Saturday, April 28, 2012

Power! Performance! Booting Out!

When I told Coach Cruella that Dance Coach had said some time ago, "You're not ready," for progressives, she got down and cracked the whip. It was progressives, progressives, progressives for about 10 minutes during a private lesson. I got a few right, then I proceeded to practice passionately in order to perfect proper progressives.

Feeling like Oliver Twist I approached Dance Coach during our next lesson. "I think I'm ready for progressives. We've been doing them in group." I said.
Please, sir. May I do progressives?
 Let me tell you, when someone 30 years younger than you puts on their professionally attentive face--it's just the cutest thing. This is the fun of being old, I've seen everything, now I get to have fun with it.
"Tell me more." Dance Coach said.
He  had me demonstrate how Coach Cruella introduced them with the grapevine. This appears to be the standard way, because I got a grunted "Good." Then, I did them around the circle. I now have the rhythm of them, and after I've got a few under my belt I can actually roll onto the side of the free foot in the underpush. Technically this is not booting out as it's the free foot, not the skating foot. "Not any power there." I said.

He's looking happy and pleased. "High five!" he says, "Power will come."

What's the moral of this story? Well, practice helps. And developing your edges also helps. I don't think 6 months ago I could do them. I tried them once then instead of crossovers, but Dance Coach said, "Not yet." But a lot of water has gone under the bridge since then. I'm pushing myself, Coach Cruella is pushing me and it's working.

We rock through some dance skills. High fives are raining from the skies. I think my inside swingrolls only deserve a high two, but what they lack in power they make up in depth of curve.

The rest of the lesson is dance, dance, more dance. The Nasty goes okay. It's the usual Hockey Boy Tango with the crowds, but I have some power in it now. Not Dance Coach power, but more than I had a few weeks ago. Not bad power for 'the elderly'.

Then we did the Rhythm Blues. Remember I booted out last week on the first go round? Well, I did it again this week! I'm just going to plan for it from now on. I'll tell Dance Coach to expect me to boot out the first time around so I can get it out of the way and not have to worry about it for the rest of the lesson!

Edges forward and back in waltz hold go very well. And now that I'm deep in the knee my butt doesn't stick out. So, stylistically major gain!  Work on the step/cross behind (whatever) in the Cha-cha. This is the only place in any dance I've ever heard the words firmly uttered by Dance Coach in his 'safety voice' "NO EXTENSION!"

No extension, I can do that!


  1. What does booting out mean? The first time I saw that reference, I thought it meant a bad fall but in the context you've used above, I don't think so.

    1. It's when you do an edge so deep on the skating foot that the blade and the side of the boot are both on the ice at the same time. If it happens with the free foot, it's not booting out because your weight isn't on that foot.

      In the rhythm blues for some reason, as I'm in the crossover where I'm supposed to hold the free foot in the under push position for two beats, I have weight on both feet simultaneously for a moment. The under foot just keeps sliding under so I don't get my weight centered and balanced on one foot. This only happens in hold, and only on this step, and only once per lesson. Go figure.

  2. Yay! Yay! Yay! Glad you talked Dance Coach into letting you work on progressives. So awesome that it's going well. Don't you love proving dance coaches wrong? ;-)

    1. I don't think of it as 'proving wrong', it's more like 'proving myself ready to take up the challenge'. (Just in case he ever reads these posts.);-)