Thursday, April 22, 2010

coaching w/Eugene Katsevman

Had a coaching lesson at dance with world champion Eugene Katsevman tonight. As some of you know I can think to much, but dancing really helps me unwind from work and be in the moment. Tonight we brought it back to basics of foot timing. Just think about one thing. If I'm thinking about to many things then nothing is good, so don't focus on posture or smiling or anything else. If I'm not on the beat or have the rhythm of the dance then nothing else will look right. Hearing the 1 beat and listening for the 4 measure progression how it repeats. And how that can lead into the musicality of my dancing, not just the timing but accenting more powerful bars and softening others. Breathe, listen, feel, then dance.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Amateur couple preperation

So the next local event coming up is "Dance Festival" which is a freestyle event. I went to this one last year also. I'm not going to be doing to much but I am going. It's always good to get experience like this and some judges critiques. They have a portion of the event where you compete with the other couples on the floor. There is a section where its you and your teacher like the rest of the event and then the amateur couple portion is 2 students dancing together. I am interested in doing this as its a big test of my ability to lead and not have my teacher compensate. And its just a fun challenge.
Lisa-Marie is a newer student that's been going for about 4 or 5 months now. I asked if she'd be interested and she really liked the idea. She's talented and picks things up quick. We had our first combined private lesson tonight with Adriann to get us ready for the event. Adriann has set up some choreographed steps so we can put some real flavor of the dance into it and stand out against the other couples. It was a great session working on Mambo which will be 1 of the 2 dances we will do. I've danced with Lisa-Marie socially but its different doing ballroom with her but it will be fun too. I think this is really going to improve our dancing as individuals also. Plus it will be nice to have someone we each can go to if we want to practice with on different things after the event also.

Medal Ball

Well this is a little delayed in being posted but here's some info about this years Medal Ball. It hardly feels like a year sense the last one. I feel I've grown so much in my dancing and my confidence. This years theme was "Dancing down the Nile". Lots of people in Egyptian wear and some Greek/Roman stuff too. I didn't dress the part but I did put on some of the traditional Egyptian eye make up.
The whole night was a blast. Some great conversation at dinner and some fun general dances. Then everyone doing there check out dances. I got lots of great pictures I put up on my Facebook page. Then we had the studio formation dances. No mistakes in our routine and it was such a rush. A lots of other good shows also. Best choreographer came down to Ft Worth and our very own Adriann. Vote by applause I think everyone on the 2nd floor of the hotel could hear our clapping/yelling/stomping as we fought for our studio's. When Adriann won the whole studio rushed on the floor like the end of a football game.
After some of us continued the dancing fun at a local place called Ernie's. By the end of the night I was going on automatic but I loved it all. Spent the rest of the weekend recovering but it was great.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Holiday Party

Well all 3 local Arthur Murray studio's got together to have there annual Holiday party. Short drive for me as it was held in Plano this year. They made it a lunch this time from about noon to 3pm. I would have prefered a dinner like last year cause I was all dressed up and nothing to do after it was done. But it was a great time. Last year I'd only been dancing about a month before the party. This time I was really able to get into it. My confidence in my dancing allowed me to ask girls to dance during the social dancing. Especially those newcomers that weren't so sure about getting out there.
The best thing I like about this and other events the dance studio holds is the ability to dress up and socialize. When I was in the Air Force the squadron would hold annual Christmas parties with dinner and dancing. When I got out the civilian world just really doesn't do that kind of thing. It's also fun to exchange little gifts and cards.
Next big event is Medal Ball, the yearly Graduation in Feb. I should be able to check out of Bronze 1 level with Honors like I think I mentioned before. That means knowing the Bronze 1 steps for 10 dances. And I might be able to check out of my major 6 in Bronze 2.
Well thats it for now. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of you and I hope you all get to dance in the coming year.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Delayed updates

Well hard to tell how many people read this but as you have already noticed I haven't made any updates in awhile. Nothing major has happened that has made me want to want to write. But there have been a lot of small things that I can tell you about.
Right now I'm working on my bronze 2 steps in my major 6 dances. I'm also planning on checking out of bronze 1 in the other 4 so I can do a full bronze 1 graduation by the time Medal Ball comes around in Feb. Medal Ball is the yearly graduation event and I don't think it will be difficult to do it by then.
There has been a little more shuffling of staff between the Plano and Dallas studios. I'm still working with Adriann and now my alt teacher is Ashley. She's a lot like Adriann in her personality and style. Ashely likes to keep it fun while still keeping it technical. I'm very lucky to have 2 instructors that fit my learning style so well.
I went to a Tango variations class last week. There are school figures and then they have variations off those figures. You check out of the figures but you learn the variations to give you more options and style to your dance. The Tango steps we did were pretty fun. The more I do Tango the more I like it. I think the next major routine we develope I am going to have it be a Tango.
It's about 2 or 3 weeks till my 1 year anniversary with the studio and I'm really proud about that. I've learned so much and looking forward to all I will be learning.
Well thats all I can think of to update you all on for now. Remember to keep dancing.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Coaching with Snow

I don't do coachings to often cause they give you so much information I want to give myself time to abosorb the information they give me before getting more. I recently had a wonderful coaching with Snow. Here's a short bio on her to show how talented she is.
"Snow Urbin was born in Siberia, Russia and is a dancer and choreographer. She specializes in Latin and ballroom dancing and began competing at the age of five. She won the Russian Juvenile Junior in ballroom and Latin. In America, she met Maksim Chmerkovskiy. The two became dance partners. Snow is known for her unique and dynamic fusion of styles, and she has appeared in music videos with Madonna and Shakira. She was on Season 1 of FOX's So You Think You Can Dance and Dancing With The Stars."
We worked on both Foxtrot and Tango. We improved my frame and conection. These are both smooth dances but don't think because they are not Latin they don't get you breathing hard. So to go along with that we worked on breathing. Using the diaphram instead of expanding the chest cause that actually changes your frame.
The other big thing we worked on was continuity of movement. Meaning not pausing between steps as you put them together, make it more fluid. You don't pause between sentances when speaking so it's the same with dancing.
I really got a lot out of her instruction and I'm deffinatly going to put her down for a coach I'd love to work with again.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Always more to learn

I told you all when I graduated from Bronze 1 to Bronze 2 level but for the past several months all I've really worked on in my private lessons has been stuff for the last 2 events and really haven't worked on the Bronze 2 steps yet. I've gotten some exposure to them in the group classes but nothing beats 1-on-1 attention. Well now that those events are done we've started learning the lv2 steps. Going from 1 level to the next they add more steps but they also add more styling and layers to your previous steps.
When I say there is always more to learn it's in a good way. Being shown a new step, practicing it a few times, adjusting it and working to understand it, then after awhile (sometimes a few min sometimes not even that session) it clicks. That sense of understanding is such a wonderful feeling. The ones where it takes the most time for me anyway is being exposed to it an group setting. But you have to go out and try it and it makes it so much easier to learn it in the private lessons. For example they let those at Bronze 2 go to the Bronze 3 group class. So I went to the Cha Cha Bronze 3 class a few months back and kept up the best I could but wasn't grasping it. Then last night went again and it came a lot easier. Just the time to absorb it and generally getting better in other areas of my dancing helped me pick it up better the next time.

Sunday, August 9, 2009


Just finished a very fun day at Rock-a-rama. It was a solo showcase allowing us to show off our dancing skills and the entertainer in eac of us. The pictures will cycle over on the right but they are all at my flickr site . Everything went great and there was so much energy from everyone, the rock & roll theme probably helped with that. Here's the videos I took. I'm very happy with how my solo and formation performances turned out and it was so good to get so many great comments on how I did. Probably post more later about the event just wanted to get these up right away.

Rock-a-Rama 2009 Plano Pro Formation, performing to rock medley "Rock you like a Hurricane/Pour some sugar on"
Rock-a-Rama 2009 Dallas Pro Formation, performing to Queen Bohemian Rhapsody
Gillian Horowitz with Angelo doing a solo at Rock-a-rama to the remix of Elvis' Rubberneckin
Rock-a-Rama 2009 Plano formation to "I love Rock & Roll" featuring Roger Kamicar, Sidney Lenz, Adriann and myself, also choreographed by Adriann

My Rock-a-Rama 2009 Hustle/Cha-cha Solo with my instructor Adriann to "Canned Heat" by Jamiroquai.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Recent Happenings

Well I've been with out regular internet for awhile but I'm back up and running again. I've added a bunch of stuff from the last event as you can see. Melanie who was going to be my regular alternate instructor has been pulled down to the Dallas studio (that is a sister studio, owned by the same people) to fill in for an instructor on maternaty leave. as they say "The only thing constant in life is change". So for now I'll be taking my alternate lessons with Gilda. I don't mind taking lessons with others it gives a rounded education. I'd even like to take some lessons with the male instructors to help with things from a male point of view. But on the other hand it is nice to get used to dancing with someone and get familiar with them. I'm glad Adriann is still with me and if she gets taken away from me were gonna have a problem. She knows the way to teach me that really makes things click.
Right now we are doing a lot of work for the up coming event Rock-a-rama. I'm doing everything I'm eligble for. Looking forward to doing my solo and I'm also in the Team Plano formation, which is a sychronized group dance. I'm even going to do the amature 2-dance with another student.
Amy at the studio who does a lot of manager duties is really making some great improvements with fun electronic newsletters and adding there own websites on flickr and face book and youtube. I've linked all my things with there's. Its nice to be able to share our video and photo's with each other.

Pro-show Freestyle Showcase 2009

The Professional show by the instructors of all the studios. Quite a show, glad I recorded it, so much going on at once. Who's your favorite?