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Author Topic: Dancing From "Head" To Toe  (Read 3898 times)
catsmeow
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« Reply #15 on: April 20, 2010, 09:29:10 PM »

Thankyou Tangodancer for your explanation. I am unsure that melifluous could ever be ascribed to Massimo at least compared to others. My understanding of the silence in the motion does not exist.
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TangoDancer
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« Reply #16 on: April 21, 2010, 03:45:28 AM »

Thankyou Tangodancer for your explanation. I am unsure that melifluous could ever be ascribed to Massimo at least compared to others. My understanding of the silence in the motion does not exist.

You will have it. So much of dance is not learning a new way to execute a movement, it is learning a new way to think of a movement. Take the hover or swing step in a fox, for ex. One can conceive of this step from the vantage point of the impetus into/falling out of it, or from the vantage point of the suspension of step 2. if you seek to feel the suspension, you will not lose the other 2 points because they are necessary in order to attain the middle. However, if you focus on the 2 ends, you might miss the middle altogether (the usual case). Is this making sense, at all?
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The most beautiful part of the dance is often found in between the steps... and in the movement within the stillness.
drj
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« Reply #17 on: April 21, 2010, 06:07:09 PM »

Disclaimer: I'm still a newbie at this kind of dancing. But just a couple of thoughts: My instructor has control of my spine, and therefore of my head. If he moves my body weight -- or leads me to move it -- and changes the direction of my head, then I move my head. If not, not -- or at least, that's my goal. How can a follow just decide to move her head? Head motion is led, IME.

Hmm. Head motion can be led, but need not be led directly by the man. More often, it is led by the movement/momentum. I am not certain of what you mean by the lead has control of your spine. Your spinal position is a result of your vertical/horizontal balance which you had better have control of on your own  Smiley Expound on this, if you like, yes?

 Embarrassed um... thx for pointing out that I misspoke here. (BTW, is the word "control" the sticking point? I'd be delighted to come up with another. Wink)Of course, I have control of my balance, but since he uses his body weight to manipulate where he wants me to put mine, and +/- 1/7th of my body weight is my head, I feel that head movement is led. I give him control over my spine, when I take dance position. I keep it where it needs to be in order to respond to his leads, but he uses it to steer, and my head is steered along with everything else. Frex, when he leads a headsnap, it feels to me as though he is literally taking my spine and whipping it -- and my head with it -- into a different position. If he is putting me into promenade position, he leads me into promenade, and the body parts that change alignment, so to speak, (I wish I had better language for this) only do so b/c he leads me to move them -- and one of those body parts is my head. In fact, the more I think about it, the less inclined I am to think that moving my head is up to me at all. But as I said, I'm a newbie, and have much to learn.

I wish I could show you video I have of him demonstrating this in group class -- one of the leaders had asked how to lead a headsnap, iirc -- he has a follower in his arms and gives an extremely clear and concise description of what he's doing, as he's changing her body position and moving her head.
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ancora imparo
Some guy
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« Reply #18 on: April 21, 2010, 07:24:08 PM »

Embarrassed um... thx for pointing out that I misspoke here. (BTW, is the word "control" the sticking point? I'd be delighted to come up with another. Wink)Of course, I have control of my balance, but since he uses his body weight to manipulate where he wants me to put mine, and +/- 1/7th of my body weight is my head, I feel that head movement is led. I give him control over my spine, when I take dance position. I keep it where it needs to be in order to respond to his leads, but he uses it to steer, and my head is steered along with everything else.
For some reason this makes perfect sense to me.
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TangoDancer
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« Reply #19 on: April 22, 2010, 01:45:24 AM »

Embarrassed um... thx for pointing out that I misspoke here. (BTW, is the word "control" the sticking point? I'd be delighted to come up with another. Wink)Of course, I have control of my balance, but since he uses his body weight to manipulate where he wants me to put mine, and +/- 1/7th of my body weight is my head, I feel that head movement is led. I give him control over my spine, when I take dance position. I keep it where it needs to be in order to respond to his leads, but he uses it to steer, and my head is steered along with everything else. Frex, when he leads a headsnap, it feels to me as though he is literally taking my spine and whipping it -- and my head with it -- into a different position. If he is putting me into promenade position, he leads me into promenade, and the body parts that change alignment, so to speak, (I wish I had better language for this) only do so b/c he leads me to move them -- and one of those body parts is my head. In fact, the more I think about it, the less inclined I am to think that moving my head is up to me at all.

Perhaps, we are crossing semantics. I believe that you might be stating what I am thinking, only in different terms.

I would never say that I have control over my partner's spine, though I truly know what you mean. When you take dance pos., you give your partner control over your center, and though your spine is a part of that center, you need to maintain control of it b/c it is your balance. He moves your center, and you balance that by controlling your head over spine. What you feel w/ a headsnap (your ex.), is a change in topline rotation, albeit very minimal, and your spine whips around your center in response to the corrected balance. If he were to let go at this moment, you would be perfectly balanced over your spine b/c you are he one holding it, not him.

This is not in contest of your post. As I said, I believe that we are sharing some of the same thoughts. This post is only to help make mine a wee clearer. Although, I do believe that to think of it in these terms creates a grander sense of freedom/lightness for the lady. Now, having said all of this, I do know that mainpulating the lady's spine is a teaching tech that I, too, have used often.   Wink
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The most beautiful part of the dance is often found in between the steps... and in the movement within the stillness.
drj
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« Reply #20 on: April 22, 2010, 07:02:54 AM »



Perhaps, we are crossing semantics. I believe that you might be stating what I am thinking, only in different terms.

I would never say that I have control over my partner's spine, though I truly know what you mean. When you take dance pos., you give your partner control over your center, and though your spine is a part of that center, you need to maintain control of it b/c it is your balance. He moves your center, and you balance that by controlling your head over spine. What you feel w/ a headsnap (your ex.), is a change in topline rotation, albeit very minimal, and your spine whips around your center in response to the corrected balance. If he were to let go at this moment, you would be perfectly balanced over your spine b/c you are he one holding it, not him.

This is not in contest of your post. As I said, I believe that we are sharing some of the same thoughts. This post is only to help make mine a wee clearer. Although, I do believe that to think of it in these terms creates a grander sense of freedom/lightness for the lady. Now, having said all of this, I do know that mainpulating the lady's spine is a teaching tech that I, too, have used often.   Wink

At first, this sounded like semantics to me. Potato, potahto, and all that. However. I'm reluctant to think that I keep control over my spine; it's a tool that he uses, not I. Yes, if he let go after a headsnap, I'd be balanced, but that's b/c I DON'T THINK ABOUT IT and I sure don't want to start -- it took me ages to stop thinking about it! So I'm going to shut up about this now, before I get myself in trouble with overthinking. Lips sealed

(Merde, alors. Too late. I am a thinky-thinky person, it's a bad habit I've worked hard to curb, and now I've gone and done turned the drj Analytical Brain switch on! Horrors!  Wink)
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ancora imparo
cornutt
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« Reply #21 on: April 22, 2010, 02:07:18 PM »

I wish I could show you video I have of him demonstrating this in group class -- one of the leaders had asked how to lead a headsnap, iirc -- he has a follower in his arms and gives an extremely clear and concise description of what he's doing, as he's changing her body position and moving her head.

The other side of that: In my experience, an unexpected head movement on the follow's part is a definite indicator of an unclear lead.  (Assuming the follow isn't just looking around the room to see what everyone else is wearing...  Grin)
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elisedance
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ee


« Reply #22 on: April 22, 2010, 03:48:57 PM »

I wish I could show you video I have of him demonstrating this in group class -- one of the leaders had asked how to lead a headsnap, iirc -- he has a follower in his arms and gives an extremely clear and concise description of what he's doing, as he's changing her body position and moving her head.
The other side of that: In my experience, an unexpected head movement on the follow's part is a definite indicator of an unclear lead.  (Assuming the follow isn't just looking around the room to see what everyone else is wearing...  Grin)
or more likely, admiring her pose and position in the passing mirror (I did that to DP yesterday, totally screwed him up hehehe...)
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elisedance
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« Reply #23 on: April 22, 2010, 03:53:52 PM »

Head movements are partially about leads but they are always about logic.  You can't just move your head without a body movement or action that indicates it is necessary - but sometimes you will move your head without a lead (or not).  I noticed in one of Mirko and Alessia's tapes that in an open impetus she kept her head closed - the effect was amazing (to me) since it gave her an extended 'elasticity' exiting from the figure...

I now use it in our routine but I'm not sure coach is that enthused ('you are not Alessia' - who would have thunk??).
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The limit of your love is also the limit of your art...
TangoDancer
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« Reply #24 on: April 24, 2010, 05:02:42 AM »

^ Brava! ED! I wish I had a nickle for every time I have preached this.  Thanks for the reinforcements.  Wink
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The most beautiful part of the dance is often found in between the steps... and in the movement within the stillness.
ZPomeroy
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« Reply #25 on: May 01, 2010, 01:16:22 AM »

You can't just move your head without a body movement or action that indicates it is necessary - but sometimes you will move your head without a lead (or not).

yes, i would say that the ladies head is a result of the overall movement you want to create.

I now use it in our routine but I'm not sure coach is that enthused ('you are not Alessia' - who would have thunk??).

I think this is a little dangerous, following styling that you see from Pros doesn't alway work out well, after all they're Pros, they can make anything look good Cheesy But seriously, you see teachers/coaches/students take what they see from professionals and try to re-create it without the necessary background technique needed to understand what is going on, which can be a very harmful thing...

Zac
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elisedance
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« Reply #26 on: May 01, 2010, 05:00:32 AM »

You can't just move your head without a body movement or action that indicates it is necessary - but sometimes you will move your head without a lead (or not).

yes, i would say that the ladies head is a result of the overall movement you want to create.
Thats not exactly it - sometimes its the culmination if you like, of what the man is creating but more often it is the completion of a movement dictated by the dancing itself. Thus, to in a fall away reverse the lady extends her head on the second step.  Without that the full distance or expression of the step can't be achieved.  The man does not lead it, its a piece of the mechanics.

I now use it in our routine but I'm not sure coach is that enthused ('you are not Alessia' - who would have thunk??).

I think this is a little dangerous, following styling that you see from Pros doesn't alway work out well, after all they're Pros, they can make anything look good Cheesy But seriously, you see teachers/coaches/students take what they see from professionals and try to re-create it without the necessary background technique needed to understand what is going on, which can be a very harmful thing...

So are you of the school that dancers are not allowed to be creative?  Tongue
The reason we do this is mechanical: it lets us do a closed impetus to enter into locks - turning lock, closed impetus, forward locks, telemark, lock, lunge into corner.  

It feels great because it allows me to do a major elastic thing so we are leaving it in the routine for now - at least till coach forces us to take it out Cheesy
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drj
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« Reply #27 on: May 17, 2010, 09:50:51 PM »

OK, I'm going to post on this again, even though I promised myself I wouldn't.

I recently took a lesson from a teacher different from my normal instructor. This teacher kept correcting me for turning my head too often. I pointed out to him that I was not turning my head; he was. Every time he moved my spine and top, I moved my head in the direction to which he sent it. He was most annoyed, thought I was being too loosey-goosey in my interpretation of his lead. I could not figure out if he was unaware of what he was doing, or if he had seldom encountered a follower who responded to what he was doing. He moves my head; I move my head. Simple as that. If you don't want me to move it, don't turn my spine and top.

So, gentlemen: do you want a follower to be as responsive as that? Or is that a hair-trigger thing? And does this post really belong on the PF thread?
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ancora imparo
elisedance
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« Reply #28 on: May 17, 2010, 10:24:53 PM »

seems to be the right place to me.

There are situations where I hvae had to learn NOT to turn my head even though the lead might feel like it.  One place is a contra-check in tango.  I dearly want to turn my head to the right but MUST RESIST!!  I put that one down to a mis-read of the turn signal (if you excuse the pun - which was not intended, but I'm rather proud of it) for, as you say, if you feel it, you should turn. 

Perhaps one can, however, 'set the gain on the system', to use an electrical term.  What I mean is that the threshold for a 'turn' is different with different leads.  Thus, with pro it is very light - if I feel something he almost certainly intended it.  With DP its a bit stiffer (lower gain) - I need a stronger signal.  Perhaps you could fool around with that idea.

BTW - I don't feel a signal to turn as  rotation of my spine but more a shape - in essence, the weight of my head falls out of the shape
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Some guy
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« Reply #29 on: May 18, 2010, 06:16:37 PM »

My two cents:

drj, don't change a thing.  I personally love the hair-trigger followers.  I used to HATE IT when I was a "bad" lead, and I LOVE it now, not that I'm a good lead by any stretch of the imagination, but because it teaches me when my lead is wrong.  A lady that is so responsive is completely unforgiving... and I LOVE it.  Sure, it gets really frustrating to be reminded that if I so much as breathe in the wrong direction it's going to 'cause undesirable consequences.  It's very humbling and most men can't handle that.  I know because I couldn't for the longest time and I can see that happen all around me all the time.  

Elise, in the contra-check, if you have to fight the feeling that you want to turn your head right it's usually because the man hasn't settled into his right side (he still has too much energy through his left side which is forcing you to feed off that and turn your head right).    

I can control the lady's head as to whether it turns left or right.  If she fights that feeling, there is a strong potential for neck and back injuries. It's very much to do with the man, and a lady who resists that is free to interpret the head change, but then it's up to the man to "follow" that to make things more comfortable and minimize injury.  

Of course, I could be all wrong, but so far it's worked out great for me.  

« Last Edit: May 18, 2010, 06:21:54 PM by Some guy » Logged
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