Sunday, June 14, 2015

Timing is everything

I had my finally lesson of the "off season" over at Piney last Thursday.  Dance Coach and I will reconvene when Bowie reopens after the 4th of July.  Things being what they were, I hadn't skated a lick between one Thursday lesson and the next.  I figured this would be the skating equivalent of me having to tell my Coach that, um, I'm sorry but the dog ate my homework.  Oddly enough if turned out to be one of my better lessons.  Coach said the pattern, timing and even the tuck behinds for the RB were much improved.  So, is less really more?  Maybe someone should tell all those elite kids who skate twice a day, six days a week to just go to the beach or goof off or do something completely different every now and then.

But back to the title of this post: timing.  One thing the became apparent when we skated together is that every now and then my timing for the first tuck behind would be off.  Coach had me skate the dance solo and said "when you count you're getting confused at the inside swing rolls."  The swing rolls in question come immediately after the lilt step sequence in the dance:


If one looks at the dance pattern, the lilt sequence starts at step 5 which is held for two beats; steps 6 & 7 are one beat each and step 8 is held for two beats.  So, if you're counting 1, 2, 3, 4--the lilt sequence goes 1,2,3,4,1,2.  This means that the two inside swing rolls (steps 9 and 10) start off at the 3, 4 count--as in you start the swing roll at the 3 count of your 4 count beat rather than starting the beginning of the swing roll on the 1 count which is how most other dances (granted I've only skated the first three dances) treat the next new skating element.

This little anomaly repeats during the second swing roll (step 10) and finally resolves itself at the progressive (steps 11 through 13), just before the first tuck behind.  But until my Coach pointed this out I was getting thrown off course--I think the times I actually got the dance correct were the times I miscounted beats!  Somehow I'd not picked up on this.  But that's why coaches are so valuable! 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the reminder that sometimes a little time off is good! I've actually never worked on the Rhythm Blues (not in the test structure when I was testing the first few levels years ago), though I've had kind and patience friends show me the steps (repeatedly) during social dance. The kinds of rhythmic patterns you describe (where step sequences and hold run over from one measure to another) is true of the pre-gold Blues as well as (I think) the Midnight Blues. So you're just getting prepped for good things to come!