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cornutt
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« on: August 15, 2010, 09:15:20 PM »

Have you ever reached a point in a partnership where you and your partner decided that you needed to rebuild your connection?  I'm not talking about mental or emotional, but the frame-and-contact physical connection.  My DW and I are working on this now.  We've been having problems with a not-very-effective connection, and here are some of the things we are trying to change:

1.  I'm searching for a right hand position that will give her a more positive feel on her back.  She has an area on her back where the skin apparently isn't very sensitive to touch, and she says that sometimes she can't feel my hand.  What I'm trying is to rotate my wrist and tilt my palm outward a bit, so that my fingers are sort of giving her back a "karate chop".  She says she can feel that better.

2.  She is working on keeping herself lifted into my hand.  She sometimes falls into leaning backwards into my hand instead of maintaining her lift, and of course that makes me have to hold her up.

3.  I'm working on making I dance my "away" side towards her.  My left side in particular sometimes drifts away on its own.   Roll Eyes  I need to make sure that when we are in closed position, we are really closed.  And even promenade needs to stay pretty tucked in.  We open up way too much in promenade, and most of that is me.

4.  She is working on maintaining the proper offset of her position relative to my position.  Sometimes, particularly after a left turning figure, she drifts over to where her body is square with mine.  That causes difficulty for me with footwork, and it also makes it nearly impossible for me to not "drive" with my left hand, since her right side is blocking my path.

We're making progress... as we dance, we have to keep catching ourselves and resetting, but in between, we can tell it's better.
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cornutt
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« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2010, 11:04:18 PM »

Had a major breakthrough last week, on a seemingly simple little stupid thing... It turns out that, whenever we dance an apart figure, after that I've been reaching for my partner with my right hand, hence letting my right shoulder come way forward.  This of course creates a lopsided frame where it more or less pushes my partner over towards my left, where she is in my line.  Since apart positions are an occupational hazard in smooth, I'm now making a major effort to keep my shoulder back when we rejoin.  This means that she has to move into my hand... I'm not moving it to wherever she happens to be... something to be worked.  But I can already tell it's made for a more comfortable frame, and she has a much more consistent position in my right hand. 
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elisedance
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« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2010, 04:39:59 AM »

Interesting - in International we only have two apart figures - coming together to dance and separating to take a bow.  Thats actually not a joke, its quite true and for dancers that spend 99% of their time locked together they are quite a challenge   What you describe is important for coming together - the man has to keep his frame, and keep the right shoulder well back in order for me to get in, in position.
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cornutt
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« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2010, 09:32:28 PM »

It's odd, but I've just recently realized the importance of reassembling a proper frame after having danced an open or apart figure.  Before the music starts, you have time to get into a good position to welcome your partner, and run through your mental checklist.  But during the dance, it can degenerate into "grab any part of your partner that you can reach".  You don't have time to think about getting back into frame; it has to be second nature, in order to reclaim that same good frame that you had at the start of the dance.  I can't believe I've ignored this issue this long.   Undecided
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elisedance
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« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2010, 01:37:11 AM »

...is it possible to keep the frame through the separation period, even if while you are appart?  Sort of like train connectors disengaging and engaging again?
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cornutt
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« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2010, 09:27:18 PM »

...is it possible to keep the frame through the separation period, even if while you are appart?  Sort of like train connectors disengaging and engaging again?

Usually not; when apart, arm styling is needed.  Otherwise it looks weird to the audience.
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elisedance
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« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2010, 01:24:49 AM »

OK.  Good.  Next time I fall over I will be relieved to know I don't have to maintain frame Cheesy
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If you must leave the house, go build a home...

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TangoDancer
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« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2010, 06:05:52 AM »

Just read the intial post, and everything that I was thinking to tell you as I read, you listed exactly as the things that you are working on. Perfect! At this moment, I would only add to remember that the most difficult part of the connection is not in achieving/maintaining those points that you mentioned, but maintaining them while allowing them to breathe during the dance. When we lose connection, all things being correct, it is usually that we did not allow the connection to move with the movement. If you try to maintain a static connection, of course it is going to come apart as the body reshapes throughout the movements. Try not dancing, but placing yourselves into various positions, i.e. promenade/counter prom., oversway, fallaway, contra-check, etc. See how/where the connection needs to be for these positions. Then, realize how it must breathe (move, loosen, tighten, reshape, etc) in order to achieve these positions.
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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 #8 on: September 23, 2010, 08:15:35 AM »

3.  I'm working on making I dance my "away" side towards her.  My left side in particular sometimes drifts away on its own.

Yes, keeping a left side poise in very important. Make sure your using your left side pulling inwards to create distance between you and your partner, By pulling the left side in it should allow for your head to move further left and across the shoulder. Doing this also give a stronger (for lack of a better word) center for the lady to work off

Something else to think about also is your shoulders, make sure their in a neutral position and parallel, while being as low as possible giving a greater neck line. It improves a lot in the frame, which i am just discovering to the extent in which this is possible.

Zac
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QPO
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« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2010, 09:46:12 AM »

Intersing that V & I have been off the floor  for 12 weeks. He went back to lessons about four weeks ago perhaps slightly longer but not more than 6..anyway two weeks ago I joined him for some small pieces in the waltz and foxrot but what we did felt so good and that the connection was even better. He was being caustious of my knee and slowing himself down and it just felt so good, our coach we so impressed with the connection after that time off the floor.

we are now working on light and shade. It was nice to rebuild the connection Cheesy
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TangoDancer
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« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2010, 02:53:17 AM »

Where's that thumbs up or applause smiley when you need it?
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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.
elisedance
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« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2010, 05:51:36 AM »

Where's that thumbs up or applause smiley when you need it?
Yup, we never did upgrade the smiley set - though the ones we hvae seem to have worked pretty well...
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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...
SwingWaltz
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« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2010, 11:07:26 AM »

Intersing that V & I have been off the floor  for 12 weeks. He went back to lessons about four weeks ago perhaps slightly longer but not more than 6..anyway two weeks ago I joined him for some small pieces in the waltz and foxrot but what we did felt so good and that the connection was even better. He was being caustious of my knee and slowing himself down and it just felt so good, our coach we so impressed with the connection after that time off the floor.

we are now working on light and shade. It was nice to rebuild the connection Cheesy

I think by being more caustious of your knee, he's more aware of putting you on balance, which would help with the connection.
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skipper
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« Reply #13 on: October 08, 2010, 08:42:18 PM »

I dance primarily smooth---but am working on the "invisible  energy line" that I want to create. Keeping my stack and forwar poise helps this alot--- but working in your own space with this shape is a challenge--seems easier in closed hold.

I am working on learning to feel the shape from my teachers back.
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