it’s not dancing, it’s modeling! Luis discarded all of the choreography he’d done so far, which was fine since I was having a ridiculously hard time remembering the small between-tricks steps, and decided to construct a series of sexy poses that I’m to hit on each of three beats at the start of the song (btw, don’t ever dance to Gloria Estefan — it sounds fun until you start actually to try to keep the beat and then realize how flipping fast it is!). We ended up spending most of the lesson on this since I was having such difficulty striking the perfect pose (especially on the exact beat), and he was being a perfectionist rearranging my hair (and teaching me how to flip it so it’d land just so), pulling back on my shoulders and pushing my chest out (don’t think I’ll ever stop having posture problems), adjusting pelvis, hips, arms, wrists, fingers, knees, toes, etc. etc. etc. ETC. to put me in the perfect state of sexiness (I LOVE working with a gay man!!). So, now I think I have the poses right, but it takes so long for me to strike it perfectly when I’m trying to move at lightning speed, and then it’s so hard to make sure I get the right connection with him so I don’t lose my balance and make him throw his back out catching me. We didn’t work on the overhead lifts since he was sore from moving over the weekend, but I think I am ready when he is. I think. I am trusting him more — we worked on this one trick where I fall forward (holding his hands of course) and before I hit the ground, he whips me up and turns me over and I slide up in a body roll. I know he’s strong and I’m not going to fall, but it’s one thing to know that in your brain and another to tell it to your body in the midst of the trick…
My former West Coast Swing partner, Mark, informed me that everyone in the WCS (how the dance is abbreviated in the “industry”) community is very excited about Benji Schwimmer making it to the finals on So You Think You Can Dance with his partner Heidi, who teaches at one of Mark’s studios. He said the judges seemed a bit confused about what exactly WCS was, but were very impressed, especially with Heidi. I saw a repeat of the show and remember seeing her in Blackpool do a demonstration on WCS versus Jive. She is truly an awesome dancer! I don’t watch a lot of TV because I am usually at either some studio or opera house at night (and tonight is Vladimir night at the Met!!!), but my WCS friends must definitely keep me posted on this! WCS officially on the dance map, yay!
I went to the New York City Ballet last night to see one of the new ballets they are putting on as part of their spring season’s Diamond Project, where they show brand new ballets by contemporary choreographers — one of the reasons I like that company — they perform a combination of classics and contemporary work, so you get a mix. This one was by a Russian choreographer, Alexi Ratmansky, called The Russian Seasons, and was very interesting — dramatic and humorous by turns, with plain but gorgeously-flowing costumes. I’ve seen all of the new ones except for two, and my favorite has been Evenfall, sweetly Swan Lake-like, by their resident choreographer, Christopher Wheeldon, who I think is a genius and have liked practically everything I’ve seen him do.
And, Lincoln Center is now gearing up for Midsummer Night’s Swing outside in the plaza! Luis and his partner, Anya, will be performing and teaching salsa on June 28th!