As I mentioned before, I decided to take a private with Korey while he was here. Best decision ever. One hour one-on-one cost the same as if I had taken all of his workshops, and I am fairly positive I got way more out of it. The things I want to work on are all so personal that it doesn’t make sense to take group classes right now.
I walked in wanting to work on two things: posture and musicality. As we explored different ideas, I kept noticing how connected these two things are. Relaxing in my upper body, letting my shoulders drop and tension dissolve, allows me to use that part of my body to be expressive. Maintaining power through my feet, legs and core not only keep my balanced but also allow me to respond energetically and confidently to every step, every change in quality.
I also addressed some of those things that have followed me from other dances. I have a tendency to tendue beautifully before stepping, especially with back and side steps. We talked about how that is disconnected from the embrace, how it is very different from keeping the leg relaxed as I step onto it, how it is a valid choice but should be recognized as a choice and not a default. The same with my embrace and the musicality I transmit through it. My embrace can build up tension, which makes me power through certain movements – we talked about how that is one choice, but I could also choose to keep my embrace very relaxed (albeit energetic and engaged) while still communicating with my partner. I have also always had a tendency to grip in my hips, making it hard to relax them. In my tango, this has translated to holding my left leg when I could be relaxing it – again, something that could be a stylistic choice but one that I need to be aware of. It was a constant game of identifying and addressing these elements of my dance.
One confidence-booster was Korey’s note that these are all details. The one major thing we worked on was something to make my steps more confident, more grounded, more engaged (while keeping my upper body relaxed). Well, this is what I felt it was doing, anyway. What he asked me to do was much more straightforward, and I did it, at least for a little while. I need to keep practicing it so that it becomes habit, because I love how it felt. Powerful but not tense, engaged, musical, decisive, grounded. This is my main focus right now, and I need to find leaders who are willing to practice these ideas with me. To practice walking. It’s all about the walk. 😉