Joel and Clara Marasigan

JC Reflections on Snowball


People go to Snowball for so many different reasons.  Some of you go to compete; some of you go to cheer on your friends; some of you just want to sit back, relax and enjoy the show…

As coaches, we go for a number of reasons.  We go to support our couples; we go to give you reminders and comments that will help you achieve your goals; we go to evaluate your performance in order to plan your next path of development; and we go to observe the International competitors to see what the current trends are in different parts of the world.  It’s not a very relaxing weekend for us, to say the least, but we do enjoy it and we definitely learn a lot from it.

Here are a few of our reflections from the 2009 Snowball Classic weekend…

SimoneandAnnette1.  Incredible Power and energy.
Many sports show that the human body is capable of some very amazing things.  However, only in DanceSport will you see such power and energy that sends people flying across the floor at top speeds in high heels and tails!  The rate of acceleration seen over the weekend was simply astounding.  The fact that these couples are able to go from zero to top speed in a matter of seconds is just incredible.

2.  Utter and Complete Control.
Not only are these couples able to accelerate in no time at all, but they are also able to decelerate and stop on a dime.  The brilliant floorcraft displayed by the top competitors show that they have utter and complete control over their own centre movements, extreme foot and ankle strength, as well as seamless connection between the two people.  The superb musicality that the couples demonstrated, filling in the music and hitting things right on the mark, also show the complete control they have over their bodies to accelerate or decelerate with the music.

3.  Expression.
Why do you enjoy the performances given by the top couples?  Not only are they extremely dynamic in terms of speed, power and energy, but they are also very expressive musically.  They have their routines down pat; they are not distracted by the lights, audience, judges, or other couples on the floor; they are not plagued by fatigue near the end of each dance; they display utter confidence and still have energy left to express themselves.  Some of them can even sing with the music and play with the audience!  This state of being ‘in the zone’ is what you should aspire to achieve.

marcoandjoanne14.  Eyes.
A big part of expression is through not only through the body, but also the face and even the eyes.  This weekend, we noticed that a lot of our couples are very static in the eyes.  Some of you are constantly looking downwards; some have a plastic smile throughout the whole dance; some of you are looking upwards but have droopy eyelids; some have your mouths open a lot of the time; and some look like a deer caught in headlights.  All of this does not create a look of confidence or an expression of interest in what you are doing.  The top couples are able to use their eyes to look in all different directions and even to connect directly with the audience.  Start being more aware of what your eyes are doing while you dance.

To learn from a competition, you need to be very observant and somewhat critical.  If you are a serious competitor, next time, don’t just sit back and relax (and for gosh sakes ladies: try and focus on the dancing and not the pretty dresses!).  Look for some of the things that we, your coaches, have been talking about.  Look for the qualities that you aspire to achieve, as well as the problems that you hope to resolve.  Often, seeing these things in other dancers is far more powerful than words; and if that is the case, it will push you over the edge to finally make the change.

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