"Dancing Tid-bits" Issue #102, Thursday, May 16, 2002
Mireille Veilleux! That sounds as "french" as it can be; and yes for sure, I
am talking about the French Canadian, Mireille Veilleux, the wife of Mr.
Pierre Allaire, his lady partner, the Canadian Legends of 10 Dance
Championship. "Mire" was in town a couple of weeks ago and I got a chance to
take a lesson from her in Viennese Waltz. To be able to dance for an hour
with a Champion like her, by itself justifies any expense whatsoever and I
got the deal of my life.
Basic Reverse and Natural Turns: Of course it was a little shaky start (I was nervous) but soon I got back on time and finished one round of reverse and natural turns and some forward and back change steps.
Comment: "Your reverse turns were not as good as the natural turns". She asked me to "soften" my Knees specially on 456. I was also shy on taking step 4 and she wanted a little more forward reach for herself to maximize the swing. I corrected that and she said "Voila" (I guess that meant "good"). She was very succinct in pointing my good technique and was also so subtle in correcting my faults. I found that very comforting and I was at perfect ease with myself within a few minutes.
Top Line, Frame and Hold: You know, there is nothing more important than that, Right? I kept a good frame, good tone and tried to maintain reasonable contact. By the way she is an extremely charming lady, very petite and light like a feather, which made my job so easy.
Comment: I started OK but soon started to come into her space. In other words she said "Max, stay left". You know the problem! Never loose that poise, posture, tone and frame that you started with. This is the Top Line which is what dancing is all about. I corrected that and she was happy.
Closing on the 3rd step: I have seen champions close so quickly that I was trying so hard to dance like a champion. This resulted in some "Jumping", so obviously comment was "Max, dont jump and take your time in closing. In other words keep it soft and gentle, there is plenty of time"
Change Steps: A very common problem on back steps is that the "Tusch" seems to get out more than the feet and legs and that of course is a no, no. This happened more when I was doing a backward change step on the LF.
Check Sway on 1: I am still trying to understand that on and work on it.
All in all it was one of the most rewarding 1 hour and I look forward for a "déjà vu" (is that how you say it?)...I gotta go a long way when it come to French, perhaps too late. With Best wishes..Max
P.S. Thank you all for your comments on my last Tid-bits "101 Best Dance Teachers". Of course it is not comprehensive list and I mentioned only those teachers that I had a personal knowledge of. I apologize that I forgot Espon Salberg, Elizabeth Romain, How could I? R. Chapman wrote: "I have no doubt your list has already spawned thousands of replies, but I have to mention perhaps the best ballroom teacher currently in England. Stan Page and Beryl Holand..." Some more later.
Questions and comments to Dancemax@aol.com, thank you.