Dancing Stars 2014: Team Deanra

Follow Dean & Laura on the road to Dancing Stars of Central Georgia 2014 . . .

3/14/2014: Rehearsal #5: Yep, more tweaking. We got rid of a section that Dean really didn’t like and replaced it with something that I genuinely think is better. We also altered the timing at the beginning of the routine so it looks a little sharper and made one change that has totally fixed a broken move. Sometimes all you have to do is put your elbow in a different place. Who knew? Of course, we can no longer put off cutting our music. Hopefully Daniel will do that for me this weekend. I’m capable of using Audacity but I’m not good at it. Daniel has the touch. Then, next week, we’ll dig into posture and footwork.

3/10/2014: Rehearsal #4: The drawback (?) to finishing your choreography early is that there’s plenty of time to tweak. Do we really want to do that lift? (Probably.) Is the side-by-side footwork the best choice? (Maybe not.) Should we change the timing on this part? (Yes.) Daniel was on hand to help us make these challenging decisions and we also did our routine for an audience for the first time. His Dancing Stars from Eatonton were at the studio to work with him; they watched and were very complimentary of our paso, which was nice. We are not rehearsing again till Sunday, which may be a blessing–we both got really sore from two consecutive days of rehearsal. But I am also eager to get back to work on the routine. Is it Sunday yet?

3/9/2014: Rehearsal #3: This afternoon we did a bunch of run-throughs and started cleaning up the transitions. Moving in and out of closed hold is always challenging; you have to get the muscle memory of where your frame is so that when you need to, you can go straight through it. Dean isn’t totally consistent with it yet, but he’s getting there. We also walked through a couple of position changes that didn’t exist at our last rehearsal. I’m still debating making a few more tweaks to the routine since Dean is doing really well with it. Might as well walk right up to the edge of the Peter Principle, right?

3/6/2014: Rehearsal #2: Tonight I taught Dean to do a tour jété (technically grand jété en tournant but everybody says tour jété). He started out saying “I can’t do that!” but then made a heroic effort and learned to do it. Awesome! We have most of the routine choreographed and have at least walked through it. But there is still a lot to do. The paso doble (or the Taco Grande) depends so much on the styling and execution. We have to get the steps down so that they are second nature and then work like crazy on showing the character of the dance, making the routine as dynamic and exciting as possible. Plus there are a couple of transitions that are literally nonexistent right now, so I have to go back and patch those in. And cut the music. And figure out Dean’s costume. I have just bought my own costume as of a few minutes ago. Yay for eBay!

3/3/2014: Rehearsal #1: I am proud to say that Dean came through our first rehearsal like a champ. He showed up with dance shoes in hand, ready to go! I showed up a little depleted from a stomach virus over the weekend. Gatorade and intestinal fortitude to the rescue! We have at least walked through all the choreography I have written so far. It still needs lots and lots of polishing and a million more run-throughs, but we are on our way. Best of all, Dean has learned the name of the dance correctly and will stop calling it the “taco grande,” the “nacho queso,” or the “mucho burrito.” (Actually, that might be a bit of a loss to the dance world. Let’s keep calling it the Taco Grande and see if it catches on.)

2/21/2014: Yesterday, the cast party. Today, the dance choices were announced and we got our first choice: the paso doble. Now to choreograph like a crazy person before rehearsals begin!

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