Fluffy

Well friends,  I’m tired and have to be up at the crack of dawn tomorrow, but I’m committed to this blog, right, so I thought I’d at least write a little something about my lesson today.

I went after work and wore a dress with bike pants underneath.  A conscious choice to wear something better than on my last lesson.  I guess it worked because when Ivan saw me he told me I looked “fluffy.”

Oh Ivan, I will never truly understand you, even though sometimes I feel like I totally “get” you!  Anyways, he said, “Is that the word?  Fluffy?  Puffy?”

“I don’t know, Ivan.  What are you trying to say?  Am I retaining water?”

“No, you so cute today.  Like fluffy.  It not mean fat.”

I imagine the little cute fluffy chick named Stefanie that I gifted to Ivan not long ago.  I have a feeling this is the kind of “fluffy” he’s referrring to.  Even if it isn’t, it’s put me in a good mood and started the lesson of to a nice beginning.

But there’s a problem.  The music computer is kaput.  Completely.  It was already on it’s last leg.  Luckily, I have my trusty iPad today and we are able to plug it in to the speakers.  On the downside, I have a weird mish-mash of music, and not a ton of ballroom music.  But there is this one cool song I have from Frank Sinatra called the “Coffee Song.”  It starts out as a Samba and progresses into a Foxtrot.  It’s just darling and I wanted to share it with Ivan.  So we start there and the mood is light, ebullient.

Next we decide to do a Rumba.  But with my weird mix of music, I spend a lot of time trying to find something that will work to do a Rumba but it takes so long Ivan gets frustrated.  He walks over and just randomly picks something.  It’s Lisa Loeb.  These slow kind of whiney songs but Ivan says it’ll work for a Bolero.

“See.  You crazy.  You working so hard to find a song.  I just two tries and find one.  I feel the music.”

I don’t say it but I was like, well, I thought there were, you know, rules, about what song you can dance to.  Clearly not a lot of the music they generally play on the radio is going to be suitable for a ballroom dance.  But maybe that’s not as true as I thought.  Oh, I’m pretty sure there are rules about the beats per minute that are necessary for regulation Cha Cha and all that, but we’re just practicing in a church rec room, here.  We can be flexible.

It begins an avalance of unlikely dancing songs.  And it is so much fun!

We do those Lisa Loeb songs, then “Bulletproof” by Le Roux, and then “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” by Daft Punk.  And then “Lady Marmalade” from Moulin Rouge which I totally blast at the highest volume possible.

Interspersed with bronze and silver syllabus steps are bits and pieces of complete freestyle dancing.  No rules except having fun.  And Ivan’s trying to sing along with me, off-key, like a baying dog in pain, to songs he doesn’t know at all.  He really dives into things with everything he has.

We even did a little ballet.  Ivan sticks his butt out.  It’s kind of funny being the more experienced person in the room for a minute.  And though I’m no true ballerina, I still have more technique in my little pinky toe when it comes to a plie’ or bourre’ or pique’ or posse than Ivan does.

It was exciting.  He told me that there is another showcase coming up the weekend before the Galaxy dance competition here in Phoenix and asked me if I’d be interested in doing it.

“If it nice, we can doing it at Galaxy as a solo.”

Woo….that would be a stretch for me.  I’m interested.

Even better, he then said, “We maybe do some freestyle dancing in it.  You can help with the choreography.”

Oh, well, goodness now.  I am feeling more and more like a grown up every minute here.  To have more creative control over what I perform.  I’m enticed.

And, about this time, Ivan began reminiscing about dancing with my mom last weekend at my birthday party.  He really enjoyed it, I think.  He was fantasizing that maybe my mom would join Ivan and I for a little routine.  I’m not so sure she’d be willing to do that, but it’d be pretty fun and cool if she was.  But I do think he enjoyed the mambo they did because she was smiling and having so much fun during the entire thing.  It was pretty cool to watch!

Isn’t my mom the cutest thing ever?!

Anyways, Ivan said I could do anything I wanted for the upcoming showcase.  And, if it is good enough, he’d be willing to do it with me at competition.

So, what do you think I should tackle?  A Samba?  A Mambo?  A Swing?  A Foxtrot?

Is there any song that you are really digging right now that might be good to do a routine to?

I think I got my mojo back.  That was quick!  It helped to see my mom dancing like that!  Who wouldn’t want to jump up and dance after seeing her bust a move?  Best birthday evarrrr!

Love, Stef

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3 thoughts on “Fluffy

  1. Aurora says:

    Oh, your mom IS adorable! 🙂

    For a showcase, you’re really freestyle, right? No real worries about tempo? (And yeah–as you mentioned you can fit ballroom to a TON of popular songs, if you’re not worried about bpm! I practice to some WEIRD things, sometimes! ;))

    I think that Lucas with the Lid Off is an unexpected and fun number for swing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sY5zaDZq0sc You can throw in all kinds of fun things into it–Drunken Sailors, lindy moves, in and out kicks–keep it low and loose for that number. 🙂

    I like Treble ‘n’ Bass’ “My Sweet Senorita” was always my favorite number for cha-cha: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fWJ1_k3i5U&feature=related

    It’s cheesy, but their are some macarena mixes that work really well for samba, and always get the crowd going…

    I was listening to my iphone the other day and heard something that was an amazing quickstep…but I can’t remember what it was. Boo! However, that just made me think that I’d LOVE to use this number for a mixed up type of dance–mix up cha-cha, swing, lindy and quickstep: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vo7x0xH3j5M (Okay, that’s probably a bit more out there–I told you I get a little weird with my music! ;))

    More traditional swings are “Runaround Sue” or “Lovers Who Wander” by Dion and the Belmonts (okay, ANYTHING by Dion and the Belmonts, really!)… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qET6BMbDagw&feature=fvst

    Might be a stretch, but I think you could get a good samba out of Lindsey Stirling’s “Shadows”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGCsyshUU-A

    You could do a playful quickstep to “Hot Rod Lincoln”…there might be something good on the “Burlesque” soundtrack–lots of VERY danceable songs–very dramatic–but most would be really stretching in terms of ballroom, I think.

    You could hustle to “If U Seek Amy” (you can hustle to most pop/rock songs, actually–my partner and I once went to a club and hustled to virtually every song that was played)…

    For something really interpretive, what about “My Immortal”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cu7QvOQKcKk or “Slipping Through My Fingers”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Za-W4sY0hz0&feature=fvst ….a lovely waltz or Viennese waltz could be done to “Labrythine Heart” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_DYgXOLdrB8

    Years ago I saw a couple do a freestyle number to “Kiss of the Spider Woman” from the eponymous musical at the Ohio Star Ball on PBS… I loved it, being a theatre person–but the all-ballroom crowd hadn’t a clue why the woman was wearing a spider-type costume–hearing their baffled commentary was a hoot. So…musicals perhaps NOT the best choice–STILL–you could do some neat interpretive stuff to “Defying Gravity”, from Wicked: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6dBW4pViRTU

    Goodness–I don’t envy you picking something out!!! There are too many wonderful pieces of music out there!!! 🙂

  2. Alaina says:

    Your mom really is cute! She looked happily overwhelmed at some points, and that just made me smile. I can definitely see the family resemblance. Anything you want for the showcase, huh? You have some serious thinking to do! 😉

  3. The video of your mom is so joyful–makes me smile!!!

    I vote for samba 🙂

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