Friday, February 25, 2011

putting the "sun" in "sunanda" - ats general skills training, day 4

I can't believe it's the fourth day. Everything just went so fast. One day I was in a room filled with strangers, and another day I was saying heavy goodbyes to those very strangers who had become my dance sisters, whom I'll most probably never meet ever again.

Well, there's Facebook, but it still won't replace the true feeling of meeting.

But, when there's a hello, there's bound to be a goodbye. I knew it was going to be this quick, but I'm still being smitten by the feeling.

Remember the two ladies I formed a trio with during the training? There you have it. The one in white is Mirna from Italy and the one in FCBD's Original Gangsta tank top is Karen from Milwaukee. Karen came to SF with her daughter, Daniella, who is also an ATS dancer. Isn't that cool?

Day Four: Carolena Nericcio & Kristine Adams
  1. Slow moves: Wrap Around Turn, Barrel Turn, Sahra Turn, Laybacks, Floorwork
  2. Fast steps: Sunanda, Re-Shamka, Reverse Shimmy, Chico Four Corners, Wet Dog, Egyptian Full Turn, Double Back (with Half Turn), Spins, Arabic Shimmy (with Arms & Turns & Fade, with Arms & Turns & Fade & Circle)
  3. Yoga for Floorwork
I don't know what happened, but I got fazed out almost everytime Sunanda came on. I love this move, but I almost didn't make it to the second half on multiple occassions. I finally did manage to get it on, though.

There's this neat way that Ms. Nericcio uses to explain the Sahra Turn. We always start with arms above our head, then plunge down, both arms to our left hip, our body in profile, facing the left wall - this is the Jane Russel. Then, we do a reverse turn, landing on performance angle - this is the Ava Gardner. The last segment is another reverse turn, finally landing on a rather flat angle facing the audience - this is the Audrey Hepburn. You see, in the pictures of Jane, Ava, and Audrey shown to us, each of these ladies strikes the same poses in the three Sahra Turn segments. Jane in her profile, Ava in diagonal, and Audrey in flat angle.

Later, we did the Laybacks. I have love-hate relationship with Laybacks. Sometimes I think Laybacks have been done too many times. I know I've done it almost too many times. My last attempt was with Lilith on my head. The problem is, if I don't do proper warm up and or cool down, doing Laybacks will hurt my lower back. So I asked Ms. Nericcio if she had suggestions on doing warm-ups for Laybacks and she came up with a great idea: walk on the wall! Stand in front of the wall, and slowly do a Layback with the wall as your spotter!

And as for the cool down, she suggests to squat down and place our elbows inside our knees and push out. It felt so good when I tried it.

For the Floorworks, I spotted again with Ilhaam. She is just amazing. She always told me, "Neck!" and, "Again!" it was like working with a personal trainer! She knew if I didn't keep my neck one line with my spine and dropped my head back (an absolute no!) and she would tell me to try it again until I got it right.

Later during the break, she told me she enjoyed working with me because of my energy. Well, well... This came from a woman who beat me when doing two simultaneous floor drops. I just had to give it to her: she's one amazin' Amazon.

One thing that I realllly, really feel I need to work on is my A-SWAT (Arabic Shimmy with Arms & Turns) and A-SWAT Fade. When we were drilling in our Trio + Suzanne Elliott (!!!!), I had a hard time going on releve, staying on releve, doing the turns, doing the spins, doing the Arabic Shimmy... I will need to drill this with Ms. Lalwani. But Ms. Elliott joining our Trio was like a much needed professional help! And, oops... I stepped on her skirt during one of the A-SWATs. Sigh.

And then came the time for the diplomas. As much as I'm happy finally getting the GS Training certificate, I wouldn't mind going through the experience at least once more. So many good songs, so much energy... When we were circling the little display table to eat our lunch, we were like a big family. Well, there were times when the conversation would be awkward... I wouldn't even want to discuss what. It was so awkward that it was funny.

And there you have it. Ms. Nericcio and me with my certificate. I forgot two things on that day, though: my booklet (I left it in my room) and a big envelope to store the certificate. I was contemplating the idea of holding the paper from FCBD all the way back. Luckily, I remembered the Original Gangsta FCBD hoodie that I coveted. I got a 10% discount on that! So I bought it, asked for a bag and was given a bag big enough to safely store the certificate without crumpling it. So in that bag was two things I cherish the most: my FCBD hoodie and my ATS diploma! I'm wearing the hoodie right now too! It's so warming. However, I'd better remember to bring a big and sturdy envelope for the next two trainings to store my other certificates!

Oh, and Kristine Adams is the rockstar of ATS! She has this commanding presence when she teaches, she is very encouraging and giving, and she always has time to goof off with either Kae Montgomery or Suzanne Elliott, both of whom were there. Kae Montgomery and Kristine Adams have the best arms frame evah!

And Suzanne Elliott... What can I say about one of the original members of FCBD? ATS is like her second nature. When I grow up, I want to be like her: all bubbly and full of energy.

Well, I'd better rest now. I'm going to Jill Parker's class at ODC in the afternoon!

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