’s how I concentrate sometimes, need to look forward instead. Plus I lift too much and bounce – gotta keep it low and shock absorb with my knees. Ok, got to remember that, less bounce… strengthen knees!

We also did wings, which I managed again but only from a still position, when I had to jump into it – I couldn’t do it, apparently it’s easier to jump into wings. I need to work on that part! I thought I might be ok but yeh… celebration over, back to work! I thought too much about the wings, pride is a downfall – it’s time to get back on the ground and move on quickly. SO much to learn still!

The hour was up, the routine was actually fun and easy to remember. Bit short, would have liked more of it. 

Kate is doing Monday Jazz, look forward to it already! 

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