Dance! - The Road to Heavies: lesson 60, April 3, 2015
Faint Patrick... better Light Jig and.... WAAA! A céili!
The soft-shoe stuff works out alright, although I do mess up a few times for some unknown reason.
My Light Jig goes well, especially when you consider I only practiced it in my mind. I didn't write the steps down very clearly and looked at my classmate most of the time, who knows this dance completely already. I mess up a few times, but continue, even though I still have so much trouble getting the hardest steps right. Left is more troublesome. Where I already have trouble with the step-hop, I also consider the steps to follow eachother in rapid succession. As I wrote before: 'Light' in Light Jig really does not account to the level of the steps.
The Treble Jig is reasonable, although the tempo seems to be bothering me.
My classmember next to me is still struggling to get sound 'out' of her heavy shoes. I can also remember how incredibly frustrating it was to only get shuffling noises instead of sharp clicks.
The Saint Patrick turns into what I expected: I can't remember the steps anymore. I get them taught again, but especially the tip-step-down is hard. It looks beautiful when the teacher shows them, but I seem to be having to break with some tough logic in my own head. I'm so used to continuing with another foot when you've ended a step that it now seems very hard to move my right foot (when I started moving with my left) twice in between moving my left.
I also just don't get enough time to write the steps down completely, which makes me practice the wrong steps the next week.
My first group-dance
After the heavy-shoe round is finished, one of our classmembers has a surprise in store for us. As she is working on getting her teachers-degree, she has to practice teaching a group-dance. And thus she finds a willing group in 5 students and the teacher to dance a 6-hand Reel with.
And, very strange: her explanation is up in my memory rocksolid after the first time. While the dance (basically only 1-2-3's) isn't overly complex, you still have to remember who's hands to grab and whose not.
And I did remember all that, but well, than you see the one you have to hold hands with at your opposite end and you realise there is still one-and-a-halve meter of space between the both of you.
And that's how it works with the person to my right and the one diagonally opposite to me...
I notice: I find it incredibly hard to do 1-2-3's, which I already do solo for 3 years by now, in a group-dance. Without a doubt even harder is doing this step backwards. In those 3 years of dancing I only danced 1-2-3's in a forward motion or on the same spot, but going backwards is far, far harder.
A lot tougher, such a groupdance
Also hard: doing 1-2-3's while spinning 2 circles with the dance you have to hold hands with... I constantly forget where I am and what I need to do, try to continue but probably end up in the wrong spot or with the wrong leg.
It gets even better (you better not thinkg about it, then you're already startled upfront) when we have to from a circle with 3 people and hold eachothers' hands. As our group, we spin around an invisible axle in our center in a clockwise motion, while as the whole group, we describe a circular motion across the floor, but then counter-clockwise...
And then I'm even the 'lucky' one that I'm in the circle of people the teacher is part of. Because she of course exactly knows what to do, we (me and a classmember) are encouraged to pick up speed. My first thoughts are those from primary school, where you sometimes played a game when you would spin around as you would hold eachother by the arms, until you got the feeling you were going too fast. Exactly that is what I'm feeling now and for an outsider I really think it looks like I'm being tossed around the room, just holding on with my arms.
When we end, we are facing eachother again in rows of 3, just like we started. This dance is all about the fact it basically never has to end. If the group is big enough you continue with new dancers, until you get to the point there aren't any left, the dancers are tired, the music stops or (in case of live music) the musician calls it a day.
Practice on concrete because work is busy
I'll be focussing on heavy-shoe stuff for the next week. That Light Jig is now starting to look like something, so I don't feel the need to keep going over and over it again.
I still practice at work, but that has become harder the last time. It's extremely busy and the plastic part of the work-floor is now occupied with products for the last 1,5 month, which makes dancing there impossible.
That's why I carefully practice on the concrete floor. Care really needs to be taken, as the toplayer is very smooth, slippery and extremely tough. Far tougher anyway and more smooth than the Stelcon-plates that are present in the NDSM-hall, as I can't mark the floor with my heavy shoes like I do there.
Going over my Treble Jig (with the over-heel-steps, where I basically stand on my heels) is hard to do. I try to practice that by just placing the whole shoe down, something I manage to do surprisingly well.