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Author Topic: waiting - the essence of following  (Read 12771 times)
Some guy
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« Reply #15 on: December 31, 2009, 06:46:08 PM »

Fantastic - by the way we hear nothing of the weightless-follow... when I'm at my best I barely touch my partner.  It permits him to dance as if by himself.  Is the weightless-follow an element in the body school?  Or is it termed someting else?
I thought about weightless following, but I don't think it can be termed that.  You could always coin the term!

Your partner dancing as if by himself is because he's only filling up the space that you create for him.  He's not bumping you off of your spot because you didn't do a big enough step or you didn't end up facing the way he intended you to face.  The "wait" here is measured in fractions of seconds and is continuous throughout the movement.  He continues to fill up the space that you create for him and when the step is complete, he doesn't continue to barrel through you or force you to a different position.  He accepts your position and fills up the space you left for him.  Then he initiates the next weightless lead.  

I think the lady's follow can stay weightless only if the man continuously fills up space that the lady created.  The follow gets weighted and physical if the man delays or falls short of filling up the space that the lady creates for him during the movement, or if the man is impatient and barrels through the lady instead of waiting for her to open up some space for him.  So weightless following is an action for the man, more than the lady, in my opinion.  So is it safe to say that the man leads and follows while the lady follows and leads? 
« Last Edit: December 31, 2009, 06:48:43 PM by Some guy » Logged
samina
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« Reply #16 on: January 01, 2010, 09:38:35 AM »

I think the Dog Whisperer demonstrates this best when he walks his dogs (HUGE apology for the analogy, but it's very apt and quite fascinating).  He gets much better results than the usual owners when he uses "calm assertive energy" (as he likes to call it) coupled with a relaxed leash.  

so apt. that guy is totally hip to the weightless lead, which he does all the time with his pack. it's what he strives to teach the dog owners he works with (remediate the dogs, *train* the owners, lol). "visualize what you want, own your energy, keep the leash slack" is basically his message. he can walk a pack of 10 dogs without a leash, and they will follow him... because he has so owned his energy as a pack leader... and they know it.

i have learned a lot about this from cesar's demonstrations. he's very inspiring, far beyond "just dogs". Smiley
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Some guy
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« Reply #17 on: January 01, 2010, 10:30:24 AM »

He's basically proving every day that energy is a lot easier to harness and use than physical force.  It only takes a decision.  I'm learning that every day with my dancing. I feel like I've been using the wrong tools for the wrong jobs all my life!  It's as if I have been pushing the car all my life and just now realized that there's a driver's seat that I can sit in and move the car a 100 times faster with no effort by just resting my leg on the gas pedal!
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drj
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« Reply #18 on: January 01, 2010, 10:35:01 AM »

Today's verse from the Tao Te Ching, (I consult daily, at random):

From Verse 48:

...Less and less do you need to force things,
until finally you arrive at non-action.
When nothing is done,
nothing is left undone.

True mastery can be gained
by letting things go their own way.
It can't be gained by interfering.
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ancora imparo
Some guy
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« Reply #19 on: January 01, 2010, 10:38:16 AM »

Wow!!!  So this stuff was written thousands of years ago and I'm just being introduced to it through ballroom dancing?!  I feel like I'm a little late to the party.   Cheesy
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elisedance
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« Reply #20 on: January 01, 2010, 11:15:12 AM »

ballroom, your 21st century guru...
I feel the same....

However, its easy to forget how much work it takes to get to that sense of ease.  I don't believe you can get from ignorance to ease without necessary work - and I don't think the mystics did either, thats what years of training was all about.  The question, however, is if we are learning the most efficient way - and that I doubt.
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cornutt
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« Reply #21 on: January 01, 2010, 11:53:03 AM »



Going back to my example of walking in the park, note that you don't have to tug at and drag around the lady to indicate where you want her to go.  

You don't?  Why didn't somebody tell me?   Wink

Quote
The weightless lead, on the other hand, works much better on less experienced folks.  

That hasn't been my experience.  With beginning follows, there are two things that get in the way.  If they are really raw beginners, they don't know or understand the concepts.  If they are a bit further along, they may understand the concepts, but they don't have enough confidence to trust themselves that they are perceiving the lead correctly.  There's also the problem that I've wrote about before with follows usually in the 6-12 month bracket, where they fall into "pattern following".

One other bit...

Quote
So weightless following is an action for the man, more than the lady, in my opinion.  

Wouldn't that depend on the alignment at the moment?  I've always been taught that the partner moving forward is "in charge" of the movement.  Going back to Elise's VW natural turn example (which might be a bit of an extreme example), whichever partner is on in the inside of the turn at the moment is in a quite passive role; once they clear the space, their only job is to not get separated from the partner.  There are a lot of things that effect which partner is controlling the movement at any given moment, and some of those things are quite dynamic.  Still trying to relate this to the dog example... I've only ever had cats, and we all know they don't follow.   Grin

P.S.: Got some related thoughts based on something that happened last night... it will be in a new thread.
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Some guy
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« Reply #22 on: January 01, 2010, 12:33:00 PM »

However, its easy to forget how much work it takes to get to that sense of ease.  I don't believe you can get from ignorance to ease without necessary work - and I don't think the mystics did either, thats what years of training was all about.  The question, however, is if we are learning the most efficient way - and that I doubt.

That's where DSV's quotes from the "great sayings" thread come into play:

Learn the form, but seek the formless. Hear the soundless. Learn it all, then forget it all. Learn The Way, then find your own way.

But do not name it, my friend, for it is like water. Nothing is softer than water.... yet it can overcome rock. It does not fight. It flows around the obstacles.

Formless, nameless, the true master dwells within. Only you can free him/her.

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Some guy
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« Reply #23 on: January 01, 2010, 12:50:44 PM »

That hasn't been my experience.  With beginning follows, there are two things that get in the way.  If they are really raw beginners, they don't know or understand the concepts.  If they are a bit further along, they may understand the concepts, but they don't have enough confidence to trust themselves that they are perceiving the lead correctly.  There's also the problem that I've wrote about before with follows usually in the 6-12 month bracket, where they fall into "pattern following".
The weightless lead in your experience does not work with beginners?  I'm having much better luck with it than I ever did with the physical lead.  Of course, the beginners I have had experience with have seen enough ballroom or been around it enough to have the basic framework to interpret the lead.  

Wouldn't that depend on the alignment at the moment?  I've always been taught that the partner moving forward is "in charge" of the movement.  Going back to Elise's VW natural turn example (which might be a bit of an extreme example), whichever partner is on in the inside of the turn at the moment is in a quite passive role; once they clear the space, their only job is to not get separated from the partner.  There are a lot of things that effect which partner is controlling the movement at any given moment, and some of those things are quite dynamic.  Still trying to relate this to the dog example... I've only ever had cats, and we all know they don't follow.   Grin
Slight difference of opinion: I personally don't believe the person going forward is in charge of the movement.  Could be just the definition of "in charge" I'm misunderstanding.

You mentioned that the "only job is to not get separated from the partner".  This I believe is the man's job, and what I attribute to being the key to Elise's concept of the "weightless follow".  If the man leads the steps, the lady goes on her way, and then the man stays with the partner until it's time to initiate another lead, voila!  Weightlessness!
« Last Edit: January 01, 2010, 12:52:20 PM by Some guy » Logged
elisedance
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« Reply #24 on: January 01, 2010, 01:10:11 PM »

You mentioned that the "only job is to not get separated from the partner".  This I believe is the man's job, and what I attribute to being the key to Elise's concept of the "weightless follow".  If the man leads the steps, the lady goes on her way, and then the man stays with the partner until it's time to initiate another lead, voila!  Weightlessness!

This is exactly how my pro dances.  The sense of freedom and yet the simultaneous sense of connection are awesome.  Of course with freedom comes responsibility - you can move but you must do so in a way that the man feels liberated and not lost.  The key for me there is to make sure you are on ballance and that you move your body, that is spine, as one unit.
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Dora-Satya Veda
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« Reply #25 on: January 01, 2010, 08:54:07 PM »

What if lead/follow actions were to be thought of as similar to a ball (follow) being held loosely (and not gripped) in the hand (lead). (Hope no offense taken with this example.) If want to throw ball forward, hand will initiate a swing forward to get the ball going. During initial part of swing, hand is requesting how far the ball should be thrown and the ball would ideally follow. After the ball is thrown, the hand continues to try and maintain contact with the ball, following it's movement. But, in this analogy, the ball has the ability to change it's movement. For example, it could move further than requested and slip out of the hand somewhat, and the hand really doesn't have that good of control of the ball at this moment. Ideally, the ball would stay connected (lightly) with the hand. After ball lands, the process starts over again. That's the analogy for a ball being thrown forward. But what if ball is being thrown backward. In this case, the hand is pointed forward, but moving backward to initiate the swing. So the initial swing is requesting how much the ball is going to be thrown backward. And since the hand is not gripping the ball, to keep from not falling out of the hand the ball would want to stay lightly connected to the hand so both are moving as a unit during completion stage of the throw. Again, after ball lands, process starts over.

Does this sound like a good analogy?

I think that is a very good analogy pruthe. Keep up the good work. Sounds like you are on the right track Smiley
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« Reply #26 on: January 01, 2010, 09:03:13 PM »

You sure have a different idea of the Lady’s jobs then I have. Shocked I never waited for my partner. Let me be a little clearer. I have sooooo much to do in my 1st job (Flexibility) of the 4 jobs for the Lady, that I am really, really too busy to feel that I am waiting. Tongue I felt I was too busy to even think of waiting for him. Tongue Sounds to me like, you are not doing enough if you feel you have time to wait around.
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Edward Teller
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« Reply #27 on: January 01, 2010, 09:58:31 PM »

yes I struggle with that also...I know that dancing is your turn my turn...but learning to know when to wait and when to go, is something that I am still working on. Bearing in mind that we have only been dacing four years and the first two were completely social with no formal instruction. then we start to take some lessons because we wanted to dance better, but have only been training since the beginning of the year for competitive dancing.

Does the concept of lead and follow (your turn, my turn) just come with experience and practice of executing a certain step or something that you that you must particularly focus on?
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Some guy
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« Reply #28 on: January 01, 2010, 11:20:26 PM »

You sure have a different idea of the Lady’s jobs then I have. Shocked I never waited for my partner. Let me be a little clearer. I have sooooo much to do in my 1st job (Flexibility) of the 4 jobs for the Lady, that I am really, really too busy to feel that I am waiting. Tongue I felt I was too busy to even think of waiting for him. Tongue Sounds to me like, you are not doing enough if you feel you have time to wait around.
I would love to hear more about this. What is the lady to do while the man is taking his sweet time thinking about what to do next?   Undecided
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Dora-Satya Veda
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« Reply #29 on: January 01, 2010, 11:36:04 PM »

You sure have a different idea of the Lady’s jobs then I have. Shocked I never waited for my partner. Let me be a little clearer. I have sooooo much to do in my 1st job (Flexibility) of the 4 jobs for the Lady, that I am really, really too busy to feel that I am waiting. Tongue I felt I was too busy to even think of waiting for him. Tongue Sounds to me like, you are not doing enough if you feel you have time to wait around.
I would love to hear more about this. What is the lady to do while the man is taking his sweet time thinking about what to do next?   Undecided

While he is taking his sweet old time thinking about what to do next, we do the Mobility, Selling and Collection. Yes, we do three physical jobs while you are thinking. As a lady we never have a break not even for a second.

I do think what many of the ladies are thinking about here is the time when we do the Flexibility. This is the time where the man often asks the lady to wait. Little does he know that we don’t wait for him at all! If we were to wait for him then he normally complains that we are blocking him. Then you get into the game of “you are running away……no you are blocking me…….no you are running away….. This can continue for hours, day and even months unless the lady starts doing all her jobs in Flexibility. 
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"As we understand more things, everthing is becoming simpler"

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