Ballroom Dancing, Spirituality, and...
I've picked some of my favorite Foxtrot performances from the recent 10 years to share. The trends are so different. The latest one from the top rank amateur couple Evaldas & Ieva as I could see, is still in development. I don't know how Slow Fox will end up looking like in the next few years, but for sure, it is definitely not the same old Slow Fox as we have come to know it.
I view the current Slow Fox being evolved from the traditional harmonized partner ballroom dancing which emphasized swing action and smooth movement to a more modern lyrical expression that emphasizes body fluidity with exaggerated and dynamic shapes and individuality in a couple. As any trained eyes could tell, a lot of the classical pure swing action is missing from the current Slow Fox dancing, despite the extensive movement.
Let's take a stride down the memory lane of this evolution.
Luca & Loraine (Barry) Baricchi have held the reign of the arguably the most smooth, jazzy and harmonized partnership in Slow Foxtrot.
Mirko Gozzoli & Edita Daniute have developed something entirely different with each became a star of his/her own.
Now the students of Mirko/Edita & Fabio, Evaldas Sodeika & Ieva Zukauskaiti have taken this development even further. The body abilities of these two are probably the best so far in the dancesport world. They have much softer exaggerated shapes with very soft legs. I actually preferred their dancing 5 months ago to the recent performance but I trust that they're exploring this new trend & trying to stretch this big shape & unconventional choreography to the extreme and see where it would lead to.
So here're the few performance clips of these wonderful legendary (or to be legendary) couples:
Luca & Loraine
Mirko & Edita
Evaldas & Ieva (5 months ago)
Evaldas & Ieva (1 month ago)
It's an exciting scene and yet a sad situation at the same time out in the ballroom world.
The war among WDC, WDSF and in its own league Blackpool Dance Festival, has gotten to the point that the good old days of all top competitors dancing on the same floor is indeed gone.
This is most unfortunate. Today, I'll dedicate the blog to the amateur scene. I'll name 2 of my favorite couples from the 2 organizations:
Evaldas Sodeika & Ieva from WDSF (currently 3rd place)
Marek Kosaty & Paulina from WDC (currently 1st place)
IMHO, Evaldas & Ieva can anytime outdance the current front runners of WDSF Simone Segatori & Annette and Dmitry Zharkov & Olga. The footage of the recent German Open Final is online & you can judge for yourselves.
Both couples, Evaldas/Ieva & Marek/Polina have the fluid movement with Evaldas & Ieva having the more unique and special body abilities & fluidity and Marek/Polina having the more pure swing/classic movement.
I'd have love to see both couples on the floor going head to head against each, dancing at their best.
This unfortunately is not possible in the current situation between WDC & WDSF. Furthermore, I would even venture to say that it's a sad situation that some of these couples cannot even dance their best or their true abilities & preference in the current organization that they have chosen.
I'd honestly say that about Marek Polina. I have put 4 clips of their dancing for you to view & analyze. Their Waltz & Tango Show Dance Vs. their 2014 WDC German Open competition.
It's clear to me that they've got their own unique, fluid and dynamic style when they are dancing showcase Vs. in competitions. It's unclear to me why they'd choose to dance differently in competitions as the way they would dance their shows was superb.
Evaldas & Ieva, on the other hand, I've seen their demo in Fabio's lecture and competitions. They danced not only consistently but totally free of inhibitions despite competition pressure. They're just a pure joy to watch.
I know many of my colleagues (both in professional and amateur divsions) and I are quite tired with politics. All of us have invested countless hours and exorbitant amount of money in our dance training. It's time for us to express ourselves on the dance floor the way we prefer, instead of having to dance a certain way (or worse yet combining many ways) to please the judges in hopes of getting "results"!
Many have asked - Why would you leave California for Raleigh?
I always gave the same answer - a Divine Message sent me here.
On March 11, when I was visiting my parents in Hong Kong, after a beautiful morning skype spiritual group practice, I went on my day to my acupuncturist visit. I was lying on the table, with needles all over my body including my temple & my crown, and a big message came at that moment. This is time I could examine the next place I need to be.
I didn't know what to make of it. Since I practice Open Heart Meditation, and I always tried to follow my heart.
I was totally open to wherever the Higher Guidance would lead me to. I ended up feeling that SE of USA would be the right area. Immediately I thought of Virginia Beach or Florida. I have friends there & some of my roots in my dancing development were planted there.
But no...Heart didn't feel either place was right. I was still on the table with all the needles in me but since my geography was poor, I had to wait till I get home to check the map! :)
After I was able to see the Google map, I felt my options one by one. When it came to NC, my heart felt open, expansive & free!
I thought to myself "of course!" Asheville NC is the central hub of all the USA Padmacahaya Institute. This is the global institute where I studied Open Heart Meditation and Reiki Tummo healing. I am currently enrolled in their Master Yoga program.
I started to connect with various dance studios & university dance teams to see if I could land a job before I relocate (although my heart indicated I really need not line up a job before I relocate!)
By chance, I was connecting with an NCSU student who's in charge of the University Dance team. He asked me where I was relocating to. I mentioned Asheville & then realized NCSU and all the university dance teams that I was connecting with are based in Raleigh.
I started to send out my dance bios to several Triangle Area studios. All expressed interest. But the owner, Melanie Dale, of A Step To Gold immediately asked me to call her. We had several video skype sessions. The rest was history.
I booked my ticket to Raleigh before Melanie & I had final agreement, showing that I did trust my heart.
The most interesting story after my decision was my housing situation. I was being bounced around 3 times between mid March & the time I landed in RDU. All housing fell through. While I was boarding my red eye flight, I wasn't sure if I should reserve a hotel room. Heart said I didn't to stay in a hotel. I was in disbelief, but decided I should follow my heart.
When I landed, Melanie drove me around to check out apartments. The one apartment I didn't want to visit (as I already saw it on craigslist when I was in California), was the very one I signed the lease that day at 5pm! They had the perfect apartment for me, 3 minutes drive from A Step to Gold, and the best part? I could move in that evening!
I ended up shopping at Walmart until 2am (as Melanie was so efficient that she booked me private lessons already the day I landed & put me to work in the evening! :))
Everything was lined up perfectly. I had a blast for the past 4 months at ASTG. Very grateful for the ASTG community and Melanie's help.
Check out the video of a compilation of my class scenes here in the Triangle Area of North Carolina!
I would also like to invite everyone for a rare opportunity to experience this heart based living. We have a major Secrets of Natural Walking workshop on October 27, 2014 in Asheville, NC. Our grand master Irman from Padmacahaya will be present in the workshop, along with 30+ certified Walking instructors. This is a 1 day workshop. $150. It is transformation with countless physical health benefits. This will also open the pathway for your heart connection to the Divine. You'll be surprised how improper we've been walking and the illnesses and pain the improper walking have caused us.
Despite the fact that I admire the enormous and extraordinary talents of many of the WDSF dancers, professionals or amateurs, I find the body line connection disturbing - too much hip pushing & exaggerated shapes. I'd often question, during the viewing of the dance videos, especially in the Swing dances - Where's the swing?
Recently, I came across a few clips of this couple and I just couldn't take my eyes off of them. I LOVE their dancing. There's fluidity, flow & musical. There's the beautiful shapes- Huge shapes. But the the biggest draw of my attention was the harmony of their partnership, their body action & body line connection. They are not the highest ranked couple, Yet. Still fresh & young. Cannot imagine just how far they could go from here!
I believe one of their main coaches is Fabio Selmi. I've always loved Fabio's dancing. He never neglects the principles of pure dancing while developing the new sporty, extraordinary shaping way of dancing.
Enjoy these 2 clips. I hope soon we'll have great dance coaches in the USA who can help the USA dancers develop the proper skills & techniques to implement this style.
I'd like to introduce a simple way for everyone to try. To open our spiritual heart (not heart chakra, not physical heart) which is the connection to that True Source of Love & Light, the Source of our Real Self, and to receive help from our own Creator.
I have been offering free Public intros to Open Heart Meditation & Reiki Tummon Healing on Saturday afternoons. In a time like now, it's more important than ever to enjoy inner peace and joy, and be grateful for the gifts we have received in life.
For those of you who would like to join me this Saturday in Raleigh, please msg me. I'll hold a session 3p-4:30p (location to be disclosed via private msg). For those you who cannot join in person, I'll hold a skype session on Sunday 8/17 12p-2p EST. Please msg me & I'll give you my Skype Id.