Last year (2014) my goals for the new year were to increase my dancing and to do more artwork, this post is about my dancing, I’ll write another day about my art and photography.
So in January of 2014, I performed in a showcase at the downtown YMCA in Fort Worth. Gina Crisanti teaches the classes and she worked with me for a couple of months to do a Paso Doble with David Saul, a rumba with Garry Sweeney, and I also danced salsa in a group salsa routine. It was so much fun working on this with them and then finally performing it. Gina has helped me so much in my technique and upper body movement, which has always been a struggle for me and she also gave me so much confidence in my dancing. I will be forever thankful to her for that. I left her classes because it was time for me to move on, so I moved on with my ballroom and a little later I returned to Argentine Tango and really improved that.
In Gina’s classes, we all worked so hard on the routines for the last months of 2013 and I was pretty happy with the final outcome for my level. For some reason I found rumba the hardest… with Paso, I think that flamenco helped that dramatically (she selected paso doble for me because of my background in flamenco). I made my costumes (yes, I design and sew my dance costumes) for all of my routines, the rumba costume was a dress I bought that I cut and modified to what I wanted for rumba. For the Paso Doble costume, I designed and sewed the skirt and did some modifications to the rest. I also made the black sequin dance shorts for both routines.
In May we had our flamenco performance, it was so hard! The teacher was tough and our routine was more choreographic than flamenco. We practiced and practiced to get it right, the rehearsals were a bit rough, but the performance turned out well. It’s funny how that happens… bad rehearsal, good performance… so far that seems to be the way.
Just before my flamenco performance, in either the beginning of April or end of March, I started Argentine Tango again. That’s been on hold for awhile, but I found a tango partner and we worked together. Tango is a dance where if you really want to improve, you need a partner to practice with. Gina asked us to do a small showcase for her in June, so, my tango partner worked hard to help us get there. It gave us something to focus on and while it was a specific routine, I think that choreographic routines help with overall technique. It was a routine he did previously for a performance and he had to modify it somewhat to my level.
The performance went well… I was happy with it for the amount of time that I have been doing tango. Gina wanted us to do another showcase in September and we started working on a new routine, but for one reason or another, we never did it. I was disappointed, I really loved the music, “Assassin’s Tango”.. and was looking forward to a new costume and performing again. We planned on doing it for the December showcase at our dance studio… but that never happened either.
In the meantime, after the tango performance, I started some private lessons for the smooth ballroom dances, but my instructor, Ryan, suggested International Rumba because of my ballet. So in September we started working on a routine. I was also planning on doing Argentine Tango with Kris at the showcase, we were going to do the first routine we did and work on it to make it better rather than the new one to Assassin’s Tango. I went out and bought some fabric for a dress for it, but as it turned out, he changed directions from tango to salsa and we didn’t do it. Again, disappointed, but I did continue with the International rumba with Ryan though and loved every single minute of it. Some people think that spending so much time on a choreographic routine is a waste of time and money, I find that that it really helps my technique all around. I have dramatically improved my upper body movement by learning this routine.
The first song we picked was Besame Mucho by Andrea Bocelli, but ended up doing it to Satisfy My Soul by Paul Carrack. I increased my lessons from once a week to 3 times a week in November… I thought I would never get the steps. The week before the showcase I was still not getting it, but then for some reason the day before the showcase, we practiced and I got it! Not perfect, but I got it! For this showcase number I designed and sewed a costume (see my post on the construction of it) and I did a dress rehearsal with the dress… it all stayed in place while dancing, but I did make some modifications to the design. I noticed that when one side of me faced the audience, the dress was a little dull… so I added some ruching, some appliqués and more rhinestones. I also changed the line of the back a bit.
FLAMENCO MOVIE EXTRA
In September I was asked to be an extra in a movie called Pauses, that was flamenco related… I asked Melissa Ines to do it with me and she invited Mercedes and Robert Granados… they are all great flamenco dancers, me, not so much. The plan was for us to dance flamenco in the background while a flamenco guitarist played music, but as it turned out, we ended up being extras sitting in a restaurant talking and interacting with the main character.
So it seems that Melissa and I are in the final edit. We may not be in the trailer, it isn’t completely edited yet. When they have the screening we will all be invited. It was so much fun and a great experience!
INTERNATIONAL RUMBA SHOWCASE
The day the showcase came, I woke up with a fever and a sore throat, I thought there was no way I could do this. I took cold medicine and hoped for the best… well, it turned out better than I could have ever expected. The dress fit like a glove and everything stayed in place perfectly with the dance, just as I had planned and hoped. Viewing the video, I was thrilled with the outcome, yes, there are a lot of things that I would clean up and so much to work on, but overall, for my level, I couldn’t have asked for more… and all of this while being sick!
So now for 2015, my goal is to keep working on the International Latin technique with my instructor, Ryan (maybe a cha cha for the June showcase). I will also keep working on Argentine Tango, I am looking for a new partner because my old partner is going in different directions. Starting this week I will take tango classes in both Fort Worth and Dallas.
I will also continue with designing and sewing my performance costumes. I am working right now on skirts for our flamenco class, we will be performing a beautiful Spanish dance/Flamenco piece called Medea for the Spring performance in May. I will also continue with ballet and hopefully this year, I will grow as much or more than I did last year with all of my dancing.
This year I want to work more with videos and do more artwork. I haven’t completely decided yet where all of that is going. I started a new website for my art towards the end of 2014, I’ll finish working on that this year.
Thank you for reading this and a Happy New Year to all!