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Author Topic: Bad dancing tips  (Read 1292 times)
elisedance
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ee


« on: July 17, 2010, 04:43:23 AM »

Sound odd?  Not really.  While responding on the internet info topic it occurred to me that a significant part of learning to dance is learning what NOT to do.  For example, lower-to-move.  Its all very well learning the opposite but if you do not know what lower-to-move is how can you avoid it?  Its a good example because it can come up quite innocently in a complex step sequence or with an incidental coach.

So this topic is for all those things that you have had to learn to NOT do....
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drj
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« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2010, 11:36:28 AM »

Think.
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ancora imparo
elisedance
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« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2010, 12:45:19 PM »

well, partially.  You surely do have to think to learn new techniques - like swinging or using your magic spot (for a current example) but not thinking is certainly a big plus for dancing itself.

nice one Smiley
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drj
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« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2010, 01:53:56 PM »

well, partially.  You surely do have to think to learn new techniques - like swinging or using your magic spot (for a current example)


I would dispute even this. The light bulb moments do me more good than all the thinking I can manage -- and I am a *very* thinking woman.
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ancora imparo
elisedance
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« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2010, 02:44:15 PM »

well, partially.  You surely do have to think to learn new techniques - like swinging or using your magic spot (for a current example)


I would dispute even this. The light bulb moments do me more good than all the thinking I can manage -- and I am a *very* thinking woman.
So you never have to actually practice anyting (which to my mind requires thinking while you dance)?  It just happens?? Lucky you...
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drj
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« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2010, 07:55:42 PM »

well, partially.  You surely do have to think to learn new techniques - like swinging or using your magic spot (for a current example)


I would dispute even this. The light bulb moments do me more good than all the thinking I can manage -- and I am a *very* thinking woman.
So you never have to actually practice anything (which to my mind requires thinking while you dance)?  It just happens?? Lucky you...

 What's practice got to do with thinking? Well, OK, everything -- if I want to pay close attention to detail and get all tangled up with thinking about what I'm doing instead of doing it. Practice is, for me, a process of ingraining into my body what feels right, not thinking about, frex, percentage of turn, arching or not arching my back, or foot position, or whatever. If I have learned what I'm being taught, the so-called "correct" percentage of turn/arch/position/whatever will feel right, and I'll know when it's working, and practice that, so that later, when I'm dancing, I will be able to sell what feels right, rather than what I've been thinking about.

For a lesson, if I don't check my mind at the studio door, that's when things get ugly, fast. My worst lessons come after I've been in the gym practicing, frex, body position, and thinking about it, and working on it, and doubting, and wondering, and questioning, and trying to figure it out. It's taken me a loooooooooooooooooooong time to learn to say, "I don't know; help me, please," rather than trying to think my way through it. Dance is unique, for me, in that way; unlike cooking, or writing, or Photoshopping images, or mopping the floor, or developing a website, or planting bulbs, or painting the ceiling, I *can't* think my way through it. YMMV. And I'm gonna shut up now on this thread.
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ancora imparo
elisedance
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« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2010, 08:14:01 PM »

Please don't shut up - its fascinating but I wonder if we are using different language?  To me 'thinking' is using your mind actively.  However, that does not have to be conscious activity (I am kinesthetic so most of my learning is achieved right-brain thinking).  OTOH what did you do when you learned about the 'magic spot'?  Did you just say - Oh, yes so thats what it is that I do?  Or did you for a while explore sensations in that part of your body while you were dancing?  I have certainly done the latter because before I learned about it my dancing was not centered there but after a period of exploring the idea - which I must admit takes some thought - I am getting used to just letting it be.

Learning takes two processes - adopting new behaviours and abandoning old ones.  I happen to believe that there are many ways to achieve both and the learning type clearly depends on the task being learned.  However, I also believe you can not get from the unlearned to the learned without some thinking, however subconscious that thought might be.
ee
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Lioness
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« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2010, 12:26:14 AM »

I get the thinking thing...coach used to say things like "And then you do 3/8 of a turn, and from there you do another half" and I was all "Huh? Don't use fractions on me. Makes no sense. Tell me LOD-wise...that comes naturally"

DP seemed to get the angles though, so I just followed him
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drj
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« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2010, 09:19:31 AM »

Please don't shut up - its fascinating but I wonder if we are using different language?  To me 'thinking' is using your mind actively.
 

If you define it that way, I do not spend a single moment not thinking. I do not define it that way. And I think Wink I've hijacked this thread enough. If you want to talk about Bad Dancing Tips, mazeltov.
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ancora imparo
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« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2010, 12:57:21 AM »

What's practice got to do with thinking? Well, OK, everything -- if I want to pay close attention to detail and get all tangled up with thinking about what I'm doing instead of doing it. Practice is, for me, a process of ingraining into my body what feels right, not thinking about, frex, percentage of turn, arching or not arching my back, or foot position, or whatever. If I have learned what I'm being taught, the so-called "correct" percentage of turn/arch/position/whatever will feel right, and I'll know when it's working, and practice that, so that later, when I'm dancing, I will be able to sell what feels right, rather than what I've been thinking about.

For a lesson, if I don't check my mind at the studio door, that's when things get ugly, fast. My worst lessons come after I've been in the gym practicing, frex, body position, and thinking about it, and working on it, and doubting, and wondering, and questioning, and trying to figure it out. It's taken me a loooooooooooooooooooong time to learn to say, "I don't know; help me, please," rather than trying to think my way through it. Dance is unique, for me, in that way; unlike cooking, or writing, or Photoshopping images, or mopping the floor, or developing a website, or planting bulbs, or painting the ceiling, I *can't* think my way through it. YMMV. And I'm gonna shut up now on this thread.

Wow, drj that sounded like what I experienced when I competed.

That is why my teacher had a rule that you had to check your "Feelings" (the “judging of self” and “comparing it to previous feelings”) and "Ego" (the “I think” or “I know” idea/thought). It took three years before I was allowed to say “I feel” or “I think” without be told to go back and check the “feelings” and/or the “ego” at the door. He always said that as long as I was competing then it was about “the doing” and not about “the knowing” or “the feeling”.

DSV



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elisedance
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ee


« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2010, 01:59:13 AM »

...but surely you check your ego, not your entire brain at the door?
Maybe I'm the only person that thinks of thinking as thoughts that can be both harmful and helpful
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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 #11 on: July 19, 2010, 02:17:43 AM »

...but surely you check your ego, not your entire brain at the door?
Maybe I'm the only person that thinks of thinking as thoughts that can be both harmful and helpful

I must admit I often felt I was better off just leaving my entire brain at the door. My thinking was always what got me in trouble. I knew when I had done a mistake and had a hard time keeping it a secret. My teacher always said that both my partner and I were too clever to win. We were thinking too much and therefore not doing.  He said that thinking was great and needed to become a great teacher but not good for winning competitions. What he basically said was that the doers that win competitions and the thinkers that become great teachers. There were several couples that I competed against that would leave their entire brain at the door and therefore not know if they had made a mistake. Because they didn’t know they had made a mistake they were able to give a better performance then my partner and I were able to do, so they beat us.

DSV
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"As we understand more things, everthing is becoming simpler"

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elisedance
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ee


« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2010, 02:21:51 AM »

I see what you mean for competitions - but we were talking about work in the studio.  I need my brain to make changes in my dancing - and that requires thought.

Wish I could turn it off on the competition floor reliably.  It does happen though, and when it does I care far less about the outcome since I always feel great and figure whatever placing we got, we deserved.

Oddly, though, some of our best results have come when we were dancing our worst - and were thinking every microsecond Undecided
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If you must leave the house, go build a home...

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Some guy
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« Reply #13 on: July 19, 2010, 11:45:02 AM »

I get the thinking thing...coach used to say things like "And then you do 3/8 of a turn, and from there you do another half" and I was all "Huh? Don't use fractions on me. Makes no sense. Tell me LOD-wise...that comes naturally"

DP seemed to get the angles though, so I just followed him
Hey Lioness, I think you and I are on the same page.  It's almost impossible to dance thinking of such fractions and computations.  However, it's very interesting to go back and realize that the result of your actions were bang on target.  I wish someone explained to me my first years that all these tid bits of information and fractions were just the end result of an action, not the action itself.  If you try to hit 3/8ths of a turn every time, you might hit or miss.  Mostly miss, especially under pressure.  However, if you just let your body do a particular set of actions, you'll hit 3/8ths of a turn almost always.  It's like magic.  My coach recently made me experience something very interesting.  I just walked comfortably down the long side of the ballroom next to the mirrors.  Then randomly I would stop when both my feet were on the floor, mid walk.  Every time I stopped and swiveled my feet to turn to face the mirror, my feet were always shoulder width apart.  I never caught myself deviating from it.  However, when I walked thinking of keeping my feet shoulder width apart, I couldn't walk naturally and smoothly, and worse, I almost never hit shoulder width.
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