This week I’ve focused on cleaning up some footwork in my alegrias, which got me thinking: I remember a couple of years ago, maybe less than that, I couldn’t do this step at all without fudging it every time. My feet just wouldn’t move that way. While my technique and speed aren’t where I’d like them to be yet, I’m happy with how far I’ve come since then. It’s stuff like this I need to remember when I get down on myself. I’m doing ok.
Last week sucked as far as progress goes. I’ve been sick. It started with a week ago with a sore throat, which turned into the kind of cough that makes you feel you might lose a lung, and now it all seems to be settling into your standard, mild yet irritating cold. I skipped one of my two Thursday night classes because there was no way I could have managed two hours of flamencking, and I skipped Saturday classes because of a prior commitment with the chorale.
Feeling way out of compás, I managed to roll my sick sorry butt out of bed Sunday morning and head over to the studio to get in an hour of much-needed rehearsal time. Does this show dedication? Sure, but I mostly did it because I forgot to cancel my studio reservation ahead of time and they would have charged me for it anyway. But I figured I’d take it easy and just walk through some things, ease back into the groove and prepare myself for a more promising week ahead.
I think it did me good. Sometimes it’s less about intensity or speed and more about precision, or at least aiming for precision. Running through an escobilla or llamada at a snail’s pace is a step toward a precise and hopefully speedier performance later. Every little bit counts, I’ve learned. It could be that 30 seconds of practice you got in on any given day that makes all the difference at show time. You just never know.
Here’s a clip from Sunday. Notice the cough and the look of exhaustion at the end; dancing when congested sucks.
This week I’ve focused on some sections of problematic footwork, as you’ll see here. This short video is also a great example of why it’s not a good idea to put your camera on the dance floor.
Yesterday was the official last day of my 30-day challenge. I have lots to say about that, but it’ll have to wait till I have adequate time to write….
But here’s something fun to watch in the meantime. One thing I learned while putting this short video together is that I tend to waste a lot of time when I practice on my own. I definitely need to work on my time management skills as they apply to my rehearsal sessions. With the time I spend resting, cursing, talking, making faces, pacing and adjusting my hair, I could probably run through my choreographies at least five more times. But even when I’m alone, I get nervous, over think things and subsequently lose my train of thought. Or I just plain get tired.
Yesterday I spent an hour in the studio reviewing some tidbits, including a bit of footwork we learned in class on Saturday. A few words about this video:
1. That white thing on my butt is a feather from one of my bed pillows. How the hell it got there, I don’t know. I didn’t realize it was there until I looked at this video — how embarrassing. I had a group of lookie-loos standing outside that window for awhile — um, yeah, thanks for making me nervous, people — and I’m sure they saw it. Oh, and speaking of making me nervous, at one point, one lady actually busted in on me and said, “Oh! Are you doing flamenco?! I used to do flamenco when I was a little girl! Let me watch — go ahead!” Wha?! Who DOES that?! Ugh. Luckily she ran out a couple minutes later when she realized she was late for her Zumba class. Next time, lady, I won’t be so polite.
2. I realize it’s not very pretty, but I was just trying to remember the steps and rhythm. Good God, I’m heavy footed. But I’m working on that.
3. I do talk to myself when I rehearse alone. Sometimes I don’t even realize I’m saying things aloud. Again, embarrassing. Oh well, that’s just my method; it helps to talk myself through things. At the end of the video I’m asking the camera, “Was that right?” As if it would know.