Sam

Monday Tap and Jazz

In Dance on July 29, 2014 at 1:03 am

Tap

Looked forward to tonight, was surprised at the turnout – the class was pretty packed. Ailsa announced a new schedule for every lesson, I heard the mention of mini-routines. Loads of familiar faces turned up as well as a new face, it was pretty cool! H came tonight as she’s not able to make Wednesday, oh no! 

We began a new warm-up, followed by a quick rhythm game with paddles – in a line! Unusual we did that before the across-the-room. Me, J and T were messing around with Toe pullbacks before the lesson, so Ailsa incorporated that! We did some other steps that I was familiar with – no new combos. Soon, we started our routine to ‘Good Morning’ from Singin’ In The Rain, it’s such an enjoyable upbeat tune – wish our steps were equally pleasant.

It was and it wasn’t, it was devilish in terms of the technical effort because the combos weren’t mirrored – I mean we didn’t do a left and then right, it was a continuous set of moves. The middle had us all stumped, probably just the SPEEED. I did joke that at one point, Ailsa’s flurry of movements were done in just five steps from us… that’s how fast she was and we were desperate to catch up. It’s manageable in my opinion, for many of us – which is a far cry from even half a year ago. This is progress right? It would have been daunting at the beginning of the year but now, we’re confidently taking it on. 

It’s been an ongoing process to make Monday Tap more interesting, Ailsa is doing a great job in making it even better!

Jazz

I was again late for warm up, only a tiny bit. Kate was her usual self and we went through the hour in her typical high-tempo fashion. I forgot where to turn a few times… what did I say the other week? Push it… I didn’t do enough tonight, I think I’m prone to following others in their steps when instead I should listen to the music and dance to the routine alone. It’s a bad habit I need to discontinue. 

The routine was from last week and I knew it all, except when it came to dancing it. Sporadically I blank out… and I don’t know why, was I watching others again or just not concentrating hard enough? I enjoyed the hour with K – she’s back after a week off ill. She’s good with Jazz anyway and picked up the routine with ease… I really could have done better, it’s as simple as learning to execute the steps properly… 

I made my first Jazz practise sheet! But have a busy weekend ahead, got a birthday party to get to, then Tap Rhythm Project… already? Wow… I need to get my rhythm down! 

I guess… plough on! 

Oh, I mean Jazz on…

Studio 5 mine

In Dance, Random on July 25, 2014 at 1:15 am

An hour and half in the baking studio. It was good! Although I was spooked by the street dance teacher… who cut through my studio because it’s a ‘shortcut’ to Studio 4 next door. I think it’s extremely rude to walk into the place while I’m tapping. It is also bizarre because he’s got to open two doors by cutting through this way, if he took five more steps around the corner, he would only have to open the door into Studio 4… instead he comes into 5 to cut sideways into 4. I’m not sure if he does it deliberately or not… it’s weird having someone just walk in without a knock, as if he’s entitled to crash through my session.

I CAN DO TOE PULLBACKS!

Anyway, I sifted through two of Kate’s combos, just working on the tempo and rhythm. I also spent a lot of time working out the toe pullbacks, and I finally did it, I worked out some sort of posture to enable my pullbacks… on TOES! I thought it was impossible but it isn’t! It was a case of staring at the mirrors and systematically eliminate the ineffective pullbacks, until I’ve worked out the correct way – it was simply changing the angle of my leap, bending my knees more and tightening my core. I locked my arms too, so they didn’t flap! Mirrors helped so much! I did what I always do, break down the components and work it out. I can do toe pullbacks on my right, the left was another issue because of my deformed spinal cord, it took me a little longer to work out. I managed it, but not as well as the right side. I need to concentrate on my left next time…

I tried to apply this to drop-shuffle-pickups… but that was difficult! It’s impossible!… HAH, bring it on. I grabbed the bar and just practised toe pickups from a standing leg… it’s pretty tiring but I will prevail, let’s get normal pullbacks sorted first, then on standing leg. I can achieve so much when left to it, my methodical approach can crack anything!

I also ‘jammed’ or attempted to, I find it difficult to create any sort of spontaneous rhythm but did managed a few, and although still disappointingly poor… I did far more than I ever managed before, meaning I’m moving in the right direction. I have to keep doing it, keep mixing my steps and learning what sounds right and wrong, it’s about tuning my feet with my brain, like fingers on guitar strings, I must learn the sound of my steps.

My hour and half flew by!

Well worth it. 

I met Steve (in Manc for one night only) and Kev afterwards for burritos at Changos Burrito Bar, pretty decent! As good as the one in the Arndale market, although I must go again to make a better judgement. My flat was far too hot to invite the lads around, we searched for a place to sit down, only to end up in Hilton for coffee. We reminisced our days in Kingsway School, it was a hilarious trip down memory lane, we did some really stupid things! We were so young and free!

I also collected my Lego Ghostbusters set from Tesco, I bought it for… nothing. Basically for the past four years I never received anything from Tesco relating to my Clubcard points, when I finally signed up online – I realised they mistook my flat number for a building number. After correction I realised I had £45 accumulated over the years! And with the automatic Tesco booster… to my surprise, doubled my points… meaning I only had to pay half of the normal price, I literally got this Lego set for something like £22.50… in points. I only paid the difference… which was £1.98! How cool is that! So, good job Tesco! 

It’s been a good evening, we called it a night at 10:30pm. Looking ahead for Saturday now, I’m going to Hull!

Will tell more soon!

Jazz Tap

In Dance on July 24, 2014 at 12:48 am

I was looking forward to this, I gave myself a kicking in the last entry and I felt determined to ‘step up’. I arrived to see J from Mondays, was chuffed to see her because the numbers are up! She said it’ll be a regular thing! I’m well happy!

I was fast to comment on the floor… and the fact next door Studio 4 was empty. After a very brief think, we skedaddled across onto the normal black hard surface, the feel of familiarity was good. The surface was smoother, harder and easier to walk on. We started to make noise like we should, and it felt GREAT! My sound was infinitely better and that in turn made me more confident in my strides, we skipped the routine and did a recap instead. It’s been fun covering four difficult combos and the hour was so enjoyable it flew by impossibly quick. We finished it with time steps, good to stretch our legs.

The floor helped tremendously, and even though I had a moment of blankness (on the spotting combos), I got confused over which leg to go first – probably thought about it too much. Strange thing is, when we did it again and I closed my eyes and relaxed, it was fine. I have improved from last week, I could feel my steps… just need to push it now, starting tomorrow! 

It’s a nice group with me, B, H (didn’t come tonight), and J who settled instantly! I desperately want to get better, just to show Kate that I’m improving. 

Good session!

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