Rigged for dancing in the dark

Another day gah gah.

It happens.

That's the cumbersome irony. I tried a couple of times to journey to the shops being the last retail day before the Easter break but I couldn't make it out the door. Put my shoes on. Reconsidered and lied down again.

As I facebooked yesterday, at times like this all is not lost:
In bed and so stiff and sore unable to do much. Hobbling around the house...at a loose end. A couple of pain killers. Then I thought I'll try the ole standbye and plugged the mp3 player in my ear and danced soul for 40 minutes. Amazes me every time how effective music and tippy tapping can be. Like ECT or something that stimulates endorphins. Kickstarts. You stand there in the lead in for the first song and say, "I won't be able to do this." But as soon as the rhythm takes over -- I don't stop for the next 40 minutes.
So if it works...? Why not do it again and again?

When you are on a good thing, right?

So today it was 9.30pm by the time I got myself upright and rigged for dancin'.


I have a line dancing folder/playlist on my trusty mp3 player and simply plug it into my ear to go stepping. It may look strange and be annoying for those in earshot if I start singing along with the music or count the beats out loud...but it's fuel for the feets. Quality time for the tootsies.

I have a sound system with a remote for teaching classes and I mainly use that for practice. But when the constraints are in,  I'm ear plugged instead.

Like Bruce Springstein, I'm dancin in the dark
You can't start a fire worrying about your little world falling apart
This gun's for hire
Even if we're just dancing in the dark
...lit by an Easter moon.

I have a workshop demo session on Easter Saturday with this twinkle toes stuff so I gotta be on top of my game....

Zydeco shuffling

In way of focus I am in the process of finishing off a Zydeco program.  That was my plan anyway. It was engineered along a path of difficulty with the shuffles being clumped at the end of the syllabus. But being off shore and a long way from South West  Louisiana I missed a crucial point: the shuffle is located at the core of Zydeco dance culture. In fact you could spend all your time exploring shuffling and not much else. While a shuffle can be a triple step  (like a cha cha: three steps done to two beats) it can also be covered by the more generic term, slide -- as in slide around the floor.

On offer is an array of intricate movements patterns, syncopated with the occasional different steps to add filigree. Formatted by simplicity, shuffling and sliding are about repetition and being ruled by the rhythm rather than aspiring to show off. It's very very internal as in 'you gotta feel the music'.

It's from inside then out. 

While the terminology confuses me a tad,the pivotal role played by the combo of shuffle and slide is  emphasized by this video clip -- one without music --  shot in a car park:

As an contemporary example of how this relates to dancing, The Zydeco Ballers  , a line dance team from  OPELOUSAS , Louisiana, the capital of Zydeco, have taken to choreographing 'the shuffle of the week' .

Now it seems to me that if you nail the shuffle, embrace it, accept its pristine simplicity, get it right so that it is integral to how you dance --  you embrace 'Soul music' at a core level that will anchor you thereafter in later journeys through Funk, James Brown( the god of  shuffling), Philadelphia Soul, and even into Hip Hop.

You may think, "so what?" But after scrutinising any number of soul line dance videos it became very clear to me that this is a dance form not ruled by technique so much but by, you guessed it, 'soul'.

I'm not saying that my white ass has got itself all souled up. I am thinking, nonetheless, that I wouldn't be dancing like I do if it was a biziness of technique. If it was all about skill and technique I couldn't progress like I do. In fact, technique can be a bit of  a distraction.

And besides it ain't called "Soul" Line Dancing for nothing...




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