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Author Topic: waiting - the essence of following  (Read 12447 times)
drj
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« Reply #165 on: April 15, 2012, 09:25:26 AM »

So I have a dilemma. My instructor has begun to insist that I learn to read him faster. Not that I respond faster, but read him faster. I would appreciate any input or advice on how to divorce the reading from the responding. At the moment, apparently, I sometimes respond too soon. My bad.

Yes, I realize "just do it" is probably the answer, but just in case anyone has something else, I thought I'd ask. TIA
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ancora imparo
samina
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« Reply #166 on: April 15, 2012, 01:25:45 PM »

Maybe heighten your emphasis on thinking "Wait" and "Listen" over "Go" -- that would give the spaciousness to hear "more", and to quickly do so before responding with "Go".

That's how my thoughts work, anyway, when I'm "following"...
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elisedance
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« Reply #167 on: April 15, 2012, 02:33:35 PM »

I agree with Sam - though your post seems contradictory - you need to read him faster but you are responding too fast?  Seems to me as if you are reading him too quickly - not giving him enough time to finish his sentence if you like Smiley

Savor the message.  Listen and digest it - its better and its also a heck of a lot easier.  The key is faith - faith in your partner that he will send the right message and even more faith in yourself that you have the capacity to follow his lead.  I think the latter is perhaps the most important aspect of following for once we have faith in ourselves anything truly is possible - even following steps and sequences that you have never experienced before.  

Not that I'm there yet - but I can see the glimmer on the horizon... Smiley

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The limit of your love is also the limit of your art...
samina
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« Reply #168 on: April 15, 2012, 02:46:48 PM »

Another thought:

Mental quietude will make a difference, meaning, having less of one's own mental static causing "interference". That static can cause precipitous action because signals are unclear/getting crossed and can't find a "free receptor" for understanding/comprehension.

Manage your mental "self-talk" while following...and as with everything, improve this in life and it is easier to improve it on the dance floor.
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Bordertangoman
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« Reply #169 on: April 16, 2012, 06:51:03 AM »

So I have a dilemma. My instructor has begun to insist that I learn to read him faster. Not that I respond faster, but read him faster. I would appreciate any input or advice on how to divorce the reading from the responding. At the moment, apparently, I sometimes respond too soon. My bad.

Yes, I realize "just do it" is probably the answer, but just in case anyone has something else, I thought I'd ask. TIA

I know what I'd do if I were your leader slow down; so you dont anticipate....

but for you, maybe its to gather what his intention is before responding....think direction; left, right, slow fast back, forward.
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”We need a witness to our lives.  There's a billion people on the planet, what does any one life really mean? But in a marriage, you're promising to care about everything.  The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things, all of it, all of the time, every day. "
drj
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« Reply #170 on: April 16, 2012, 07:41:26 AM »

All good advice, and thanks for it. Yes, Elise, it seems contradictory; I need to read him faster, intuit what he wants, but wait to respond. I am listening but, as Sam pointed out, there is mental static. And yes, BTM, I am reading his intention, the way he intends to shift his body weight and where he's going to send me, even before he sends me there. But he wants me to do it sooner, yet wait to execute.

Patience is a virtue, they say. Well-placed, well-executed patience is, apparently, what I need to learn. Thanks for the help.
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ancora imparo
elisedance
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« Reply #171 on: April 16, 2012, 07:56:52 AM »

So I have a dilemma. My instructor has begun to insist that I learn to read him faster. Not that I respond faster, but read him faster. I would appreciate any input or advice on how to divorce the reading from the responding. At the moment, apparently, I sometimes respond too soon. My bad.

Yes, I realize "just do it" is probably the answer, but just in case anyone has something else, I thought I'd ask. TIA

...but for you, maybe its to gather what his intention is before responding....think direction; left, right, slow fast back, forward.
yes - except the 'think' bit Wink  once you think you are screwed.  You have to NOT think, just be in the moment.  In a sense its not waiting at all since if you are really in the moment all points in time are the same.
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If you must leave the house, go build a home...

The limit of your love is also the limit of your art...
Bordertangoman
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« Reply #172 on: April 16, 2012, 09:13:33 AM »

So I have a dilemma. My instructor has begun to insist that I learn to read him faster. Not that I respond faster, but read him faster. I would appreciate any input or advice on how to divorce the reading from the responding. At the moment, apparently, I sometimes respond too soon. My bad.

Yes, I realize "just do it" is probably the answer, but just in case anyone has something else, I thought I'd ask. TIA

...but for you, maybe its to gather what his intention is before responding....think direction; left, right, slow fast back, forward.
yes - except the 'think' bit Wink  once you think you are screwed.  You have to NOT think, just be in the moment.  In a sense its not waiting at all since if you are really in the moment all points in time are the same.


and if you dont think, you are alos screwed. you have to take a red or blue pill.
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”We need a witness to our lives.  There's a billion people on the planet, what does any one life really mean? But in a marriage, you're promising to care about everything.  The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things, all of it, all of the time, every day. "
samina
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« Reply #173 on: April 16, 2012, 09:44:40 AM »

So I have a dilemma. My instructor has begun to insist that I learn to read him faster. Not that I respond faster, but read him faster. I would appreciate any input or advice on how to divorce the reading from the responding. At the moment, apparently, I sometimes respond too soon. My bad.

Yes, I realize "just do it" is probably the answer, but just in case anyone has something else, I thought I'd ask. TIA

...but for you, maybe its to gather what his intention is before responding....think direction; left, right, slow fast back, forward.
yes - except the 'think' bit Wink  once you think you are screwed.  You have to NOT think, just be in the moment.  In a sense its not waiting at all since if you are really in the moment all points in time are the same.

I used thought as "anchors" to help me keep renewing my "jobs"...thought itself isn't really a bad word, it's just how we tend to use it. Smiley
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Alice
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Posts: 149



« Reply #174 on: April 16, 2012, 10:04:39 AM »

DRJ,

It strikes me as interesting that your coach would differentiate between reading him and responding to him, especially that he would want you to wait to respond, but not to read.  When I'm following well, I don't have time to read and then respond.  My body has already responded to his lead and I only recognize what we've done after the face.  Maybe it's just that his intention isn't getting conveyed or received effectively (thus instigating that dangerous thinking spiral Wink  )  I know that when I am not relaxed, particularly when my sternum is tense, I always get messed up.  I usually rush things (jump to my own conclusions), take my own steps that he hasn't led, etc.  and the more that happens, the more I tense up my sternum and try to control my own body (trying to help him  Roll Eyes) instead of letting him put me where he wants me.  

When I remember to relax and loosen my sternum (sometimes I recognize the problem myself, a lot of times my coach has to remind me  Wink) it's an instant light switch experience:  I feel totally connected to him, my reflexes take over, so that my body is responding to his lead faster and more accurately than I could ever do with my brain, and, in consequence, we fly!  

I had a chance to dance in an unfamiliar and significantly more crowded environment this weekend and it was a really big reminder to me of how important a relaxed sternum is.  The first time out, it was like I had regressed to the stage I had been six months ago where I was desperately trying to follow, but somehow kept being out of step and time and ending up at the end of something knowing full well that it had nothing to do with my coach's intension.  The second time around, I was able to relax a bit more and maintain the loose sternum a bit longer (not quite the same as in practice, but more than it was before) and I was able to follow a lot better.  (which, of course, helped me relax more, and follow better... etc)  

Maybe this sounds weird, but it might be worth a shot!  
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"The journey between what you once were and who you are now becoming is where the dance of life really takes place."  -Barbara DeAngelis
Bordertangoman
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« Reply #175 on: April 16, 2012, 11:23:05 AM »

a relaxed sternum? that's a new one on me; mine is stuck between my ribs.... Tongue
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”We need a witness to our lives.  There's a billion people on the planet, what does any one life really mean? But in a marriage, you're promising to care about everything.  The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things, all of it, all of the time, every day. "
Some guy
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« Reply #176 on: April 16, 2012, 03:20:59 PM »

a relaxed sternum? that's a new one on me; mine is stuck between my ribs.... Tongue
Smiley  I think she's referring to that area, something we do completely naturally when we walk, or more aptly, when we walk in the park.  The movement within the sternum area is what signals timing, direction, power, and step (left, right).  Just like a walk in the park, the person next to you (not necessarily holding on to you) is able to read your timing, direction, power and step perfectly, totally automatically, while you have a chat or eat an ice cream cone.  Your "partner" doesn't even need to be actively paying attention as long as their intention is to stay with you while walking.  It's a very simple experiment to try.  Stand next to your partner, hold their hand, lock up your sternum area, and walk forward.  The person holding on to you will either never start walking or be yanked forward through the hand they're holding on to.  Never will be they be totally in sync with you when you start stop, start, change direction, etc.  Then try it again, this time with a very relaxed sternum area.  The person will be in complete sync with you.  Walk, stop, change direction, anything.  It's something we learned to do since we were toddlers holding on to an adult's hand.  That's when we learned leading and following.  No need to reinvent the wheel.  It's human nature to tense that area up when someone is in front of you, and it's ballroom nature to tense it up when you take any kind of "frame".  It was the biggest leap in my dancing when I was taught that. 
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Bordertangoman
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« Reply #177 on: April 17, 2012, 04:44:04 AM »

a relaxed sternum? that's a new one on me; mine is stuck between my ribs.... Tongue
Smiley  I think she's referring to that area, something we do completely naturally when we walk, or more aptly, when we walk in the park.  The movement within the sternum area is what signals timing, direction, power, and step (left, right).  Just like a walk in the park, the person next to you (not necessarily holding on to you) is able to read your timing, direction, power and step perfectly, totally automatically, while you have a chat or eat an ice cream cone.  Your "partner" doesn't even need to be actively paying attention as long as their intention is to stay with you while walking.  It's a very simple experiment to try.  Stand next to your partner, hold their hand, lock up your sternum area, and walk forward.  The person holding on to you will either never start walking or be yanked forward through the hand they're holding on to.  Never will be they be totally in sync with you when you start stop, start, change direction, etc.  Then try it again, this time with a very relaxed sternum area.  The person will be in complete sync with you.  Walk, stop, change direction, anything.  It's something we learned to do since we were toddlers holding on to an adult's hand.  That's when we learned leading and following.  No need to reinvent the wheel.  It's human nature to tense that area up when someone is in front of you, and it's ballroom nature to tense it up when you take any kind of "frame".  It was the biggest leap in my dancing when I was taught that. 

it sounds great in theory;but I think I would have to stop breathing to acheive this. but perhaps I will try this, but it does seem rather superfluous. Like telling somone to stop thinking about a pink rhinocerous.
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”We need a witness to our lives.  There's a billion people on the planet, what does any one life really mean? But in a marriage, you're promising to care about everything.  The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things, all of it, all of the time, every day. "
Bordertangoman
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« Reply #178 on: April 17, 2012, 04:49:25 AM »

a relaxed sternum? that's a new one on me; mine is stuck between my ribs.... Tongue
  It's something we learned to do since we were toddlers holding on to an adult's hand.  That's when we learned leading and following. 

That isn't true; parents have to adopt their pace to the child's and give them the support they need. Children dont follow like adults; their attention can be on everything around them, and not on you at all, so often their moving at the pace of their interest nothing to do with you.
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”We need a witness to our lives.  There's a billion people on the planet, what does any one life really mean? But in a marriage, you're promising to care about everything.  The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things, all of it, all of the time, every day. "
drj
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Posts: 334



« Reply #179 on: April 17, 2012, 07:00:00 AM »

DRJ,

It strikes me as interesting that your coach would differentiate between reading him and responding to him, especially that he would want you to wait to respond, but not to read.  When I'm following well, I don't have time to read and then respond.  My body has already responded to his lead and I only recognize what we've done after the fact.  Maybe it's just that his intention isn't getting conveyed or received effectively (thus instigating that dangerous thinking spiral Wink  )  

The emphasis I added points to exactly what I've been doing for a while now: reading him quickly, and responding without delay. Apparently, he is looking for me to pay more attention, more quickly, but delay the performance of what he's led. It's a bit tricky to explain what he wants, but, basically, think "the dance is what happens between the steps" taken to the point of maximum juice. He gives me a weight and direction indication, with speed and power added, and I go there. What he wants is for me to extract the performing essence of the pause between initiating and executing. That's what he means by "read me sooner, but wait to do what I tell you." It's a theater thing, I guess. I don't know if you've ever been in live theater, and two actors are bantering quick lines back and forth, and then one will throw in a pause -- and that pause draws the audience's attention as the banter can't.  That's what I need to learn to do. Breathe before moving. Y'know, that's probably all it'll take: breathing. <headslap> Duh.

Quote
I know that when I am not relaxed, particularly when my sternum is tense, I always get messed up.  I usually rush things (jump to my own conclusions), take my own steps that he hasn't led, etc.  and the more that happens, the more I tense up my sternum and try to control my own body (trying to help him  Roll Eyes) instead of letting him put me where he wants me.

When I remember to relax and loosen my sternum (sometimes I recognize the problem myself, a lot of times my coach has to remind me  Wink) it's an instant light switch experience:  I feel totally connected to him, my reflexes take over, so that my body is responding to his lead faster and more accurately than I could ever do with my brain, and, in consequence, we fly!  

I have never consciously tried to relax the sternum, but one of the exercises we did in my lesson last week involved each of us placing a hand on the other's sternum, and dancing from there. No "hold" no "frame" just hand-to-chest, for a good part of the lesson. Loved it.

Quote
I had a chance to dance in an unfamiliar and significantly more crowded environment this weekend and it was a really big reminder to me of how important a relaxed sternum is.  The first time out, it was like I had regressed to the stage I had been six months ago where I was desperately trying to follow, but somehow kept being out of step and time and ending up at the end of something knowing full well that it had nothing to do with my coach's intension.  The second time around, I was able to relax a bit more and maintain the loose sternum a bit longer (not quite the same as in practice, but more than it was before) and I was able to follow a lot better.  (which, of course, helped me relax more, and follow better... etc)  

It was a pleasure to watch you. From my vantage point, I could not see any of the desperation, just the following. Another ballroom illusion: what feels to the dancers like OMG WHATAMIDOING SO SORRY I MISSED THAT looks to the observer from the first balcony like, How Nice To See Someone Doing Lead And Follow.  :-)
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ancora imparo
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