I've been feeling OK with my Lindy following, so last week I tried following Charleston, and really, my partner and I could've been dancing to the Benny Hill theme for all the pratfalls that ensued. I almost wish someone recorded it!
By the end of last night, the venue had dwindled down to 7 total people, so the DJ put on Pharrell's "Happy," to which we did the Shim Sham. But it turned out be a hilarious Shim Shambles, because I don't think any two people were on the same count for very long -- I loved it.
This is more of a blues than lindy but I was away at a workshop weekend this weekend and took part in the newcomer jack and jill (newcomer = has never finalled in a national or international comp) and finalled as a lead!
I signed up originally as a follow but when I saw that the ratio of leads to follows was pretty much 2 to 1 I decided to swap over and figured it would be less pressure then anyway so yeah, w00t! It ended up being 20 leads and 30 follows in that competition with 6 of each in the finals.
Also two of my friends did really well in the allcomer jack and jill and the strictly comp. I'm super proud of them too. Had some great classes (close embrace practice with no hands and a glass of water held between your chests was a very motivating one, hah) and really excellent social dances too. Basically good times all around
... and I got my first taste of blues last night! And it was really a taste, i.e. maybe just a few seconds of the close hold, now where's that blushing emoticon.
I don't think I ever danced to such exhaustion as last night. Had an epiphany or two, but at least one of them has been lost because of said exhaustion. I did write down another piece of advice that I think is going to improve my swingouts, though!
Aim the rock step on the 1 slightly to the diagonal/left, then through the 4 travel in a straight line to the swing-out position; the diagonalish rock step makes room for the follow to move within the slot, while the straight line for the lead keeps the couple close, trims out extraneous traveling, and makes the swingout more linear (instead of the rotational thing I've been doing).
I've been trying the last few weeks to stay closer during my swingouts to mixed results, but this is such an easy and concrete detail that I expect it'll help out straight away. /knock on wood
Look into bal if you are intrigued/have the time/want to. It's a really fun dance in its own right. As for blues and the close hold, it's totally not required, I find it quite nice if my dance partner knows how to dance in close embrace (need to be relaxed enough to make it feel like a soft comfortable hug rather than being pulled in. The nice thing about blues (at least where I dance) is that because everyone is really chilled out and knows that it's just about dancing and fun people feel safe enough to let go and play a bit. I see actually more men following and women leading (and dancing in all gender combinations) at blues than the other dances I do.
omg so tired cant be bovvered to use punctuation or hide my cockney apples and pears innit cos i stayed till closing for the first time didnt i oi didnt think i danced all that much but corr blimey when i settled into me bed me feet hurt they did
also managed to do a variation once or twice what ive been working on lately hurrah
Last couple weeks I've been in challenging classes, and it almost seems like I have a situational pseudo-dyslexia because when I'm doing something I don't understand, I have trouble telling left from right. It's probably just something to do with changing a small detail in something that's otherwise familiar that throws muscle memory out of whack and requires higher cognitive functions to step in.
That said, had some nice dances afterwards, and as I was joking to my dance buddies, I had an unusually large amount of energy late into the night, but that's because I was mostly avoiding fast songs since my knees were bothering me more than a bit.