My Little Sinatra Suite

tony and jacob 1

Well, I guess it’s not really a suite since I’m only dancing to one of his songs. But last night, we played the tune — “Luck Be a Lady Tonight” — for Melanie LaPatin, who liked it and approved it for the showcase! Then, Tony Meredith, the studio coach, and Jacob began choreographing it. This part always makes me nervous because I basically just have to sit and watch them go at it, and I’m not even sure what all they’re doing since most of the lifts and tricks they don’t actually do but only mark (so that Jacob doesn’t break Tony’s back jumping into his arms, etc.) Tony choreographs on Jacob because, basically, Jacob knows what he’s doing; if Tony used me, he’d have to spend far too much time teaching and not creating… so he uses Jacob, while Jacob tells him all of my strengths, and what kinds of things we want to do. Actually, I brought in the DVD of Baryshnikov dancing Tharp’s Sinatra Suite and Tony viewed it before my lesson to get an idea of what kind of lifts, tone, style, etc. we were shooting for.

I get nervous while watching them put together my routine both because I don’t want it to be too easy and basic (which sometimes teachers and coaches do because they don’t want the students to struggle with something that’s way over their head and then get down on themselves about their abilities), because then it won’t be interesting enough to watch, and because I really want to challenge myself. But then, I also got a bit freaked out listening to Jacob tell Tony repeatedly that I have great extensions that he wants to showcase! Blah! I have long limbs, so I think everyone WANTS me to have great extensions. But I have been very bad and lazy so far this fall and have not been stretching nearly as much as I should. So, my extensions … aren’t quite there yet, I should say 🙂 Oh well, goals goals!

tony and jacob 2

It is kind of funny watching Jacob play the girl!

jacob and tony 3

Who’s that goof flashing away in the mirror?… Crossed legs = varicose veins and bad posture! Bad bad…

Anyway, we got probably about a quarter choreographed. Tony gave me this really cool jump splits to do. Jacob extends his arm to me, I grab it and use it to propel myself up and do a big kick jump past him. He and Jacob also tried to do this very easy-looking small lift that Baryshnikov and Elaine Kudo did on the DVD, where he kneels and she slides over his shoulders. Of course, we realized right away, it only LOOKED easy with those two performing! I am determined though to learn it and get it right! Some of the other things they marked … well, I wasn’t quite sure what exactly they were. Important thing is that I videotaped it all, so Jacob will figure it all out next week and will then start teaching it to me.

By the way, I ended up throwing together my own little gift basket for him for the dreaded holiday gift — bought him some hand-made bath soaps for achy muscles, massaging foot lotion, lots of chocolate from my local Belgian chocolatier, and some fun-looking candy cane bath confetti. So, no bronzed Michaelangelos 🙂 🙂 🙂 Though that was a damn good idea, if I can ever track Luis down at his new studio…


  1. Is it weird I’m as excited about your dance as I am about my own? More, probably, because I don’t have those pesky nerves! Can’t wait to see it! : )

    Isn’t it amazing how easily pros can go back and forth from lead to follow? When Tony and Michael were doing my choreo, they’d do it with Tony as the lead, then switch so Michael could lead – no problem, no thinking. Whenever Michael makes me lead in a lesson, I can’t even remember to put my hand palm up!

  2. this looks cool! when are you gonna perform it? It’s nice that you can have this blend of the ballet/modern choreography in your routine! Any chance that you will post a little video when you learn it? ;.-)

  3. The performance right now is scheduled for some time in April, but they don’t have the date set yet, right Parker? It’s going to be at a theater on Long Island, but they don’t know where yet! It’s a nightmare trying to post a YouTube video on a WordPress blog, but I may try and just link to it. I’ll definitely let you know the details of the performance, though, Dea — if it’s not too far out on L.I., maybe you can come?!

    Parker — I know, I’m always more excited about seeing everyone else’s! I’m always so nervous about my own — both that it’s going to be too basic and not interesting enough for an audience to want to watch, and that it’s going to be over my head and I’m not going to be able to do it properly. I guess that’s what the pros are for — to give you that perfect combination. I just wish I had more ballet so that I could do anything… We’ll see…

    Happy Holidays, you guys!

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