Last Friday I took my first ballroom private lesson. A grad student who dances with Hawkeye Ballroom and who was captain (?) of her college’s ballroom team when she was an undergrad offered me lessons. She isn’t a pro- but that means her lessons are a lot lower in price than the pros at the studio. Much more in line with what I paid for skating.
I had previously done some waltz when I took an 8 week ballroom class at Kirkwood, but other than 1-2-3 and a box step, don’t really know much about it.
So I told her that I was more interested in the route of competition dance, not social dance (even though I doubt I’ll actually compete) and that I wanted to learn the technical side of dancing. I think that made her happy because she (let’s call her E.) only competes, and doesn’t do social dance.
So we learned the basic box step, and I also learned how to use my feet in it. First- feet always come together, and are in parallel. Despite having horrible turnout for ballet, every time I looked at my feet, I could see them slightly turned out or with a gap between them. Oops! Need to work on parallel.
I also learned how to lead with my heel on certain steps, or toes on other. And a bit about the rise-fall, and having a long stretched out floating step on “2”.
We did box steps for awhile, and then in hold, and then adding in more specifics of feet, and then took it to travel across the floor.
At the end of the lesson we started working on what I think she called a “whisk” which is the step needed to turn the corner. Apparently you can’t just step on your partner’s foot, say sorry, and then face the other direction. I don’t know- it’s always worked for me before J. Anyhow, the whisk is a step out of the basic step, where you cross over and shift your weight (I have problems shifting) and then chasse forward (also have isssues here) and then you are facing 90 degrees from where you started, so you can continue down the next side.
So mostly, what I came away from this half-hour with was “waltz is hard.”
We are going to wait until finals are over and set up lessons for the summer. E. has a year left with grad school, so then I will have the same issue I had with Carson- but she is applying to med schools, so hopefully she gets in the one here!