Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Twinkle Toes Maneuver.

Today's Russian
Ja Bun-yee My-Oh--I understand. Don't pronounce it Ja Bunyi May-o. Coach laughed so hard he nearly fell over.

Coincidentally, today was the reunion for skaters from my old rink. All my old ice dance friends were at this rink, and all staring at me in my lesson. The comment from the ladies, "Ooooh, your coach is a cutie." I am so past that.

It was the usual round of warm ups until we started forward cross overs. For those of you who say, "I passed crossover ages ago." Sorry, Buttercup, crossover work never goes away. You get to work on power, smoothness, extension, position. I'm pretty smooth now. I really rarely clunk one down anymore, and if I do, it's more of a 'chink' (although according to Dance Coach I'm causing earthquakes in China. Meh.) So I am extending my crossing leg, then I start extending the under push and putting a little extra push and lift with the toepick at the end of the under push.  I learned this a long time ago, and I don't know what it's called. I think of it as the Twinkle Toes Maneuver.

Dance Coach goes wild. "Let me video this! Is beautiful! I want you to see this!"

I shudder. Being photographed is torture. But Dance Coach is the boss. I start the crossovers again and put extra stretch in my extension. I do the Twinkle Toes Maneuver. I Move.Smooth. Coach is making happy sounds and calls me over.

I look at his camera and see a short, fat elderly woman in a hat, with no extension and boots hanging off her feet like space junk. Where's my extension? I can feel it when I skate. Where's my toe point? I'm pointing with every fiber of my being. The smooth I can see. The speed I can see. Whatever else Dance Coach sees, I don't see. It hurts to watch. WHEN DID I GET OLD? At least I'm not hunching. That ends up on YouTube, there'll be one less ice dance coach in the world. I turn away from it. Dance Coach plays it again, looking pleased with himself. 

I learned the Cha-Cha today. I'm a little concerned about the step where you do a swing roll, bring the free foot in front of the skating foot, make it the new skating foot, and bring the old skating foot halfway up your calf, before making it the skating foot again. If you can master the Evil Step Behinds in the Rhythm Blues, this is okay. Then we start learning the bit at the beginning where you do a RFO Chasse, then immediately step wide into a RFI 'double lift thingy'. (If I have written this wrong, it's because there's stuff in the Cha Cha that's indescribable.) Dance Coach takes my hand. I stare at him. All we're doing is a progressive, to a chasse, into the wide step. "Why are you holding my hand?"

"It's the wide step." he says.

I waved him off. "You do realize people have been telling me for 5 years not to step wide.  Now you're worried about it?"

I admit that at this point, I have absolutely no clue about the rhythm or the flow of the Cha Cha. I think if I draw it out on a piece of paper with notation that means something to me, I might be able to get it. With all the double stroke, funky footwork, and saucy music it seems fun. Dance Coach says, "Will go very fast." Whether that means me learning it, or the pace of the dance, I have no idea.

We fiddle around with some more dance stuff, and work on my Waltz 3's in hold. For once I nail them like a pro. Then, I go to my reunion. All in all, an exhausting lesson.


  1. Congratulations on the compliment on your crossovers!

    Yeah, crossover work NEVER goes away. But it sure feels good when they start correcting your chin position, rather than just repeating "bend your knees" over and over.

    1. Chin position!? Wow. And I thought my coach was tough!

  2. Small correction on your Russian word of the day: it is actually closer to something like "ya pun-ee my-you"

    BTW I have passed Intermediate MITF and am working on Novice, and my coach still makes me work on *forward stroking* nearly each lesson :)


    1. I should explain, I learned German, so the 'ya' sound goes through my fingers on the typewriter to end up as 'ja' which is pronounced 'ya', so bad on me.

      And as a writer. I admire your determination to go through months of old posts. Thank you for making my day!

      Good luck on Novice!

  3. The Evil Step Behinds in RB are much worse than the Only Slightly Nasty Step Behinds in CC. Has Dance Coach told you that crossing the foot in front is optional? Leaving it out doesn't help much to me, but YMMV.