Dancing with Starlite, Part 2 (of many!)

Quick post this time. We started our lessons after our first “real” Medal Ball on a high note. We decided to keep going to Bronze-2 for Rumba and Cha-Cha simply because I needed more of a “palette” to draw from as a leader. My Bronze-1 only gave me a very limited repertoire on the dance floor. Plus, many of the moves we would learn at the Bronze-2 level will show up in other Latin/Rhythm dances, so we figured that the extra effort would be worth it. And we’d keep our momentum going.

Then reality set in. We have since found out that Bronze-2 is as much about technique as it is about patterns, and we had really poor technique (I should say that we had acceptable technique for Bronze-1, and the Bronze-1 isn’t really be graded on technique, so it’s not that we had poor technique, it’s more like we had no awareness of technique). Essentially we would have to un-learn all that we already knew in order to re-learn the patterns the “right” way.

So we’ve been learning some new stuff, including a few new patterns, but they require much crisper motions and much more precise footwork. So we’re learning the techniques. As before, when we had more patterns than we needed, we will want that PLUS more technique than we need. I want that confidence! At first we thought we’d be ready for Bronze-2 by the Showcase in September, but it will probably be more like the Medal Ball in December. We’ll just keep learning incrementally and see where we are in September.

As of right now, we are learning the cross-over break for Cha-Cha and I can’t even figure out how to do a chasé. I’ll get there. First we have the footwork, then the legs and hips, then the core/shoulders, then the head and arms. You have to build up the muscle memory in layers (at least that’s what’s worked for me so far). At the end of the process, I need to get back to the place I was before: I lead the moves without thinking about the execution of the moves. I know we’ll get there. I’ll write each week with a short progress report like this one.

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