Well, it’s Friday evening, just after dinner, and I am already ready for bed.
I remember when I had my first full-time job. Between a heavy teaching load, advising and committee work, and trying to get some research and writing done, I pretty much worked all the time. But Friday afternoons after work a few of my colleagues and I would go get Thai iced coffee and snacks (loved the mee grob). And then I would go home, take a bath, unplug the phone, and go to bed at 8:30 p.m.
That was my idea of a really great start to the weekend.
That, and skating whenever I could. One of my skating friends (who was from Korea) was George (not his Korean name). George was a competitive ice dancer, but between partners, so he and I did some social dancing just for fun. One of the dances we played around with was the Yankee Polka. Since George was a strong skater, and I was doing lots of free skating at the time, this dance had the perfect amount of bounce for both of us.
I’ve been trying to learn this dance again, a fun project with my friend Doug. We’ve tried this a few times at the end of sessions after we are both done with more dutiful aspects of practice (Doug is working with Sonia towards next year’s AN). Today we finally got through an entire pattern (though I think I probably left out several steps along the way).
Oof! I’m reminded that I don’t bounce like I used to. So that’s why I’m ready for bed before the sun has set!
Here are the two parts of the Jimmy Young class on the Yankee Polka (long videos, but very useful when you’re learning steps):
- outside swing rolls: really work on those consistent upper body positions in sync with the swing (opposite arm lead, then reverse).
- inside swing rolls: turn free toe out from the get go
- inside rockers and brackets: make sure you are not sticking your hip out on that inside edge; tight free leg and upper body position (these are forced edges/turns, unlike three turns); don’t rotate entire body–just skating leg; keep free foot close
- sequence 1: back mohawk (like a back choctaw, but onto an outside edge), forward outside three, push back, repeat on other side
- sequence 2: forward outside three, back inside rocker, touch/push, inside swing roll, forward inside three, back outside rocker, touch/push, outside swing, repeat.
- sequence 3: back choctaw, forward inside counter, step forward on outside edge, outside three, immediately push back (like Westminster), repeat in opposite direction.
- sequence 4: inside mohawk, push back, back outside three (more push!, more stretch!)
- sequence 5: double inside three, more speed, don’t pitch forward