glass_icarus: (dance 2)
[personal profile] rydra_wong asked what I've been doing with dance lately. Mostly the answer to this is zouk, and I'm happy to say that my practice-partner and I are coming off hiatus next week! Before our break we were working on spins, counterweight, and balance moves, which are all areas I tend to find challenging, so I'm looking forward to getting back to those. There are three things that really make a dance for me: partner connection, spatial awareness, and musicality. Luckily, S and I share all three! We have a fantastic connection which has only solidified since I moved here, so that's not something we have to fine-tune much; and he's always looking at where he's going and where he's leading me, since he has a safety-first attitude towards dance. Similarly, we share an intense musicality that allows us to play so much with every song, which is really the quality that turns "yay dancing with this person is awesome!" to "DANCING WITH THIS PERSON IS LIKE FLYING AND ALSO MY NEW FAVORITE THING, HELLO NEW DANCE CRUSH!" What I mean by musicality is a really subtle and detail-oriented kind of ear for music (I developed mine through years of classical music lessons as a kid; I'm not sure how S trained his). I've noticed that most leaders fall into one of two categories: those who listen for the melody of a given song, and those who listen for the beat. S is one of the few people I know who pick up on and play with absolutely everything, which is why he's one of my favorite leads ever. :D

The other thing I've been doing is only zouk-adjacent, though I definitely think of it as a kind of cross-training, haha. Last summer, I started doing contact improv practices with a few zouk ladies, and it's really opened up my body awareness and sensitivity. Thanks to years of ballroom, I have a long-established habit of falling into learned patterns of movement that I've never quite lost. This is all very well and good for choreography/competition/performance purposes, but it's a problem when I'm dancing zouk in a social setting because zouk is super improvisational in nature. You can't do improv well if your muscle memory operates like an autofill/autocorrect! Contact improv helps to correct this issue because it literally doesn't have any preprogrammed movement; it breaks me out of default muscle memory and thinking ahead and focuses my consciousness on what's happening in the moment. I've said before that A:TLA's "wait and listen" description of earthbending captures the essence of what it is to follow in dance. Contact improv is helping me to achieve that state faster and without having to dance-marathon my way out of my head the way I've done at congress parties before. This, too, is a work in progress for me, but even with the few months of weekly practices we've done, I've noticed a distinct improvement!
glass_icarus: (partners)
Went to a dance social last night for the first time in... about 2 months? It was a great party and I spent a long time dancing with practice-partner S (we've been on practice-hiatus for a few months, but we tentatively agreed to start again :D), as well as a couple of people visiting from elsewhere in Quebec. I've missed my zoukers a lot, but damn, I need to get back in shape. Time to see if I can get into the habit of doing pilates workouts at home a couple times a week.

A few of you have asked me to talk about dance and I think it might be a bit much to try to combine all of those posts into one. [personal profile] jhameia's question about muscle development feels apropos today, since I woke up sore in my everything. Honestly, muscles are a thing that I never particularly cared about- I'm not the biggest exercise junkie, and I started dancing because it was fun and not because I wanted to have great abs or whatever- but the more I learned, the more I started to realize how valuable the muscle training aspect is, even if I'm still not particularly good at it outside of dance contexts.

babble )

Er, looking at this, my response might miss the mark on things you wanted to know, but if you have further questions feel free to ask! :P
glass_icarus: (rolly bird)
+ Ugh, I keep saying I plan to be Better At DW sometime soon and then, well, things just happen. I'm making a last-minute trip to Montreal for school stuff )

+ Happy even-more-pi(e)-than-usual day! I don't know that I'm patient enough to do this, but someone else should definitely make a PIE-RATE SHIP for today. :D I am, however, sadly lacking in pie-cons, so if anyone has images of delicious pie, please share so I can make those?

+ A has just informed me that Rodrigo y Gabriela are performing at the Montreal jazz fest, which is ~incidentally~ right before a zouk weekend event. Bribery: ACHIEVED.

happiness

Feb. 3rd, 2015 09:13 am
glass_icarus: (jasika nicole)
1. She Keeps Me Warm: Saving Face vid from Festivids! ♥ ♥

2. Successfully met up, caught up, and generally nerded around with zouk friend A during his stopover yesterday, despite his lack of a winter coat and the generally disgusting weather. It's been a long time since I've talked music with anyone! We also spent a significant amount of time poking around the performing arts branch of the NYPL (by Juilliard, of course). Must go back to investigate more *___*

3. How Generous Are You Willing To Be? I'm working on communication this year, but I think I've just found my intention for next year.
"How generous are you willing to be? How generous are you willing to be with your whole life? Will you share yourself with us? With the world? Do you dare? Or are you just going to hold yourself tightly in, hold these long arms and legs all to yourself?

"Are you just going to be stingy? Just keep yourself to yourself for the rest of your life? In case you fall? In case you fail? In case you make a fool of yourself? In case we see how imperfect you are?

"OR: are you going to choose to just be generous anyway? To just take up as much space as you actually take up? To be as big, as graceful, as long, as gorgeous, as enormous as you actually are?"

And now, back to work!
glass_icarus: (dance 2)
[personal profile] littlebutfierce asked for something about how I got started in dance, maybe things I've learned along the way or how my relationship to it has changed or what I get out of it. Obviously this is a lot of topics smashed into one, but I will do my best! xD For those of you who don't feel like reading a lot of dance-babble, the short form of what I get out of dance can be more or less encapsulated by Daft Punk: if that song doesn't give you an instant hit of the kind of euphoria that I call dance-high, I doubt that anything I have to say could describe it for you.

For those of you who want the long version, here it is: )

I... am going to stop here before I continue to feels-babble everywhere, haha, but if you're curious about anything or want more specifics, feel free to ask!
glass_icarus: (alek wek)
+ Love meme at [personal profile] dingsi's! Thanks for my thread. ♥

+ Spreading the word re: [community profile] kuroko_no_basket!

+ I am having Kaleidoscope nomination woes! Things I'm currently considering:
  • Who Fears Death - Nnedi Okorafor
  • Whale Rider - Witi Ihimaera
  • Lagaan
  • eta; In the Heights

Feel free to suggest wishlist fandoms or recs, especially for non-East Asian fandoms! :D All strategizing welcome.

+ Shiny zouk video for your time! Shani & Yuval: )

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just another fork-tongued dragon lady

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