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Author Topic: Learning routines - the ladies perspective...  (Read 2201 times)
QPO
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Adelaide South Australia


« Reply #15 on: August 08, 2012, 01:31:22 AM »

I must say, it's quite amazing how many folks I run into are not interested in what champions do.  They want to only do what they think is right.  Most of the folks in my city are so frustrated but stubbornly refuse to try a different path.  They just keep doing the same thing for years on end, throwing thousands of dollars at it, expecting different results.  They refuse to take lessons from anyone with pedigree. 

There is a change happening 'though.  There are a few Body Schoolers who started about 11 months ago turning heads in the city, making people question what they think they know.  Exciting times. 

I think Einstein said that doing the same over and over and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity. Doing the same over and over sure sounds like insanity to me…

I am glad that the people in your city in turning head and asking questions of the Body School dancers. I think that is how big change happens.

DSV

If I mention it here I get funny looks.....not that my teacher would be against it, they have heard nothing about it. I have discussed it with him but as i cannot show him much it stops there.
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Some guy
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« Reply #16 on: August 08, 2012, 02:26:01 AM »

I certainly hope so.  I think the whole "insanity" thing never sets in because everyone tells them that ballroom dancing at a high level is an unattainable goal.  Never do they question, "wait, then how come that 7 year old can dance better than me?", or, "if my coach (or even, coach's coach) never attained that level, how could I possibly get there?!!".
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elisedance
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ee


« Reply #17 on: August 08, 2012, 04:02:27 AM »

I certainly hope so.  I think the whole "insanity" thing never sets in because everyone tells them that ballroom dancing at a high level is an unattainable goal.  Never do they question, "wait, then how come that 7 year old can dance better than me?", or, "if my coach (or even, coach's coach) never attained that level, how could I possibly get there?!!".
I think the biggest problem is actually knowing what the outcome can be.  You always trust your teachers to be infinitely educated when you first go to them - you need a critical as well as accepting mind to realize when you have reached the limit of that teacher's abilities.  I think thats the real basis for DSV's brilliant quote 'when the student is ready the teacher will appear': the real reason is that the talented student eventually sees through teacher A and looks for a new one to guide them through the next stage. 

I find myself going through teachers rather rapidly in my violin studies - I have a pretty good idea where I am going.  In dance I've gone up by going back!  My once and present teacher blossomed in the period that I went off to do AM dancing.  He is truly amazing now.
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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...
Dora-Satya Veda
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« Reply #18 on: August 08, 2012, 10:34:44 AM »

I think it is very rare that one teacher teaches you all the way from beginner to higher level. I can't think of many teachers that are able to teach all levels and be successful at it. Sometimes the student doesn’t realize the gem of a teacher we had till they have gone to other teachers for a while and sometimes teacher grew be a new higher level.

I have seen students leave a teacher and claim the teacher was no good only to return several years later and making a clear statement that they wish they had never left. I have also seen students leave their teacher because of change of partner and they did not insist that the new partnership keeps the old teacher around. There can be many reasons for changing teachers. I believe you always have the right teacher for where you are at that moment. As Elise pointed out I have said several times “that when the student is ready the teacher appears”. The teachers will often change when the mindset changes and/or when the level of expertise changes.

DSV

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phoenix13
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« Reply #19 on: May 18, 2013, 08:21:27 AM »

My question is similar to ttd's.

I can see why a follower in standard would be best served by following rather than memorizing  routines.  I'm not sure about smooth, though.   There are times in smooth where a follow is side by side with a lead or perhaps even in front of him and cannot see what he is doing at all.

Wouldn't the couple be best served if she knows her part?
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Dona nobis pacem.
elisedance
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« Reply #20 on: June 01, 2013, 11:48:00 PM »

My question is similar to ttd's.

I can see why a follower in standard would be best served by following rather than memorizing  routines.  I'm not sure about smooth, though.   There are times in smooth where a follow is side by side with a lead or perhaps even in front of him and cannot see what he is doing at all.

Wouldn't the couple be best served if she knows her part?
yes, its often essential; same in latin though its surprizing how much can be led even when the couple are completely out of physical contact - but basically the follow has to know what MIGHT happen, or rather have it conditioned into her.

In standard, with a great lead, you really can follow steps that you've never danced before
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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...
phoenix13
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« Reply #21 on: June 23, 2013, 03:31:57 PM »

Exactly.  What might happen.   Even with planned choreography, things can go awry.  The  lead might go blank, for example.  The follow has to be prepared to follow, even if the substance of the routine is "memorized."
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elisedance
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« Reply #22 on: June 23, 2013, 04:22:32 PM »

Exactly.  What might happen.   Even with planned choreography, things can go awry.  The  lead might go blank, for example.  The follow has to be prepared to follow, even if the substance of the routine is "memorized."
well what the mirror-dancers do (where they learn the routine and not how to lead follow) is to learn a few escape steps to get them back to the line and continue.  Its hazzardous but in most situations its al they need because the judges don't usually look to see if they really can dance (by dance I mean lead-follow).
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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...
phoenix13
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« Reply #23 on: June 23, 2013, 04:31:53 PM »

Which brings up the question of whether judges should be judging lead/follow.  But that's probably another thread.

I remember doing a smooth showcase with my pro a billion years ago in which a huge chunk was in shadow position.  He had --  I dunno -- fifteen other students.  About 30 seconds into the routine, he went completely blank.  I had to dance the entire remaining two minutes of my showcase totally lead/follow.   It was a nightmare, but I learned my lesson.  No matter what you have planned, be prepared to follow.
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Dona nobis pacem.
cha
Intermediate Bronze

Posts: 42


« Reply #24 on: June 23, 2013, 07:49:49 PM »

This is a great discussion - and soooo timely for me - once again.  (Side bar: there are so many great topics on the PDO today that I have to just pick one and start.)  Let me preface with I'm strictly a social smooth and rhythm lady.  And following leaders other than my dance instructor has become a huge issue with me. 

After about two months of half-hour beginner group lessons, I started taking private lessons and did so for about 9 months.  When I danced with my instructor - I did terrifically.  He encouraged me to take his intermediate bronze group classes - and I did well.  But then I wanted to get out to other places and social dance with other people.  After all, that's why I was taking lessons.  Guess what happened?  I barely follow anyone unless he was an instructor (or a very good lead).  And I'd end up with leaders instructing me on the floor or making faces at me or admonishing me or not get asked to dance again.  That was when I figured out that I'd learned the routines but not how to follow.

So now - 3 years later - funds are such that I cannot take private lessons right now.  So I take group classes.  The group class I'm in right now has no leaders except for the instructor (super nice man).    So we practice set routines over and over during the hour.  Solo.  Almost what I would call ballroom line dancing.   I really struggle with the lessons because I get all mixed up trying to practice turns by myself.   And the whole time I'm struggling with these solo lessons, I keep thinking: this will be a disaster in a social dance situation because we're not learning how to follow a lead but strictly a set routine.  What would happen if the leader you happen to be dancing with doesn't do the steps in the pattern we've just practiced for a month?  I asked the other women where they went dancing - and no one other than me actually goes out social dancing.   They take lessons because they like to dance - and don't care that there are no leaders.

Sorry for the long post but following beyond the routine learned in class has been an Achilles heel for me.  I recognize that no one on PDO knows me but I'm not a bad dancer - pretty good for a beginner and great musicality.   So I'm thrilled to see this discussion because now I know it's not just me.

Thank you for listening, and I'll be quiet and learn now  Grin

Regards,
Christianne
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phoenix13
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« Reply #25 on: June 23, 2013, 08:04:02 PM »

What an awesome post!!   Smiley

Rhetorical questions.  Does the studio where you take group lessons offer socials?  Are any of the ladies in your classes willing to learn to lead?  How comfortable do you feel with going out social dancing with a large group of girls and guys and (sort of) line ballroom dancing, only out on the town with friends?   Have you considered less expensive dance genres,  such as C&W or swing?

Just a bunch of random thoughts.  Not asking for any personal information or direct response, unless you want to share.   Cool
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Dona nobis pacem.
cha
Intermediate Bronze

Posts: 42


« Reply #26 on: June 23, 2013, 08:15:14 PM »

Truthfully, Phoenix13 - I have been considering having a private lesson with him at the end of the month to go over what he taught the group during the month.  I can afford that, and I was thinking that it MIGHT be a good solution.

He's considering having adult socials.   He has been very successful as a mostly kids studio with the adult classes being almost an afterthought.  He started out strictly standard and latin, but is now certified to teach smooth and rhythm, and our ballroom II classes are smooth and rhythm.  And the studio is 15 minutes away from me - so it's handy to take the classes.

Just over the past 2 weeks, I've found 2 socials that are about 45 minutes away -  both with plenty of leaders so I can dance as much as I want.  But they're during the work week - so I've thought about alternating weeks: going to 1 one week then going to the other the second week.  Chatted with the woman running the Thursday night dance and she observed that the county I live in is indeed challenging for dancing: others have tried to get socials going and they fail.

Thank you Phoenix13! 
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millitiz
Intermediate Bronze

Posts: 220


« Reply #27 on: June 23, 2013, 09:38:30 PM »

After about two months of half-hour beginner group lessons, I started taking private lessons and did so for about 9 months.  When I danced with my instructor - I did terrifically.  He encouraged me to take his intermediate bronze group classes - and I did well.  But then I wanted to get out to other places and social dance with other people.  After all, that's why I was taking lessons.  Guess what happened?  I barely follow anyone unless he was an instructor (or a very good lead).  And I'd end up with leaders instructing me on the floor or making faces at me or admonishing me or not get asked to dance again.  That was when I figured out that I'd learned the routines but not how to follow.


Hi Cha,
we love people chatting Smiley.

Obviously, I don't know your actual situation, but I am wondering whether it is those social leads' fault. On one hand, it is possible that your instructor is not teaching lead and follow, as you said; but on the other hand, it is also likely that the leads just aren't good enough - in the sense that their body indicate you to turn left, but their legs suggest right, and you realize that they actually really just want to go straight forward. And that is confusing, to say the least. The reason that I had such thought is because, the instructors seem to lead you fairly well, they don't seem to have problems.

Just some thoughts.
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