we rehearsed for a few hours today for next week's broadway empire shoot. after we filled out some paperwork, we were coupled off and we danced in rounds and then in sequence, one after the other, all together, all around the room - laughing and chatting and carrying on as we acted out way through it. it was so much fun!
the thing that i love about these movements is that there are no rules, no "proper" way to do them, per se. you do what you feel. it's so perfect for me - someone who really loves to dance but who gets flummoxed by the "right" way to do these things. and really, this was the point in time in social dances when the formality was stripped away and people just made stuff up and did what they wanted to do. you didn't go to class to learn how to do a dance like the shim sham shimmy. you just did it. and when we do it, it's really funky and sexy and beautiful - everybody got all free with it and then it felt like a house party, out of time.
my partner is brian, an alumna of the color purple national tour with a fairly serious dance background. he's a little taller than me, which worked perfectly with certain dances. he led so effortlessly, it was almost as though we'd been dancing together forever.
pat the choreographer and her two assistants were more than focused, drifting around the room and giving direction and suggestions and notes and encouragement as necessary. the next thing i knew, it was over.
here's a cool video that explains a few of the dances we're doing. i love the grizzly bear, as you know. the castle walk is a favorite, too. we're not doing any waltzes - too 19th century and way too white, especially for a black folk's juke joint/roadhouse scene.
wouldn't it be great if i could keep dancing like this?