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Author Topic: One correct way to dance? Or every couple has their own way?  (Read 1766 times)
elisedance
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ee


« on: February 10, 2010, 12:02:52 PM »

This is an intriguing question.  Coaches tend to dictate a specific way to dance - and we all improve by listening.  Its also clear that there are different schools of thought and that eac school will get you to a terrific way to dance - some better than others of course Wink but they will all work.

However, is there another very individual element?  Is there some aspect of a partnershp that is unique to those two people, something that can not be learned except by simply dancing and discovering?  And if so what is it?

The point comes up very much in my mind because I have two partners: one a very accomplished and currently competing pro and the other, my DP, a peer in development with whom I spent about 10X as much dance time (and its increasing of late).  I find that I can not dance the same way with both partners - even though pro teaches us as well as me.  There are aspects to dancing with DP that are unique to this partnership and I doubt that any amount of lessons or expertise will take those away.....
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« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2010, 11:02:20 PM »

Well let me give my 2 cents worth on this one….

I guess the best way of explaining what I think would be using an old metaphor.

All roads lead to Rome. All couples want to get there and they all know the main object is to get to the center Rome. Not every couple takes the same path to the center of Rome. Then once they get there they start describing what they see, hear, feel and think. As everybody perceives what they see, feel, hear and think different, they will describe it different and tell different stories of what Rome is like. So here they are many couples in the same town and they all got there traveling from many different destinations. They all explain what they see, hear, think and feel in a different manner.

So the center of Rome is where all are headed from many different direction, one could call it a common goal. How the path and the final destination is then perceived and explained is individual element.

I hope this makes sense.

DSV
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elisedance
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« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2010, 11:22:56 PM »

Well let me give my 2 cents worth on this one….

I guess the best way of explaining what I think would be using an old metaphor.

All roads lead to Rome. All couples want to get there and they all know the main object is to get to the center Rome. Not every couple takes the same path to the center of Rome. Then once they get there they start describing what they see, hear, feel and think. As everybody perceives what they see, feel, hear and think different, they will describe it different and tell different stories of what Rome is like. So here they are many couples in the same town and they all got there traveling from many different destinations. They all explain what they see, hear, think and feel in a different manner.

So the center of Rome is where all are headed from many different direction, one could call it a common goal. How the path and the final destination is then perceived and explained is individual element.

I hope this makes sense.

DSV
I think so - but in England we used to say that all roads lead to London... basically because England is an island Wink  But the analogy holds: can there be two destinations, each of which will work?  And even if there is only one destination does it accomodate different partnership arrangements? 
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Dora-Satya Veda
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« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2010, 11:48:34 PM »

I think so - but in England we used to say that all roads lead to London... basically because England is an island Wink  But the analogy holds: can there be two destinations, each of which will work?  And even if there is only one destination does it accomodate different partnership arrangements? 

I was just using Rome as that is an old continental saying that most people have heard. Wink

Well, I guess there could be two destinations. My teacher said there was only one destination and from my years of teaching I would say he was right. I think all dancers no matter what level they are has one goal. I have dealt with dancer in all level, both social dancers and competition dancers and they all talk about getting in harmony with..... something....    I would say that goal all dancers have is "Harmony", whether that is in harmony with the partner, the floor, the audience, the judges or oneself. It nonetheless is "HARMONY". 

I would say it accommodate all partnerships.

I remember having a lesson with my dance father. He was teaching me a action and I felt in total harmony with him. I then tried the same action with my partner and it didn’t work at all. I then asked my teacher why it didn’t work. He told me that all partnerships were unique and that great dancers found harmony with whoever was in front of them. They wouldn’t give up the basic principle but they would change the action to accommodate the partnership and create harmony. He told me that was why he taught principles to new couple and couples he saw very seldom. The basic principle would work with all partnerships. He then told me that if a teacher started moving away from principle then s/he had to be very aware what would work for that individual partnership. He then showed me what I had to do with my partner to create the same look, using the same basic principle but using a slightly different action to create the harmony. It was amazing with those little changes the harmony we experienced.

DSV
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elisedance
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« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2010, 07:03:24 AM »

I remember having a lesson with my dance father. He was teaching me a action and I felt in total harmony with him. I then tried the same action with my partner and it didn’t work at all. I then asked my teacher why it didn’t work. He told me that all partnerships were unique and that great dancers found harmony with whoever was in front of them. They wouldn’t give up the basic principle but they would change the action to accommodate the partnership and create harmony. He told me that was why he taught principles to new couple and couples he saw very seldom. The basic principle would work with all partnerships. He then told me that if a teacher started moving away from principle then s/he had to be very aware what would work for that individual partnership. He then showed me what I had to do with my partner to create the same look, using the same basic principle but using a slightly different action to create the harmony. It was amazing with those little changes the harmony we experienced.

DSV

That is EXACTLY what I was trying to raise DSV.  That reaching a goal may need a slightly different approach for each partnership.  If that is the case then the best teachers are the ones that listen into that partnership and come to understant that couples route to harmony.  And what you describe with your teacher and partner is what I am going through with mine and DP - except my coach is no where as aware as your's was.  Fortunately I have other sources Wink
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« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2010, 08:06:05 AM »

I was only have that discussion with V, as when I dance with the teaching, he puts me into the shaping and with V I have to do it myself. He has yet to use the full range of his own shaping. and then we can get annoyed with each other because it has not gelled, but then people say gee you have improved a lot, but it is yet to feel like being at home. Roll Eyes
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« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2010, 04:22:48 PM »

All roads lead to Rome. All couples want to get there and they all know the main object is to get to the center Rome. Not every couple takes the same path to the center of Rome. Then once they get there they start describing what they see, hear, feel and think. As everybody perceives what they see, feel, hear and think different, they will describe it different and tell different stories of what Rome is like. So here they are many couples in the same town and they all got there traveling from many different destinations. They all explain what they see, hear, think and feel in a different manner.

So the center of Rome is where all are headed from many different direction, one could call it a common goal. How the path and the final destination is then perceived and explained is individual element.

I hope this makes sense.

DSV

I'll agree with that.  I think it also comes down to personalities--there may be one correct way to do things, but the execution of those things is going to look different on every individual person.  For instance, I worship Yulia and may spend every waking minute trying to emulate her dancing, but even if I were to get to her level, I couldn't exactly replicate her movement simply because we're two different people and have different personalities that manifest themselves in our dancing.  To use an example, a fan in rumba may be a fan in rumba may be a fan in rumba, and there's specific technique that tells us the "correct" way to execute it, but my rumba fan is going to look different from your rumba fan and the rumba fan of half a dozen other couples at my studio--but we're all dancing it "correctly."

I'd also point to differences between Standard and Latin (excluding Smooth and Rhythm here just because there are so many different syllabi so there's lots of conflicting info on the "correct" way to dance).  The way I understand it, there isn't much wiggle room in Standard--it's either right or it's not (of course, all you Standard experts feel free to correct me if I'm mistaken).  However, in Latin, there are some things that my pro and coaches have told me can be done a few different ways and still be considered "correct," so it ends up being more of a stylistic choice.  That said, of course there are people that have faulty technique that try to cover it up by executing one of those options in an incorrect way. Wink

Just my $0.02...
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Dora-Satya Veda
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« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2010, 05:10:36 PM »

That is EXACTLY what I was trying to raise DSV.  That reaching a goal may need a slightly different approach for each partnership.  If that is the case then the best teachers are the ones that listen into that partnership and come to understant that couples route to harmony.  And what you describe with your teacher and partner is what I am going through with mine and DP - except my coach is no where as aware as your's was.  Fortunately I have other sources Wink

Well, I am glad that I got to the point Wink Yes, my dance father taught me to view every couple with open eye, ears and mind as they would probably be going to the "center of Rome" on a slightly different path then I did or any of my other students have done. That is one of the reasons that the "parent system" worked so well in Europe. The parents would teach their kids how to teach and the ins and outs of creating success for each individual couple. If the teacher/coach hasn’t learned teaching methods or had any formal teachers training then it can be a challenge. Most places teachers/coaches are left to their own devises to educate themselves to teach. This unfortunately will sometimes cause the student to be a test student where the teacher/coach learns from their trail and errors.

I am glad that you have other sources to help you with your DP issues.

DSV
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elisedance
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« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2010, 05:24:12 PM »

I am glad that you have other sources to help you with your DP issues.
DSV
I'm guessing you would be quite familiar with that source Wink
ee
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elisedance
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« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2010, 05:30:23 PM »

I'd like to get a bit into specifics here.  Pro likes to dance as two people moving together.  He pushes this angle hard becaues he wants me to have a lot of freedom to move, expecially when I am going backwards.  DP, on the other hand has a primary focus in knowing where I am - he wants to feel a contact with me and its most important to him that I do not move until he has - he almost panics if I do and feels (and I think he is correct) that we are not dancing together and that he has to catch up with me if I move to early. 

I'm not sure if I've put it very well but it boils down to a lot of freedom but a scaryness of going off on my own with pro and wonderful initiate-respond with DP but a bit of a feeling of being constrained with DP. 

And then there's the other side.  If I move too freely with pro I get in trouble as I can not follow his leads.  If I follow too slowly with DP I also get in trouble as I am then 'in his way' Undecided  Such is the responders lot I guess....  But I am getting quite good at dancing with both of them - actually its only rather recently that I think I have figured out DP.  We've gone hot and cold with our dancing a lot...
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If you must leave the house, go build a home...

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Dora-Satya Veda
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« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2010, 06:58:06 PM »

I am glad that you have other sources to help you with your DP issues.
DSV
I'm guessing you would be quite familiar with that source Wink
ee

If you are talking about me  Smiley then I do need to warn you that what I say here is very general and not really personalized to any specific couple.
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Dora-Satya Veda
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« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2010, 07:07:10 PM »

Pro likes to dance as two people moving together.  He pushes this angle hard becaues he wants me to have a lot of freedom to move, expecially when I am going backwards.  DP, on the other hand has a primary focus in knowing where I am - he wants to feel a contact with me and its most important to him that I do not move until he has - he almost panics if I do and feels (and I think he is correct) that we are not dancing together and that he has to catch up with me if I move to early. 

I so recognize this issue. I had the exact same issue with my partner and one of my coaches (my dance uncle). My uncle would keep pushing me to move more and my DP would complain that he had no control over me and that I was running away. My dance father helped me understand how I could move big enough for my uncle to be happy and at the same time stay with my DP so that he was happy. It did me a little while to develop the skill to do that action needed to create that but once I had it, then they were both happy and found other things to complain about.  Wink

I am sure that with time you will find what it takes to make them both happy. Cheesy

DSV
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elisedance
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« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2010, 07:47:54 PM »

I think I am getting there - but the real issue was recognizing that there was, and could be, a difference.  Its too easy to conclude that there is a right way and a wrong way - when in fact there are many roads to Rome Cheesy
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cornutt
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« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2010, 03:21:16 PM »


I so recognize this issue. I had the exact same issue with my partner and one of my coaches (my dance uncle). My uncle would keep pushing me to move more and my DP would complain that he had no control over me and that I was running away.

Could part of this simply be the limitations of a given partner's sensory systems?  The process of initiating a movement is a two-way confirmation protocol: first she has to perceive that I want her to move.  Then, I have to perceive that she is in fact moving.  Following that, she has to perceive that I'm moving with her.  Hopefully, after all that, we are in sync.   Grin

But it takes time because of, in part, comm lags.  Inputs have to propagate through the sensory nerves and get routed around the brain to the perception functions.  It may be milliseconds, but it's not zero.  (Elise, isn't this sort of thing right up your alley?)  We can shorten our reaction times by sharpening our perceptions and learning to feel for the "right" things, which I think is a significant part of a couple learning to partner each other.  But we can't totally eliminate it.
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« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2010, 12:31:33 AM »

I think the difficulty of the creation of two people moving in sync as one body can test the skill, frustration and will of any partnership.  My partner and I are going through a phase of dancing where we are dancing our own dance and not coming together like we should.  Much of this is due to practicing on our own and thus focusing on ourselves and we have had a few of the judges say that they can tell that this is how we practice because it shows on the floor.  The bigger problem is that if I start to doubt him or feel disconnected I start to take control in an attemmp to help.  This has lead to arguments  of who is not doing their job. 

One of our instructors told us that dancing is a man's world and the woman has to just zip it and do what he wants regardless.  Yeah well this is one of the reasons why countries that think this way are usually third world countries.  I understand the instructor's point of view but it also causes one to feel that the opinion of one is of less value or no value than the other and leads to more problems as in the man thinks he is always right.  I feel we were given a cookie cutter answer without consideration that each couple is different and as such not a constructive or even remotely thought out answer.  I walked away thinking he may as well just get a blow up doll and he walks away happy but with no real solutions.  Perhaps if the instructor was wiser and asked why I feel I have to take over and my DP why he is not daning with confidence, or that we should agree that I allow him to learn to be confident in his abilities without my "help" but in return my DP takes in consideration my needs to feel I can believe in him, than it would have given us a direction.  The instructor had actually caused more of a rift than help and we have learned that we have to depend on ourselves and what worked for them does not necessarily work for us.  We came to the above idea to satisfy both our needs and sunday night we danced the best we have in months.   
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