Pictures and other visual crap

Monday, December 6, 2010

It is more than just technique

I have been dancing with the same instructor for two years now. We have built a great friendship and have developed a lot of trust. I strongly believe that this required in order to grow as a dancer and even more so when you have weight/image issues.

I often have to explain to him that when he is teaching a female student something and he is receiving that *blank* stare she is most likely thinking

"Wow, is that why my thighs look like?"
"He wants me to do what with what?!'
"Yeah, right I can't feel sexy while have these swinging wings under my arms"
"Don't look at yourself in the mirror! Just focus on your feet"

He finds this amazing but after meeting many of his other female students I know that I am right. Girls talk and even more so when we share the same instructor!! It takes a very long time and a lot of work to get past of alot of our self-image issues. Many times it isn't our technical ability that is holding us back but the inability to, using a WW term, reframe our thinking and allow ourselves to see us as capable of performing that step, move, styling or even style of dance.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Here I come Mr. Smooth & Ballroom Blitz

So deeply inspired was I by Jennifer Gray that I have added smooth dances to my competition roster. We will be modifying her American Tango routine to suit me. I even convinced Vanesa to do some smooth dances too. What we have both found is that smooth dances have the ability to make you feel petite and danty; ladies and gents that I a huge accomplishment when you are 100lbs away from your goal weight! Something about being in hold that just transports me to another era. Not that I don't like the one I am in but I wouldn't mind having long dresses and spinning around the dance floor every now and then.

Check out the video and let me know what you think. My favorite move comes right around min 1:19 to the end. It has a lot of Argentine Tango elements as well; that is great because it really suits my instructor and I well.

Oh, as an added bonus here are a few pictures from the November Ballroom Blitz competition that Linda, Vanesa and I attended. All three of the instructors I have had over the past two years were there. I should have taken a picture with them but one was competing with a few students. It was very inspirational for us to watch so many different women and styles.

We were most inspired by an eight-year old dynamite Gabriella Marshall. I want to be here when I grow up. I think I recorded her dancing but I can't find the videos or pics right now. I will keep on searching.

Linda and Vanesa

Instructor Marina (no idea from where but she was quite an inspiration!)

I really liked this dress. I usually like fring more but this one concealed and revealed in just all the right places for a big girl like me.

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I LOVE this fringe dress. Look at all that movement!


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Margaret got the message

Last night I was watching Dancing with the Stars and started crying. Okay, yes I am known for crying during movies, shows and even the random commercial but she touched my heart. She got what I have been telling people for over a year. It isn't only about dancing. It covers so much more!

"This whole thing is not just about dancing. It's showing me that I can be vulnerable and be myself...It is amazing to discover." - Margaret Cho DWTS

On that wooden dance floor, mirrored room, background music and the constant counting I found a whole new me that always lived within me. THAT is what I love about dance, that self discovery and it just never stops!

Monday, August 16, 2010


After canceling on my dance instructor one time too many last week he isn't returning my calls or texting. For the record, I have very valid, work related, reasons for canceling but I guess that the last one broke the straw. He canceled my Saturday class. I think it was sweet revenge. Alas, I have no new news to share but the find of these gorgeous shoes at JC Penney.

We'll see when my tempermental instructor calls me...I know he will! :)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Commit to the turn

Balance is a four letter word for me. I can't quite get myself to execute steps without depending too much on my partner. This past week he has been drilling me on a solo section for our routine and then started in on a whole new section.

Initially it looked like it was quite do-able...lets refrain from using the word easy. I basically travel in a line from one side to the other while executing three turns with breaks in the middle. Easy, right? (easy is another four letter word) Well, after an hour of doing the same section, sweating like a mad woman and 2 cups of water later...I have {gasp} no balance as well as I can't get my feet to do this pretzel thing so that my left foot is free for the next step.

At the end of the session I was sore, bruised and feeling great. Who would have thunk it? :)

I am considering taking the Pilates and Yoga classes that are offered at my job to help with the balance issue. I just wish I was the only student in the class for those classes too. A girl can dream.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Nicole and Derek dance Paso Doble - DWTS season 10 Week 8(2)

I texted my instructor right after I watched this Paso Doble this week. Here is how it went.

Me: I want to do the 50s paso doble that was on DWTS :) a girl can cream

Him: Ok let's do it

Me: Yipppeeee! You must be in a great mood or feeling sorry for me. :)

{Insert nervous laugther} I have never even tried doing the basic Paso steps and now I have launched into this idea. Well, I always like a challenge, right? Right?

The hardest part is not going to be completing the routine but not comparing myself to her. I firmly believe that I have to do my personal best, whatever that may be. {insert lots of sweating!}

Friday, May 7, 2010

Happy Friday

Just love this performance. I wish that I could have been in NYC to see the show live last year.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Acronyms = interesting positions

So, what did I work on yesterday? Just this tongue and body twister - CBMP

Found this definition of CBMP - Contra Body Movement Position after a nice Google serach.

Contra or Contrary Body Movement Position is often used in steps that require you to be out of line with your partner. In the technique books, it is defined as: "A foot position where the foot is placed on or across the line of the supporting foot, either in front or behind, to maintain body line".

Essentially, this means that you are keeping your upper body facing one direction while your lower body faces a different one. This is generally accomplished by leaving the shoulders where they were in the previous step and allowing the legs to take a new direction.

However! You should not lose connection with your partner when in CBMP and should work even harder to keep your centres facing each other.

That translates to hard work! We worked up a great sweat getting that working smoothly but our lines look so beautiful. My instructor even stopped and showed me how good we looked in the mirror! :)

Also learned a bit about Bolero...will go into more of that next time but lets just say that it is all about give a little to get a lot.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

T for Tango, T for Tuck it in, T for tension

Yesterday was my second American Tango class. I find that I really like American Tango, free license to be aggressive and very expressive. Maintaining hold requires me to implement all the Ts - tuck, tension and tango. :) At the end of the session both my knees, arms and hips were feeling the Tango. Yeah, as in screaming for pain meds. LOL

In order to get this right I have to settle into my instructor's hold and tuck my butt in, flex my knees, put all the weight on the left leg and provide tension by pushing into his right shoulder and not have spaghetti arms....and then I start to Tango. This is just to get the basic step right! When I had the winning Ts combination going on it felt divine. When I didn't I could tell right away that something was amiss.

Next, get that head snap thing going on without dislocating my neck.

Monday, May 3, 2010


I bought these beauties a few weeks ago and Lordie, what have I been missing!! They feel like butter. My feet didn't hurt at all after four hours of dancing. Now, that is what I call a good investment.

You too can float across the floor in a pair of these!! ;)