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June 11, 2012

Look Me in the Eyes

Throughout the domestic season, judges and audience members alike had demanded “more interaction” between Blake and me in our Pas de Deux. With a quick hour of work before the final selection trial, we seemed to appease many, but the pickiest spectators wanted more out of our performance– and we did too. This past weekend, Blake and I worked with a choreographer (the lovely and ever-wonderful Kristin Kusanovich from Santa Clara University) to get over our connection issues.

Before we did anything else, Kristin had us look at each other. Seems simple. With Blake standing and me sitting, she asked us to look each other in the eye and leave our faces blank. We laughed uncomfortably within seconds. Refocused, we tried again. And again. And again. It was harder than all the acrobatics we had tried all year, but eventually, we got the hang of it. We played with different “looking” exercises, seeing each other really for the first time.

Then we got to the good stuff. We added new life to the routine, new interpretation to the music, new interaction. Luckily for us, the routine is now not only physically exhausting, but emotionally exhausting too. We performed the routine about 20 times this past weekend, and I’m confident that the new choreography is already embedded in my body. But there’s still plenty of work to do… like putting it on horseback. Thursday…

And just in case you see Blake and me in what appears to be a stare off, looking each other in the eyes is now part of our warm up. Here’s a picture, just in case he wants to practice.

More importantly than anything, thank you to my man, Michael, and Blake’s woman, Tricia, for giving us the freedom and support to make this routine the best it can possibly be. We love you with our whole hearts and don’t know what we would do without you!!!

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