Class last night with Evan Griffiths in Providence Tango, we worked on different back crosses and stepping through them. Good stuff! S and I partnered up, and Shorey was Evan's teaching assistant. I learned quite a bit, including not to collapse my back when led into extreme volcadas or leans... something S was trying out on me and I was having a hard time keeping myself in frame. I knew that something was wrong when Shorey came running over with a look of "Oh no, please no...." Whoops. I remember when I danced in the modern company, and someone would do a move that we knew would cause injury, we all had the same reaction. So I made double sure to pay attention when Shorey told me how to properly hold my back and posture. It is harder than it seems, but with some adjustment, I know what it should feel like and I have a better sense of where things need to line up, so hopefully I can consistently find that when lead into extreme steps. Of course, I need an extra second or two to find that spot right now, which I need to get faster at since I would be finding that spot as S was leading me into the next step. Whoops! Not yet ready to go! heh heh heh. Oh well, I'll get there.
Evan also worked with me on colgadas, which I now know is the name for that odd move that S leads me into and then tells me that my leg is too far turned out. We were having a discussion about that at the practica after the lesson when Evan interceded. S felt my leg was too far turned out and that was causing my balance issues, I felt as though there was no way I could do this move with my leg perpendicular to his body as I would not have the control or balance that I was finding. Back and forth, until S called Evan over and asked him to look at my leg and figure out what I was doing wrong. Well, turns out it was not my turn out, it was how I was leaning back into the colgada, which forced my leg to turn out for added stability. Granted, I am still fighting 16 years worth of ballet wiring, turn out is second nature to me, but if I can learn how it should feel to do a move properly, then I have a fighting chance. What I was doing was leaning down into the colgada, and curving my back inwards at the base of the spine, what I needed to be doing was leaning straight back into the lead, use my leaders right arm for support, and slightly curve my spine outwards, keeping my upper body soft and my legs firm. Well holy crap! It worked! When I could do it that is. It is really hard to keep one half of your body loose and the other half firm and solid. I kind of want to be all of one. But when I was able to do it, it worked, and my legs went where they were supposed to and my turn out reduced by half.
Yea! I'm learning!