ATS® General Skills Day 4 — The Finale

Day 4 opened at the usual time with a very welcome yoga mini-session to get everyone good and stretched out for the morning’s rather strenuous agenda of laybacks and floorwork. We were all cautioned that working on these moves was strictly optional and that anyone with Issues should NOT attempt anything that might hurt them! The ensuing discussion of anatomy convinced me that I MIGHT be able to do a layback with plenty of work on my hip flexors first, assuming my vertebrae are rounded rather than squared. However, there is going to be very little floorwork in my future repertoire because my body is NOT built for it. It has to do with internal rotation versus external rotation of your hip joints. If yours are internally rotated, you can easily sit between your heels with your feet out behind your butt to either side. If they are externally rotated, sitting that way is extremely uncomfortable, but you can sit tailor/half lotus style without trouble. Think about it. Well, my hips are definitely externally rotated — in fact you find me in tailor seat on the floor a LOT.

Level 1 floor work is get down onto your knees on the floor using a lunge down and back up. While you’re down there, you can do a number of the slow moves like body wave and taxeem. I decided to give it a try, and THAT was workable. Level 2, though, was a NOPE for both Berber walk and Mermaid Turn. Then we got to Level 3, the Zipper, which was a HELL NO. Level 4, the ultimate, the standing drop, made think very loudly, “ARE YOU F***ING KIDDING ME???”

Here, Carolena demonstrates the Zipper:

We still had more moves to learn after that. The remaining slow turns, barrel, wrap-around, and Sahra, weren’t hard at all, and add a lot to a dramatic slow piece. The Sunanda and Re-shamka fast moves were fun even though my feet kept geting tangled on the Sunanda. Things got challenging with Chico four corners (which isn’t that hard but needs practice), wet dog (just like it sounds), and the Egyptian full turn, which in and of itself is not hard but I need to learn to catch the cue properly.

After lunch came the final hurdles, spins and Arabic shimmy variations. I get dizzy when I turn fast because I don’t have enough skill at spotting, so the spins were making me crazy, especially because a full spin in ATS® is actually FOUR full turns. Fast. When we got to the Arabic shimmy with arms & fades & circling & zills, I pretty well short-circuited. I didn’t have the Arabic shimmy, which is tricky enough, down, so adding anything else to it totally confused both brain and body. I pushed through it, but the drilling with my two group partners, Liezel and Michelle, was hopelessly muddled because they weren’t much better off than I was.

The OTHER half of the class drilling the Arabic shimmy with stuff — glad it wasn’t our group!

At last, it was time for the Presentation of the Certificates! One by one, all 34 of us got our certificate and our picture with Megha and Carolena.

Receiving The Certificate, with Megha (l) & Carolena (r)

And time for a group shot!

Oh, and that piece of paper for which I worked my tail off?

No mere piece of paper, this!

Thanks to Clara Ortiz for allowing me to use her videos in this post!!!  SMOOCHES!!!