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Author Topic: The (new) Quantal Shift topic  (Read 9969 times)
ZPomeroy
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Intermediate Silver
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Posts: 1464


Victoria, Australia


« Reply #75 on: May 28, 2010, 09:23:51 AM »

Very interesting conversation going on here! I truly do believe that with the right training a student could become a champion in a very short amount of time (compared to what the general dancing society considers as an amount of time). It is the same with music, the first time you learn a piece of music or the first time you play it even the mistakes that you play through this first introduction to the work stick with you, and will always show themselves in any type of pressure situation whether that be a performance or whatever. So DSV, how do we, who are not privy to this exclusive master teacher information make it to the finals of the British open? this is the career path i would like to take, a competitor at this sort of level that is, and would love to know these secrets...

Zac
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Dance is poetry written for the feet, read by the heart, and destined for the soul.
Some guy
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« Reply #76 on: May 28, 2010, 11:11:48 AM »

You aren't suggeting are you that as long as you are told the right principle two people could walk into a studio as 'one-walkers' and walk out as elegant partnerdancers?  I simply don't buy it.  DSV has described the many hours she spent training and it seems that you do likewise.  We've learned that there are tremendous ways to make that time much more effective - but you do still have to spend the time on the floor to become a dancer.  

Perhaps you could give some specific examples?  Of couples that went from being unable to dance to competing and winning in, say, weeks?
Elise, the only reason I have to put in as much work as I do is for two big reasons: I'm still fighting what I think ballroom dancing is supposed to be and I'm fighting all my bad muscle memory.  I've learned that "muscle memory" is actually a bad thing 'cause then you're dependent on your muscles to be in the exact same condition day after day.  To me, walking or riding a bike is not muscle memory.  It's just an automatic action.  Never mind how sore I am or how sick I am, I can do it just fine letting my body use all my muscles in perfect co-ordination without my interference.  The reason I don't think it's muscle memory is because my body is able to change it up day after day no matter how I'm feeling that day or which muscles are out of commission.  However, I digress.  

I think the learning curve is quite relative to the person, except that the only folks I've personally had trouble with "fixing" are the ones that have had prior ballroom experience. When I volunteer at the local college ballroom clubs and show them how to do a bronze routine, I can quite confidently say that I would be afraid to be on the competition floor with them.  Sure, I can look better with them during the lesson.  However, as far as consistency goes, they can do what I taught them to do 10 out of 10 times.  I can do it maybe 5 out of 10 times and that's if my body feels perfect.  I always tell my coach how scary it is that college kids who've never danced in their lives walk away from their first group class (not even a private) doing a better feather step/natural turn/etc. than I still consistently can.  

I remember before I started ballroom lessons watching Pino dancing (as my mom loved watching ballroom competitions).  I watched him and decided "there's nothing to this!  He's just walking!".  I never once cared about how he was "leading" Alessandra or any of his techinque.  Then I went to my first ballroom class and was shocked at all the technique they filled my mind with to where I couldn't do anything anywhere near what Pino was doing.  Fast forward 7 years.  During my coach's last visit, I scheduled a few one-on-one private lessons with her.  I tried desperately to dance my routine with her but I couldn't even get past the prep step with her in any of my dances.  Finally I gave up and told her this story about what I thought Pino did before I had any training whatsoever.  I held my coach and demonstrated to her what I thought ballroom dancing was when I first saw it.  I was expecting disaster.  Quite the contrary, I danced my whole first long line of Foxtrot with her and she followed my routine perfectly.  I stopped after my first long line because I was blown away by how good we danced together.  So now, I'm trying to get back to what I "knew" about ballroom dancing that first day I walked in through the door, 'cause 7 years of information only robbed me of my abilities.  Sure, I know "steps", but that's a long time to learn steps.  

I actually have a very nice story.  There's a couple my coach and I helped out on two occasions early this year.  They were social dancers for 2 years and now wanting to compete.  They live in a city where the only reputed coaches come in about once or twice a year to give lessons for two or three days, maximum.  My partner and I were there in their city volunteering one weekend.  We volunteered to do a showcase for them to raise funds for their local dance chapter.  They heard about that and asked us to take a look at their dancing.  I helped them out one of the days I was there.  They were shocked at how different my information was but they loved it.  They took it all in.  I remember telling my coach how much they improved within a few hours.  My partner was there helping them out also, and she too, to this day, is shocked at how quickly they absorbed the information.  They improved to where I would be afraid to be on the floor with them.  Then a few months later they drove 5 hours to come take lessons with my coach on one weekend.  They didn't take any lessons in between.  So that's about two days of lessons within two months.  No other lessons.  After that, early this month they competed in a big competition.  They danced bronze and silver.  Their first competition ever.  He said they had to dance 23 heats for both as it was a very big competition.  They didn't have any silver routines, so they just danced bronze routines the whole time.  They won both, bronze and silver.  They knew bronze steps as they had social danced.  However, when we gave them the new information, they absorbed it immediately without any fight.  Winning bronze and silver at a major competition tells me that they're quite safely gold level.  Also the fact that they were able to dance 23 heats in a row and still win their finals tells me they're definitely doing what my coach taught them to do.  I asked them if they were tired afterwards and they said, thanks to my coach, they still had some pep left in their step and that's probably what helped them pull away from the pack in the final.  They got mostly straight "1"s from the judges.    

So time is really irrelevant.  I don't know even today if I could dance 23 heats and maintain my level of performance even if it was just bronze and silver 'cause I'm still fighting all my bad muscle memory and bad information.  If  I were to compete against that couple they would've beaten me.

      
« Last Edit: May 28, 2010, 11:14:20 AM by Some guy » Logged
samina
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« Reply #77 on: May 28, 2010, 04:13:32 PM »

loved your stories, SG!

have been reflecting much on my own dance (and dance-less) journey, how the dance-less aspect correlates directly with dance-related improvement, what lies ahead for me, and such...and there is an odd immediacy to my thoughts because i just refurbished my practice shoes and am intending on having my first on-a-studio-floor practice tomorrow to work on both latin & body-school-related movement exercises. it is a strange juxtaposition against the lack of prospective dance training on my apparent immediate horizon.

and i'm reflecting that the point where i left off training & competition was a high point for me, the manifestation of a "quantal shift" that was just the very beginning of experiencing the kind of ease & freedom i desired to find. so that has been the "vibration", if you will, that i was left resonating upon leaving formal dance training for... what i've been working on & toward since.

in that time, i have worked on life lessons that eliminate the fear of falling. i've worked on my physicality, to bring more life, energy, and information flowing more freely through my body. and i've very profoundly "lost myself to find myself".

all of these things together have resulted in a big personal shift in that i can feel my spiritual life force inhabiting my body SO differently than before, without the fear of falling, with so much more connectivity, and with the kind of personal emptiness that eliminates the layer between self and something greater than self.

and so, on the eve of my planned new stepping out to practice with a very different view & feel of things (understand, it has been roughly a year and a half since my last private lesson)... i'm thinking that i actually have a gift here... the benefit of having taken such a long break has minimized that muscle memory, which could make it easier to absorb some new things with ease!

thanks for highlighting that point, SG. it's an encourageing one. i'm also remembering the last time i dance standard, one each of the dances over two subsequent socials with my former instructor... and how much better it all felt at that time. another encouraging piece i'm remembering at this time.

and one last thought... i studied classical piano from childhood, but there were two separate instances in my life where i had to sell my piano in order to help get out of a financial hole, and both of those times i was so passionately involved in study and training. so i would go for long stretches, many years, without access to a piano and without playing. and yet, each time it came back to me, after an initial period of technical training i was very quickly always a much better musician, as if i'd been practicing all that time! i realized that there is something that can happen to the creative spirit that can evolve one's artistry or understanding or creative freedom and allow that to come through more naturally, and that it is a thing which occurs independent of the actual form itself.

isn't that cool? i'm excited to see how that correlates with latin & standard in my own life... Smiley
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samina
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« Reply #78 on: June 04, 2010, 07:00:44 PM »

hit the practice floor today after a *very* long hiatus, during which practicing of sorts has been only done in my home. it's a very different thing to have access to a large wooden dance floor, surrounded by the space, mirrors, and music that contribute to the feel of serious practice. it has been no later than december 2008 since i last practiced on such a floor.

super-validating practice, too. whatever intuitively guided path i have followed during that time, it has borne fruit, and i am just so delighted! it's not the same body, from the inside out, that i had the last that i trained in a studio, and my spirit is indeed not inhabiting this body the same way, either. everything has changed, a huge "quantal shift" during that time.

what a relief, because i have had no map to follow in what i've been working at, what i've been attempting to do, only just my intuition & instincts. it really did deliver me where i wished to go. that's a powerful statement, and it gives me comfort and re-inspires me. Cheesy
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elisedance
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Blackpool Finalist
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ee


« Reply #79 on: June 04, 2010, 08:19:13 PM »

way to go Sam...
So, whatcha going to do about a partner? Roll Eyes
(speaking of - didn't he make the 3rd round in Blackpool today?)
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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...
samina
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« Reply #80 on: June 04, 2010, 10:19:00 PM »

Looks like top 67 in the pro category, top 49 in RS. Am impressed, considering they coped with a serious injury that kept them out of the circuit for a year or so. Good for them.

As for self...I'm no longer holding the space for returning to comping. My life has to change significantly for that to occur. I'm not chasing or pursuing that right now...serendipity will have to find me.

But I can't eliminate my passion and my joy for what goes into becoming a fine 10-dancer, so...progress marches on. Smiley
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elisedance
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« Reply #81 on: June 05, 2010, 04:06:12 AM »

Maybe you could do a bit of social just to keep moving.  Obviously not what you aspire but its SOOO much cheaper - and you have to get exercise anyway... 
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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...
samina
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« Reply #82 on: June 05, 2010, 08:28:17 AM »

i do plan on checking out the local scene, yep! Smiley
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elisedance
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« Reply #83 on: June 05, 2010, 09:18:41 AM »

My rule of thumb is DO SOMETHING!
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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...
samina
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« Reply #84 on: June 05, 2010, 09:49:44 AM »

yep... do what you can do. there are so many ways to invest in progress...
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Some guy
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« Reply #85 on: June 10, 2010, 04:29:06 PM »

OK, so danced with another one of the other Body School dancers in my city yesterday (I can count on one hand the number of us in our city).  Had quite an awesome experience.  We've both been trying to get consistent with weightless dancing just like that other lady I danced with and posted about before.  

The two of us danced together yesterday and were amazed at the amount of movement we achieved.  I thought I would be used to it now but I was still blown away by how much movement there was with a feeling of total weightlessness.  Unable to fathom how much we moved with so little effort, we each tried to dance by ourselves to see if we could cover the same distance individually. We couldn't!  We were able to achieve more movement across the floor than any one of us could by ourselves and with little to no effort to boot.  It was sort of like we connected and then floated off to the other end of the floor.  I just can't get used to that feeling 'cause my logical brain goes haywire trying to comprehend how it's possible.  

She was also able to "do" the lady's jobs without really doing anything.  She is able to free up her body to allow herself to do the lady's jobs with minimal conscious awareness on her part.  Quite amazing.  After a while, I tried to actively be a "bad" dancer and try to make her look bad.  She wanted me to try it because her goal is to look good no matter who she dances with.  I tried everything to mess up her look and movement but it was quite impossible.  She was able to sell anything I threw at her without ever compromising her other jobs or appearance on the floor, all without any conscious awareness of it.

The other thing we were able to do is to slow down time.  We danced a quickstep and it felt slower than the Waltz or the Foxtrot.  We were both in disbelief.  The music was either on tempo or faster, but each time we danced it, we felt like it was slower than the foxtrot.  It was quite shocking to both of us.  I've heard that dancers are able to slow down the music in their heads, but I thought it was just a little bit.  I didn't realize that you could almost grind the quickstep to a halt.  It was quite amazing for us both to be suspended in time like that.  Not only were we able to slow it down so much, we were also able to cover more floor than we ever had or ever dreamed we could.  All with basics only.  Didn't even throw in any locks.  The fanciest thing we did was a spin turn at the corners.  Dancing is beginning to defy all logic, laws of physics and gravity.  That's twice so far I've been able to do it.  

My goal is to be able to re create that experience enough times in order for that to become my new "average" performance.  However, it seems like I can only do that with other Body School dancers.  I wonder if it's possible to be able to feel like that no matter who I'm dancing with, Body School or not?!  Huh Cool
« Last Edit: June 10, 2010, 04:47:25 PM by Some guy » Logged
samina
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« Reply #86 on: June 10, 2010, 04:54:45 PM »

That sounds just *so* wonderful, SG! I don't doubt any of it. And I'm happy that you have a couple dancers in your neck of the woods who have that kinds of awareness or training. What a delight it must be. Smiley
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Dora-Satya Veda
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Posts: 6871


« Reply #87 on: June 11, 2010, 03:16:28 AM »

Dancing is beginning to defy all logic, laws of physics and gravity.  

What logic, laws of physics and gravity?  Wink


However, it seems like I can only do that with other Body School dancers.  I wonder if it's possible to be able to feel like that no matter who I'm dancing with, Body School or not?!  Huh Cool

Don't worry you will get to a point where you can do it with anything and everyone no matter who and what they are. Wink Cheesy
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elisedance
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ee


« Reply #88 on: June 11, 2010, 06:17:22 AM »

Not really sure if we are body schooling entirely or not - but our waltz seems to have become very effortless of late.  the difference for me has been not just rise and fall but gradual acceleration and decelleration during the action.  It feels more and more like riding that bicycle up and down the little hills...
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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...
ZPomeroy
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Intermediate Silver
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Posts: 1464


Victoria, Australia


« Reply #89 on: July 23, 2010, 10:26:53 AM »

Have realized over the last week or so the importance of 'less is more' the less i concentrate on trying to do everything right while i dance, the more i start doing the correct technique, the more i'm able to dance, and most importantly the more i enjoy myself. After this week i have decided that there are two things i should keep an eye on while i dance, but the rest i should allow to just occur naturally, these being: posture, and working less, and after tonight's practice class where i danced the best i have with my partner practically since we started it seems to be working. This change in though, or to put it more precisely less of thought, is a real breakthrough Cheesy

Zac
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Dance is poetry written for the feet, read by the heart, and destined for the soul.
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