Notes to self – 7 – Girl Jam

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Solo dancing – never really enjoyed it, choreography – I can never remember it, women only events – lost their appeal after I left the Girl Guides. However, I signed up for Girl Jam 2013 knowing that it would be good for me and…. I really enjoyed it! Notes to self below:

Things I want to follow up on:

  • Pulse/bounce from the bottom
  • Shorty George – it’s about the knees, really move the knees side to side
  • Think arms or legs but not both. Where should people focus when you are doing a move?
  • Free style dancing to Charleston music is a lot easier when you string together a number of moves and memorise those rather than continually having to think about what to do next

General comments

  • Laura Glaess’s body moves like a spring and it’s a joy to watch her dance. I don’t think you can really appreciate just how wonderfully her body moves watching YouTube clips of her dance

  • It was nice to be taught by youngsters and to see just how dynamic and athletic their body  movements are
  • Professional dancers are incredibly ‘straight’ compared to the rest of us who spend our days sitting at a desk and end up a little rounded in the shoulders and back
  • Great dancing and great teaching really aren’t the same thing. I’ve never really liked the way one our local teachers looks when she dances but but this workshop reminded me what a great teacher she is. People not getting the routine – break it down further, people still not getting it, break it down further still and drill it until people get it. Felt good to be in a class with a teacher that was really in tune with the class and their needs
  • If I want to continue to do more solo dancing (other than beginner classes) I need to learn all the routines. Once you get above beginner level it seems to be assumed that you know the Tranky do, Jitterbug stroll, big apple, etc.

Things I learnt about myself:

  • My life is pretty busy at the moment, I social dance but rarely have time go to classes or think about my dancing. It is intimidating to go back into a classroom environment!
  • Step, step, triple step, step, step, triple step… I am really rusty on moving my feet to a lindy Hop rhythm. Too much Bal, too much rock and roll, too much not paying attention to what I am doing. I really need to practise this pattern, moving the steps in different directions and getting the rhythm back into my body.
  • I still rock step automatically most of the time when partner dancing but left to my own devices I can now start on either my right and left foot without a second thought and needed to consciously remember which foot to start the routines on
  • Swivels, my timing is slightly off (and always has been). I need to work on the rhythm of swivelling and doing it without a partner
  •  I look old and stiff and slow when I dance (the tyranny of dance studio mirrors…) which is pretty much how my body feels half the time. On the plus side I was a lot fitter than many of the younger women there.
  • I have the memory of a goldfish when it comes to remembering routines
  • I found it really hard to let go on the prep for turns. Taking a short swig of water during class I noticed that I wasn’t alone,  perhaps it’s a British thing :-)
  • Counting, I am not naturally a counter and because I don’t teach/am not particularly OCD about my dancing, I have to think long and hard which bit of the Charleston happens on the ‘3’ or on the ‘4’. I think I just need to teach myself these things.
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One response to “Notes to self – 7 – Girl Jam”

  1. Sara says :

    I was theeeerrrreeee! Solo jazz is hard, right? So easy to get too used to ‘just following’ but nobody wants to be a followbot. Straight after the weekend I wondered what I’d actually remembered but bits of it are starting to trickle back in, it’s great… I wonder who you were…!

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