Practicing on a slippery floor is tough!
Last night I attended a practica. The first feedback I received was that I needed to pivot more and take bigger steps on my molinete, and that my response time for weight shifts was not quick enough. Now, I am not perfect, and these are all things that I want to get down flawlessly. I want to be someone who can respond sensitively and quickly to a lead, who can walk (and molinete and …) comfortably and with good form. But these are not the typical critiques I get in practicas.
I hate to sound like I am passing blame, but I can’t help but think that some of the problem was the floor. I had never danced with this leader before, and a leader I know well and who also does quick weight shifts and direction changes was saying that the floor was inhibiting his lead. I also found myself fighting to pivot as much as I normally do while simultaneously taking big steps and maintaining balance. These are not all problems that I face in normal conditions. (Then again, a new leader may have useful, new critiques. I won’t ignore them.) It does, however, highlight some things that I could be working on. I never feel like I am done working on basic ideas …
Individual Practice Checklist:
1) Balance – Stand on one foot (in heels!) and do exercises with the opposite foot/ankle/leg; transfer weight and immediately lift other leg to check balance; etc.
2) Ochos – A staple exercise for any tanguera, no? Focus on extension, pivot, collecting, etc. Throw in some embellishments for practice.
3) Molinete – Focus on big, even steps. Lots of pivot. Practice in a circle, placing steps an even distance from the center of the circle.
4) Boleos – Any good ideas on how to practice these solo? I want to work not only on training my body to have good placement but also to be properly relaxed. I’m not sure how to work on that without a partner to initiate the movement. In fact, I could probably just call this bullet point Relaxation and include other movements that I want to be more relaxed with. I just need to identify the best way to work on this.
5) Walking – I don’t have a huge space to work with, but I always want to work on smooth walking: Staying at the same level, not ever falling into a step but maintaining control, collecting, etc.
Those are my top five right now. There are lots of fun things that I like playing with in practicas, with partners (e.g. from last night: leader and follower sacadas, colgadas, sentadas – this was a new one …), but in the end I always return to trying to perfect the basics. What are you working on?