The Anatomy of a Lesson In Ten Parts

Ok folks!  I’ve got some funny clips from a previous lesson.  Once again, (arrgh!) the timing of the sound is shifted such that it is not in sync with the action.  I don’t know why this is happening, but I’m going to use a different recording device in the future.

In any case, I’ve decided that I will write a little bit about each snippet so you can know what I meant to draw your attention to.

Also, writing can only convey so much.  In these clips you’ll get to hear Ivan’s funny remarks in his “Arnold Schwarzenegger” voice.  Describing it in words sometimes just doesn’t do the comedy he naturally creates proper justice.

Thanks to Ivonne who came early before her lesson to record Ivan and me.  You’ll hear her laughing along, and even coaching me at one point with some very valuable feedback.  You’ll probably also notice Nona with her student Randall in the background.  Sometimes you can hear her explaining a step too!

So, without further ado, here’s what’s going on in this first clip:

We were working on connecting with the audience.  Ivan wanted me to oscillate between seeing him and the audience.  Over and over he repeats, “Me!  Audience!  Me! Audience!”  But the instruction doesn’t end there.  As you will see, he gets more in-depth with it and also coaches me on my facial expression.  He’s telling me not to be “Chinese.”  HE said it!  NOT me!  But I squint when I smile really big and he’s always telling me to open my eyes wider.  He also demonstrates how I am being like a bobble head doll….not focusing immediately on him or the audience, but letting my head wander around without definite focus.  You can hear Ivonne snicker as he demonstrates, “what you call?  Head bobble?”  Finally, added treat, you’ll get to hear me groan in frustration right at the very end.

This next video I’m just including for vanity reasons.  Well, you know, I was kind of, like, surprised at how I looked doing swivels.  They are one of the bains of my existence as a ballroom dancer.  I just never feel like I’m doing them right and I think they are one of my worst steps.  Clearly I need to work on remembering to keep my shoulders down while doing them, and I see a little up and down action that is choppy…I need to press more into the floor, but overall I like the picture it creates.  So, here are my swivels.

Part 3 of our saga opens with an exclamation of, “Perfect!”  Yes!  I got it on video!  I did something right….which was short lived.  You’ll hear how quickly we move on to learning the next thing.  On this clip the sound is way off.  The actions come before the sound so it looks a little weird.  However, during this little stretch there are a few gems including Ivan stepping on my toe, then telling me to dance with passion to which I respond by slapping him in the face with my very wet, sweaty hair.  Also, at the end Ivonne tells Ivan, “No more tequila for you.”  This was the lesson the day after he stayed up late drinking that rakia (some homemade Bulgarian liquor).

Moving on to clip 4, you get to hear Ivan saying, “Push your butt,” and demonstrating how I should hug him….like I actually like him, not like “Ivan, you smell bad.”  One comment I make in the clip deserves explanation.  At one point I tell him he is worse than my grandpa.  This is because Ivan squeezed me silly.  My grandpa DeGregori always gives the biggest, strongest bear-hugs in the world…ones in which I feel like my eyes may pop out of my head.  But Ivan topped even that big of a squeeze.  Without that explanation, you’d probably think I was making no sense at all.

Added bonus in this clip is a cramp in my calf.  Ivan decided to change one move where I bend backwards from being on two feet to being on one foot.  Although it has since been changed back, I bargain with him for the use of two feet, claiming that I can’t hold my 300 pounds on one foot.  To which, God bless him, Ivan replies, “Liar!  You not 300 pounds!  You 260.  300 long time ago.”

And now part 5. It’s just Ivan singing. I find that funny.

Our sixth installment consists of me attempting to be sexy. Bonuses include hearing Ivan say “Oh my God, yeah!” “Touch yourself.” And the infamous, “Don’t be scary.” Again the sound is off kilter.

Our septimal segment (like that alliteration?) I continue to work on bringing the sexy out. The sound is horribly off time, but you’ll get the idea. Ivan tells me that I’m moving like a mummy…but what he means is a zombie. He tells me that I’m doing nothing, that even zombies like froth at the mouth and groan. Also, you get to hear that coaching from Ivonne which is dead on. Finally, you hear me get a little whiny. I was thinking Ivan had led me into the next move, but clearly he hadn’t. “I gonna send you there!” is his manly refrain. I shriek in frustration.

Rounding out our lesson, part 8 examines the meaning of life. Just kidding. I’m just going to title it, “Touch my face.”

Our penultimate clip is basically Ivan showing me how the lady should do this part of the routine versus how I’m actually doing it. Yeah, you’ll see…not a very feminine choice I made.

You’ve made it! We are at our last clip. It contains more refrains of, “Touch yourself! Touch your butt.” Also, I get whiny once again because not all of us began dancing at age 6, like Ivan did. On the last move, Ivan tells me I have to be like an American Eagle and stand proudly over him. Still working on that one… Finally a high five and a hug and we are finito!

I hope you enjoyed this little blog post, even if the sound was really screwy. It would probably have been funnier if the audio and video had been in sync but alas, they were not. Hopefully you’ll now have a clearer picture in your head of what I’m describing that happens on my lessons since you’ve seen Ivan in action on video.

Until next time, I’m going to sign off like Ivan always does with a “Ciao!”

10 thoughts on “The Anatomy of a Lesson In Ten Parts

  1. lalatina says:

    Oh I LOVED IT! You’re doing such a great job and Ivan seems sooo cool, and the studio is sooo nice 😀 Keep it up! You look awesome!

  2. Ceci says:

    You look amazing!. I must admit I miss dancing, but watching you dance made me so happy. I am so proud of you. And you have lost 20 pound even better.. You keep going strong. Your dancing is like night and day. It made my heart all warm and fuzzy.
    Love ya,

  3. Ceci says:

    I love the video. Tell Ivan I miss him.

  4. Ceci says:

    Loved it, Loved it, LOVED IT!!! Keep those videos coming! 🙂

  5. Alaina says:

    You are quite the dancer, Stef, and I can definitely see the sexy coming out. Keep up the good work! 😀

  6. you guys have so much fun! you look great–i don’t think you give yourself enough credit 🙂 rumba is not as easy as it looks! (says the girl who worked on rumba for the first time today)

  7. Stef – I watched every segment and loved them!! Sooo impressed. You move great and I love that you move in sync – it’s like seeing one set of legs in places – nice! Your sexy is getting better and better! Hugs!!

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