Sunday, July 10, 2011

Dance Dance Evolution

One of my earliest memories is going to a dance class at one of my neighbors' house when I was around 3 year old. I did Balinese dance back then. Mom said I learnt ballet at kindergarten but I have no recollection about it. I remember competing dancing at provincial level a year later, it was a modern dance.

At elementary school I did a lot of dancing, at one point I danced 5 days a week. Some Balinese, Banyuwanginese and Modern dances. I then practically stopped dancing through out high school years. After moving to NL I took up Ballroom dancing, until my dance partner decided he rather spent his time at church then at dancing hall. Having no partner-in-crime, I then took up Flamenco and Tap dancing. Since both arent exactly social dances, I decided to exchange my tap & flamenco shoes to Latin shoes and learnt how to dance Argentine Tango. I found a partner that I was comfortable to dance with. I need to feel comfortable with my Tango partner because it's a very intimate dance with a lot of close embrace. Afterward I also took up Salsa because it is more accessible to the mass, plus you can dance salsa by yourself if you want.

I tried going to Argentine Tango class in Jakarta but it is not as good as in lowland, and I ended up helping the teacher teaching the beginner guys, which in turn hurting my lower back by doing too much of repetition & abrupt stops. Until I find a decent class & partner, sadly I have to stop doing the Tango.

My latest adventure is learning how to do Javanese dance. It is one of the hardest dances I've ever learnt. The way the teacher teaches is to do all at once which proved to be too much information for me. In the beginning it didnt add up in my head. When do I need to put my weight on my right leg, when to switch weight, where to put my left foot, how to turn my right hand? I had to do all at once: learning and doing. It's very different than the way how 'European/Latin' dances are being taught. They break down teaching the hand and the feet movements. After we know what to do with the feet, the teacher adds the hand movement. With Javanese, you have to learn them in one go. There are parts when I said I feel like it misses something/a step. Later on the teacher told us that she deliberately skipped one step because we didnt wear 'jarik', a traditional Javanese clothe that you wear closely around your lower body. Now, let see if I could get the hang of it by October.

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