Well, my illustrious adventures in ballroom continue on a trajectory toward my next competition, Desert Classic, in just over a month.
After this past competition, however, it was time to assess and course correct, a time to fix and improve what I can in this short respite. To that end, I had a lesson with Ivan and coaching with Linda Dean the Tuesday after the competition. Happily, Linda gave me great feedback on my dancing at the competition and we then proceeded to work on Bolero, Mambo, and Swing, cleaning up some issues, and revisiting the actual technique of the basic steps. Once again I find I’m too nicey-nice with my dancing. Linda reiterated Ivan’s admonition that I’m being too pretty and precise when some dances call for being more wild, free, even savage.
The other note Linda gave me was that I needed a new dress. Well, I do. She’s 100% right. I kind of hate to get one now but I’m sick of being seen in the same ones since forever. It’s time for a change. So guess what? You are right. I consulted with Marieta Sunday about making a new dress. So far I think it will be asymmetrical and be teal with lime green as an accent color. I’m sick of all the black. Time for color! Time to show a new version of them because, after all, I’m right smack dab in the middle of my transformation, you know!
I missed ballet last week on account of the holiday weekend. But tonight I went and worked up a good sweat. And I have to say things are a’changin’. It felt like the same amount of effort to me, but apparently my penche was noticeably higher this evening. My instructor was like, “What have you been doing?! Your leg was way up there!” And I have to say I felt pretty energized after class. It was an effort but not exhausting. Every few pounds I loose, every inch that shrinks off, makes it that much easier to move. The same amount of effort (which is a lot I tell you!) now produces incrementally bigger and better results. It’s kinda exciting if I do say so myself.
I went to Inna’s class last Tuesday which was taught by Igor since Artem and Inna were busy making it to semi-finals at Blackpool with their Foxtrot and Quickstep!!! How awesome and exciting is that?! But back in the real world, Phoenix, AZ, we worked on Cha Cha. Though the content class is great, and it pushes me to work so very hard, and it helps with cardiovascular conditioning, it is soooooo full of students. It’s hard to find space sometimes and when people don’t move and I am stuck behind them, or they are unaware of their limbs and fling them dangerously in my face, well, it’s getting kind of annoying. Sigh. What’s a girl to do?
Go to Rado’s Latin class on Thursdays, I suppose. It was the last in the series on Rumba for the month of May and it was a goodie. We reviewed the content of the previous classes, namely the 3 types of hip action: pendulum, figure eight, forward and back, as well as the 7 types of walks in Rumba: forward, backward, delayed, delayed with check, check, forward turn walk and one more I can’t remember dang it! Anyways, these basic walks are the components that make up all the steps in the dance such as Hockey Stick or Alemana. Rado gave us some choreography and we danced it and then he went on to talk about the character of the Rumba.
You have to know that Rado is a pretty energetic and entertaining guy. He’s very friendly as well as extremely knowledgable. He shares information with use about how to properly execute the various dances that I’ve not heard before, or he presents in ways new to me which helps me understand the dancing in a new light. For instance he shared with us how to improve our Rumba walks by pushing our ankles downward toward the floor to create that gorgeous line through the ankles and feet on the four and one counts.
So anyways, I enjoy his teaching style, he imparts knowledge generously and effectively, but I’ve never heard him be this racy! He was describing how the males and females should be dancing in the Rumba and it basically comes down to this; the guys are supposed to act like they are “the shit” because they are with this amazing, beautiful, womanly partner and they have the ability to get her to move however they’d like. Of course the woman’s job is to be uber-sexy, so much so that she attracts the attention of everyone watching, especially people across the room. The man she’s dancing with should be appreciative and all, but still maintain a machismo and cool confidence because, after all, he’s the one actually dancing with this maven, not just watching from afar.
He explained it like this (and apparently it comes from some movie, or so he says): If everyone can look at her, he is the only one who can touch her, and if everyone else can touch her, he is the only one who can smell her, and if others are allowed to smell her, then he is the only one who can taste her, and if others are allowed to taste her, he is the only one allowed to swallow.
OMG! Ha ha ha. SAY WHAT?! I almost choked on my tongue laughing! But I suppose it gets the point across….ewww…..??
The only other news is that my asthma is somewhat better since my doctor put me on a few more medications (boo!) but it continues to be an issue. Even so, I am pushing through and mostly recovered from my big dance competition. I had a double lesson with Ivan on Sunday and we mostly worked on our Samba.
I have to say, it was a very good lesson. We went through each step one-by-one from the beginning, refining it. The best part was that I felt pretty good doing it and was performing so much so that Ivan got goosebumps, not once, not twice, but four times! That has never happened before. And it made me very happy. Because it means that Ivan can feel me though my dancing. This means that others should also be able to feel me when I perform. It means to me that the performer is in there and she is coming out of her shell. Of course it is easier with just me and Ivan – it wasn’t quite as effortless when Marieta walked in – but it made me realize, acknowledge, and own my power and it also made me think that it is high time I play a bigger game and stop only showing this much on lessons. The more I shed this outer fat suit, the more my inner self shows up, the more confidence I seem to have, the more I feel like it is okay to be me and to show exactly how I feel. It’s an exciting time.
And I’m 100% back on my eating plan once again. I did all the shopping and cooking this weekend and I’m not going to lie – it is a pretty big effort. I actually enjoy cooking, using my kitchen, baking, reacquainting myself with my counter-top mixer that I got as a wedding present. But it is hard on my feet, hips and ankles to stand so much! I want to get one of those floor mats like we used in the pharmacy for some extra padding. I had to laugh when my husband commented that all the cooking keeps me very busy and “maybe all that cooking is part of the work out!” In any case, my fridge is stocked, my food is packaged, and I’m ready to eat like a Hobbit once again. I learned for future reference that doing a competition or travelling will require even more planning ahead because when I’m back in “real life” I don’t necessarily have the internal resources right away the very next day to go shopping and do food prep. In the case of a competition I was physically exhausted. So I think I will freeze things when I leave in the future so I can just defrost them and be ready to go straight away the next time around.
And my nutritionist and I are also troubleshooting the energy/eating situation during a competition. I’m going to get this carbohydrate powder which is the same idea as a protein powder but with carbs like I need during a comp. Plus I discussed with Martieta what to do to tan without using spray tan since it totally triggered my asthma before the competition. You live, you learn, right? I always learn tons every time I do a competition, about myself, about how to better prepare, and it’s all good.
And finally, a little bit of a rant lol. You see, since I’m working to shed all this weight I decided to follow a bunch of blogs about dieting, eating healthy and all that. I’ve followed people who are obese like I am. I’ve followed people who are already super-duper fit. People with eating disorders. People who had gastric bypasses. People who create clean eating diets. Basically, the entire gambit of anything to do with food, eating, weight loss, getting fit and whatnot… and reading these blogs is pissing me off! lol.
There is a lot of complaining on some of the blogs. Lots of excuses and whining (not like I’ve ever done that here…lol!) Or, on the other hand, there are people all, “I dropped 12 pounds in 2 weeks!” Like super amazing results and I’m annoyed that my progress isn’t as fast. It’s a weird thing – I wanted to follow these because I want to keep my head in the right space but I’m not 100% sure they’re helping.
Of course there are some gems in the pile like, Unbearable Weight, which is excellent and inspires me regularly. I especially found some food for thought reading her recent post. But besides UW, I mostly get annoyed from reading, wishing I was having more dramatic results or that the content wasn’t laced with negativity since I have enough of that to overcome in my own brain!
Alright rant complete. If you read a blog about health, fitness, eating, weight loss or any related topic that you find inspiring and uplifting, that motivates you, that has fantastic content, my request is that you please share the name of it and/or a link to it in the comments. I’m on the hunt to connect with others on this body transformation journey just like I’ve connected with other dancers.
And now for your viewing pleasure, just for fun, here is an entertaining picture of Ivan. He’s such a goofball!
Alrighty folks, that’s it for now. Until next time, keep dancing!