Saturday, June 02, 2012

shimmies and shimmies

Ya know, it's a bit ironic that I call myself (on this blog anyway) "the boy who shimmies", and yet I find myself unable to shimmy properly, well, the Oriental shimmy anyway. However, when it comes to ATS® Shimmy, I feel very confident and at home.

Sensei Kae, Ms. Sandi Ball, and Ms. Wendy Allen all did shimmy drills on the course of two weeks. Beginning with Sensei Kae (another shimmy & spin class) on Thursday night (we also learned the tricky art of Over Shimmy), Ms. Ball on Saturday afternoon (have you ever seen how she flawlessly executes ASWAT? I have her tips below), Ms. Allen on Wednesday (I felt a bit adventurous and took the 51A bus to cross Oakland and Emeryville to Alameda where she teaches, then Sensei Kae again just a few hours ago (more shimmy drills).

So, okay... Here are the tips from Ms. Sandi Ball:

  1. To make your ATS® Shimmy even, if you're like me (my left shimmy is weaker than my right when I'm doing Turkish and Arabic Shimmy), then switch your focus from your right hip to your left hip. Concentrate on the left hip only. Your right hip is already shimmying big and nice and juicy, now it's the left hip's turn to get some lovin'. This was a lightbulb moment. It works for me. 
  2. When doing Arabic, there's this contrast going with your upper body (chest and torso) and arms. When the right foot steps down on one, think of stepping down but your upper body goes upward, like floating up, this is to get your chest to lift and your torso to undulate). Then as the left foot steps down on two, it's like your upper body (down to your hip, actually) sits down. On one, as the upper body goes upward, the arms plunge down in front of the body, then floats up on the side to over head from second to eighth counts. Add shimmies and you have Arabic Shimmy. 
  3. For ASWAT, this is how you achieve Ms. Sandi Ball's ASWAT flawlessness: as you're turning on fifth to eighth counts, keep your left hand near your left hip on five and six and left it float on seven and finish on eight. Letting the left hand sit there for five and six gives more aerodynamism, plus you won't hit your dance partners as you turn. 
This is one of my favorite videos, despite its lighting quality. Although I think the dark lighting adds the mood. 

Well, I'm blogging at San Francisco International Airport now, waiting for a grueling economy class flight back to Jakarta. I'm so sad to miss classes at the mothership for three months, but I'm glad that I closed it rather well: I got to dance with a guy! His name is Russ, he's from Seattle. He's at the studio for General Skills and Teacher Trainings. So that means... Another male joining the clan!

Sensei Kae just had to do the Shimmy drills. Then I had to drag two suitcases, each one weighing 23 kg (50 pounds), from my apartment on the third floor, all the way down, and walked five blocks to the bus stop. Then one block to the BART station. One of the suitcases contains Kali, Lilith's twin. I was a bit worried because I thought the suitcase containing Kali was oversized and Singapore Airlines has restrictions over the combined linear dimension of the suitcases. I even phoned their rep in SF, and I thought I had to pay USD 109, but it turned out fine. They checked in well. 

I'm so tired. I just want to find my seat (I get window seat this time, YAY!), get comfy, see the in-flight movies, and cocoon myself. 

I'll see you soon. I need to blog an addendum about ASWAT and Sunanda. 
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