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Author Topic: Mixing social and competetive dancers and dancing...  (Read 4850 times)
Intermediate Bronze

Posts: 200

« Reply #75 on: April 20, 2010, 09:56:23 PM »

There are still some teachers in Australia that do tell the man to stick his head in some ackward "left" position.

As far as I've ever been taught, the default position for the man's head is where he's going. It'll move and stretch depending on the step - but just like how the lady's head should not be locked in in an arbitrary out to the left position, trying to force the head to sit in one position is a recipie for disaster.
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Continental Champion
Posts: 20988

Adelaide South Australia

« Reply #76 on: April 21, 2010, 05:57:32 AM »

interesting that, there is a change of where the head is. men should be able to see where they are going recently at a comp someone was knocked out because they got hit in the head! when I see the DVD he did not look where he was going, there must be a line of the head looking in a good line to the body but still be able to see where you are going Roll Eyes

Dance is a delicate balance between perfection and beauty.  ~Author Unknown
Dance Forum
Open Bronze
Posts: 736

« Reply #77 on: April 22, 2010, 02:19:33 PM »

Hmm. Chiming in by request.  Smiley  Not certain where the confusion is here. Let's look at a few basics.

We understand that there are 3 body lines of vertical balance: right side (a line drawn from the inside of the shoulder[approx. where the bra strap/T-strap would be] ), center (from the base of the neck, through the sternum, through the navel, etc), and left side (same as right). In respect to these, we also understand that the head is placed atop the spine*, in a neutral position, if you will.

The first issue that I usually encounter is that dancers forget about horizontal balance. Those who do, often try to compensate by stretching the core, shoulders, topline, and spine in order to achieve an uprighted, corrected posture. More correctly, after setting the vertical balance, we rotate to the left to fnid horizontal balance, and accomodate the dance position. Incidentally, isn't it intersting that, at this point, the positions of the man and woman are identical... just flipped? As we rotate, here's where the differences come into being. As we rotate leftward, the 'right' side of the man is stretched upward, and the head is "found", not placed, over the left body line. The right side of the lady is stretched upward, and the head is "found", not placed, over the left body line. However, because of the dance position's open/closed sides, the man's spine is up and leftward; the lady's spine is up and outward.

OK. All of this prep is a necessary understanding in order to respond to what I believe the confusion is here. A major issue w/ both men and ladies is flipping the head all over the place. Balance, seeing where we are going, topline, school figure, and the devil made me do it   Tongue  are the usual reasons that we hear. In actuality, one should only manipulate the head when going to promenade, and even then, there can be exceptions (like in waltz). For the man, the head remains centered... period. The d'oh! is, "Where is center?" This exercise will get one started well.

1. Stand afront of a mirror (simulated topline w/ arms)
2. Staring directly into your eyes, rotate the upper body slowly to the left (note how the dance posture is acquired)
3. Return to center
4. Staring directly into your eyes, rotate the upper body slowly to the right (note how a promenade posture is acquired)

Of course , this is just an beginners' exercise to see how it is not necessarily the turning of the head that creates desired position/s, but more than we realize, it is the rotation of the body. Thus, physically moving the head is unnecessary. When it is necessary, often we overdo it. Going back to vertical bodylines, we come to realize that the head only moves approx. 4"-6" at a time (from left center to center/reverse, and/or right center to center/reverse).

Hope this doesn't appear too soapboxy,  Roll Eyes  and hope it helps.   Cheesy  
« Last Edit: April 22, 2010, 02:24:16 PM by TangoDancer » Logged

The most beautiful part of the dance is often found in between the steps... and in the movement within the stillness.
Blackpool Finalist
Posts: 35146


« Reply #78 on: April 22, 2010, 02:30:43 PM »

terrific - thanks TD, you're a gem....

If you must leave the house, go build a home...

The limit of your love is also the limit of your art...
Some guy
Posts: 1529

« Reply #79 on: April 22, 2010, 02:39:00 PM »

Wow!!!  That was awesome TD!
Posts: 1845

« Reply #80 on: April 22, 2010, 04:00:03 PM »

He is moving his head around in standard to look around in case we are going to bash into someone rather than keeping it left. This throw his headweight in the wrong position hence throwing his balance then he hang on to me.

Reasonably competent and polite floorcraft is one of the difficulties of social dancing.  It's kind of like driving on a busy multi-lane freeway.  You can't possibly turn your head fast enough to actually see all of the surrounding cars all of the time, and if you tried to, the head motions would cause you to jerk the steering wheel all over the place.  So you have to keep a mental map of the traffic around you.  In driving, you periodically refresh this map with mirror checks and occasional head turns to check your blind spots.  In social dancing, you do it by noting where traffic is in different directions as your direction changes in the course of doing your various turns and hold changes and such.  You supplement this by really using your peripheral vision, and with occasional subtle head movements in places where it won't disturb the motion of the dance much. 

(And actually, it's pretty much the same in syllabus competition.  In open it's acceptable to barge through another couple that cuts across your line, but in syllabus, they'll mark you down for that.)

Social dancing never done anything bad to me but DP just cannot seem to keep up the same standard while social dancing and his whole dancing is totally wrecked.

Well, if you're going to do both, you have to learn some distinctions and some recovery actions.  You have to learn to be able to drop your arm and then resume your proper frame when you are clear.  This may be a place where smooth dancers have somewhat of an advantage -- since we have apart positions, we have to learn to restore our connections mid-dance anyway.

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