Video Analysis: Pain Face talks it out

Today, my friends, we’ll be observing the following video clip, which is from our December 18 show. This particular snippet is about 28 seconds of our soleá. In case you can’t tell, I’m the one who’s pretty much in the center of the shot; Hotcakes is to the left and Homegirl is behind me on the right…

What’s that you say? You wish it were longer? You want to see more of me?? Well …. NO.

At least not yet.

I chose this clip for a few reasons. First, it’s short, so you can only pick out about 50 things I’m doing incorrectly, instead of 150. Second, I’ve got my soleá sistas there with me, so it’s not all about me. Lastly, I just really loved this dance.

The shot is small and not super clear, so everything I’m about to say might not be entirely evident to you. But they sure jump out at me.

First off, I’m stiff. This, I’m certain, is caused by fear. I’m trying hard to keep my composure so I don’t miss any steps, which causes my body to tense up. At about eight seconds in, during the footwork, the other ladies change hand positions and I don’t. I deliberately did not move my hands because during those few seconds, I was thinking, “Oh crap, if I move my hands, I might screw up my footwork!” I had struggled a bit with that particular step during rehearsals and I wasn’t willing to risk it during the performance.

My arms are a constant point of concern for me and watching this video, I am reminded why. My arms are long and I haven’t quite learned to control them. How can I explain it? It feels as if I need a few extra nanoseconds to get my arms to complete any given movement. To compensate, I keep my arms close to me or make the movements small to keep my timing in check. And if I push myself to move them faster, I feel as if they’re flapping wildly, almost detached from my body. These windsocks MUST be tamed.

My face looks pained. Hotcakes looks relaxed and in control, Homegirl looks relaxed and maybe even a bit happy. I look pained. But I kind of think I generally look that way on any given day. Maybe that’s just my thing. Maybe someday, when I’m a pro, people will talk about me and say things like, “You know, that one dancer, the pale one, the one who always looks like she’s in pain or constipated? Yeah, she’s awesome!” I guess that would be OK.

So there’s the abridged version of my analysis. It’s good to talk it out; it helps me focus on the work I need to do.

Hope you’ve enjoyed my self-criticism. Plenty more to come.


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