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Author Topic: Mixing social and competetive dancers and dancing...  (Read 4260 times)
elisedance
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« on: March 01, 2010, 05:01:32 AM »

This came up on the beginners board.

In some places social dancing is totally distinct form competetive - different studios, different events.  Yet in others the two blend and competetive dancing is just seen as a dance form for all to aspire to - just good dancing.  What is it like in your area?  How do you get the two styles and empases to mix?

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QPO
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« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2010, 06:37:53 AM »

well there are two distinct groups the social groups and the competitive schools. From my experience the competitive ones when they have a social dance it is not so strong. Those beginners are not prepared to get up and have a go. Yet the social schools they will, they feel less threatened/intimidated  I suppose.

I attend both, but we are treated differently now at socials IMO.
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ttd
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« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2010, 11:14:27 PM »

Our community is too small for a competition-oriented studio to survive. We have one studio in town which is predominantly social oriented. Teachers who have competitive students rents floor space there. The goal for the socials is to have fun, friendly, welcoming athmosphere so that people stick around. But even though competitive dancers like myself come to those, competitive dancing is not really perceived as something to aspire to. Most people correctly recognize that it takes a lot of dedication, practice and focus, more than they themselves are willing to put in. So it remains something for selected few addicts to do.
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QPO
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« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2010, 01:12:16 AM »

well I think that all sides forget the reasons why they are all there  and get bogged down....Dancing is dancing is dancing  Tongue Shocked
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elisedance
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« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2010, 11:30:00 AM »

Our community is too small for a competition-oriented studio to survive. We have one studio in town which is predominantly social oriented. Teachers who have competitive students rents floor space there. The goal for the socials is to have fun, friendly, welcoming athmosphere so that people stick around. But even though competitive dancers like myself come to those, competitive dancing is not really perceived as something to aspire to. Most people correctly recognize that it takes a lot of dedication, practice and focus, more than they themselves are willing to put in. So it remains something for selected few addicts to do.

How many couples are there that are into competition dancing?
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ttd
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« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2010, 12:10:35 PM »

Our community is too small for a competition-oriented studio to survive. We have one studio in town which is predominantly social oriented. Teachers who have competitive students rents floor space there. The goal for the socials is to have fun, friendly, welcoming athmosphere so that people stick around. But even though competitive dancers like myself come to those, competitive dancing is not really perceived as something to aspire to. Most people correctly recognize that it takes a lot of dedication, practice and focus, more than they themselves are willing to put in. So it remains something for selected few addicts to do.

How many couples are there that are into competition dancing?

Let's see. There are 4 married couples who do a mix of pro-am and sometimes am-am. Then there are 3 ladies without am partners (myself included). Those are the ones who do more than just 2 local competitions.

There are potentially two more ladies who have done pro-am on and off, not sure what's going on there. And I think the studio owner has a couple of men who also started doing pro-am with her on and off. Those have competed at least once locally.

Adding: To give you an idea of the size of the social scene, 30 people at a social is considered a very good turnout.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2010, 12:43:11 PM by ttd » Logged
elisedance
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« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2010, 02:19:52 PM »

Yup, so you'd have to have pretty much a 100% turnout to make a get together worthwhile Undecided  and then the women might have noone to dance with...
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QPO
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« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2010, 12:40:36 AM »

I dont think it will chnge anytime soon..to complex for busy people to del with while they try to run their business
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Graham
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« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2010, 04:35:44 PM »

This came up on the beginners board.

In some places social dancing is totally distinct form competetive - different studios, different events.  Yet in others the two blend and competetive dancing is just seen as A DANCE FORM FOR ALL TO ASPIRE TO - just good dancing.  What is it like in your area?  How do you get the two styles and empases to mix?



I've seen and heard this type of comment so many times. Nowadays my response is 'Why would I want to down-grade my dancing to compete?' Grin
Said only partly in cheek. One can aspire to become a good COMPETITIVE dancer. One can also aspire to become a good SOCIAL dancer. I aspire to the latter and not the former. The skillset priorities are different and cannot really be easily compared.
The phrase Apples and Oranges is used to make the point that two things are quite different, even though they have a great deal in common.
Still, I would rather freestyle dance well and be able to do so with followers of a very wide ability range than dance slightly better the same routine with only one partner. The measurement points are different.

Graham
Freestyle social dancer, international only
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Some guy
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« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2010, 05:43:25 PM »

Last night my partner and I deviated from the norm and danced two Latin rounds and a standard round on a social dance floor.  It was not as tough as I thought it would be.  Actually, we had tremendous fun.  My partner doesn't remember most of our routines, so I usually have to lead her though them, which worked out great because I had lots of fun changing directions, adding extra steps, and basically butchering our routines to fit around the other dancers.  Not one collision.  Fun!!!  The objective was to never stop "competing".  There was two other couples that did the same thing as they too were going to Nationals,  so we were in effect practicing for Nationals.  We know all the other social dancers, most of them personally, so we know none of them were offended.  In fact, when we took breaks between rounds they wanted us to keep dancing as they found it quite thrilling how we bobbed and weaved through the crowd.  The owner let us play rounds with competition length music too.  He was very supportive.  Since they know us personally they knew we weren't try to show-off and we were just trying to get our minds in gear for Nationals.  To know that we could do that on a crowded floor is very empowering. 

It's still not good practice for Nationals because most competitors don't deviate from their routines whereas social dancers have pretty good floorcraft and no fixed routine to adhere to.  So when my coach comes into town next, I'm going to have her throw chairs at us and see if we can dodge them.  If we can dodge a flying chair, we can dodge a couple.   Grin
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dancingirldancing
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« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2010, 06:06:13 PM »


The phrase Apples and Oranges is used to make the point that two things are quite different, even though they have a great deal in common.
Still, I would rather freestyle dance well and be able to do so with followers of a very wide ability range than dance slightly better the same routine with only one partner. The measurement points are different.


I dont know ... I found dancing with people who are or were competing a lot more fun but then I suspect these people simply put a lot more effort such as private and group coaching and practice compared to social dancers only who in area means people who either just take 1 group lesson a week or none at all and expect to be taught on the floor.

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Graham
Intermediate Bronze

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« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2010, 08:59:28 PM »

SG - Great fun isn't it, playing with the floor rather than working it. To be able to hold frame/posture whilst focussing on good floorcraft under such conditions should allow you to be able to focus more on frame/posture during less stressful times (e.g whilst competing) with fewer people on the floor. I would have loved to see you strut your stuff. But not likely as I would have been up there dancing as well. No matter how good a person is, I don't get intimidated, I'm having at least as much fun and that is the most critical thing in my mind.

DGD - I always have more fun with those people who put energy into their dancing, irrespective of ability. Many people cruise along, lollygagging about, not trying to dance, but more doing something along with the socialising rather than dancing as the prime concern, what I refer to as SOCIAL dance. Me I am a social DANCER. Without the dance, I wouldn't go out. I want to dance with energy and effort, work up a sweat mentally and physically. Then again, I've danced with many competitors/instructors who have no energy and social dancers who have tonnes (metric or imperial).

I have regularly danced with people who claim they have the energy to be able to dance all night. Often they have to call Uncle before a single dance with me is over. They have a different idea about dancing all night than I do. And usually they are the ones who come up to ask me to dance. I assume they like my energy and 'life', and don't expect it to be such hard work. Which is probably a compliment, cos' I'm sure all the forum members know, the easier it looks the harder work it is   Tongue


Hope to see some of you energetic peeps on the floor sometime. I'm sure we'd have fun.

Graham
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elisedance
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« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2010, 09:35:06 PM »

I think we regard a truly successful dance (social or competetive) one where we walk off the floor with as much energy in store as we walked on with Wink
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dancingirldancing
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« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2010, 10:34:51 PM »

Energy while very necessary, without proper direction can be pretty dangerous.

What I mean by this is if someone without proper techniques try to dance with me and this happens all the time I get dizzy, bobbing up and down, swaying in all the wrong direction and generally feel very sore and sick at the end.

For people with not much training and experience I prefer smaller steps, gentler leads for a much more fun time rather than enthusiastically executed huge steps without spine movement, poorly lead fast turns and the likes.

I prefer to have a calm, pleasant SOCIAL dances with less experienced leads.

However, if I am dancing with well trained leads (competing or not) well that is another story I want to dance all out until we both collapsed on the floor after a song !

Please notice well trained is not equal experienced as experience only without training really does not make one a good dancer.
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catsmeow
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« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2010, 10:55:21 PM »

When I get the chance to social dance I notice that most of the follows (females) are more than capable of following some of my very poor leads but only at a pre bronze level. If I inadvertantly lead a double reverse in quick step I can tell they dont cross their feet yet they go on with nary a raised eyebrow. Either they dont know what they didnt do or they are masters of never letting on. Thats a skill I need to learn.
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