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Author Topic: Ballroom dance study groups  (Read 729 times)
GreenEyes26
Mind Workers
Intermediate Bronze

Posts: 110



« on: February 17, 2011, 06:39:26 PM »

DSV brought up in another thread the idea of an in-person forum with other dancers, and I really liked the idea. I thought it would be neat to get together with other dancers and discuss the techniques that we've learned, how we think about executing them, and why we execute them in the first place. In college, I studied the writing process and how talking about writing helps a student internalize the language he or she needs to use to communicate clearly. I've found something similar in dancing: when I'm forced to explain a technique, I understand it much better than when I just do it. (Side bar: For this reason, I believe that dance teacher training programs are great for improving one's skills.) My Latin coach will make me explain what I do during my lessons and I often have a lot of trouble doing it. I find, though, that when I can explain what I'm doing or what I'm supposed to do, I can dance it. This is why I think dance study groups would be awesome if they were more wide-spread. I like the idea of them being in person, too, so that dancers can physically show what he or she is doing.

When I was thinking about this topic, I thought about my dance community. I'm no longer in college, but I can still compete with the team - which I am currently doing. In a way, our practices are similar to the study groups I described: we all show up in one place, dance, and ask each other questions. The experienced dancers only get better because they need to explain concepts (reinforcing them in their minds), and the beginning dancers only get better (unless they are misinformed) because they start to learn and understand the concepts. It's a win-win situation. The only down-side is that everyone comes to practice with his or her own agenda: we don't go there to talk, we go to dance and do repetitions. So the conversations tend to be very short (unless you get caught by one particular member who never runs out of things to say Smiley ).

It makes me sad to think about leaving the team at the end of the semester, because it really is nice to have people to discuss dance concepts with. I've heard about dancesport clubs being developed, and I wonder if that's similar to a college team.

What do you think of all this? Study groups, feedback, clubs...

(P.S. It feels good to be posting again! Smiley )
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"As to methods there may be a million and then some, but principles are few. The man who grasps principles can successfully select his own methods. The man who tries methods, ignoring principles, is sure to have trouble.”

 ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Becca
Open Bronze
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Posts: 620



« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2011, 08:04:03 PM »

I think this sounds like an amazing idea! We don't have a ballroom club at my university, but I (very much) wish that we did! I too have found that when I am forced to explain a dance concept, I end up understanding it so much better. Maybe because it includes all of the styles of learning? You have to listen, observe, and produce with your group so the ideas really get reinforced.
I wonder though if it would work in a group of really varied levels? If say you and some newer bronze level dancers and a some open level dances, would it turn into a teacher/student type thing, and therefore step on some pro-toes?.... I guess that's not really the point though... everyone's just practicing together for better understanding. It really is a win-win situation! Great idea!
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There is ALWAYS a reason to dance! Smiley
elisedance
Administrator
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ee


« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2011, 09:23:38 PM »

I agree - I would LOVE to have a study group.  Trouble is I think it would be ananthema to my DP Undecided 

I think you are going to have to start one GE26 - maybe there are PDO members in your area that would like to participate? 

er, I don't suppose you live driving distance from Toronto eh? Grin
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skipper
Bronze
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Posts: 376


« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2011, 09:23:05 AM »

I agree - I would LOVE to have a study group.  Trouble is I think it would be ananthema to my DP Undecided 

I think you are going to have to start one GE26 - maybe there are PDO members in your area that would like to participate? 

er, I don't suppose you live driving distance from Toronto eh? Grin

Maybe you cld arrange SKYPE?? Not quite the same ...but maybe??
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samina
Silver
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Posts: 1584



« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2011, 11:07:52 AM »

great idea. gets my vote!

good to see you posting here, greeneyes. Smiley
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GreenEyes26
Mind Workers
Intermediate Bronze

Posts: 110



« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2011, 06:41:06 PM »

I wonder though if it would work in a group of really varied levels? If say you and some newer bronze level dancers and a some open level dances, would it turn into a teacher/student type thing, and therefore step on some pro-toes?.... I guess that's not really the point though... everyone's just practicing together for better understanding. It really is a win-win situation! Great idea!

We do have something like this, more out of necessity than desire. Our professional coaches live 2+ hours away and travel to our city for lessons 1-2 times a month. During the week, we have student teachers who repeat and help us understand what our coaches were talking about in the group sessions. It has positive and negative points. The positive is that it's nice to have someone who understands a technique and is willing to help you learn it (essentially for free). The negative points are that 1) they can't always explain it as well as a coach, and 2) for some lessons they talk about techniques that they are learning at the present - ones that some people aren't ready for yet.

However, our professional coaches understand this and work with it. It's like one giant team and the information trickles downward: Coaches at the top, student teachers/advanced dancers next, then everyone else. We all have consistent opportunities for lessons directly from our coaches (the same coaches), so we have very little conflicting information. But during the week when we don't see them, we get help with technical reminders from those who are more advanced. We all know, too, that our coaches have the final say. Student teachers will reiterate this if they can't answer a question sufficiently: "If Coach A tells you do this, then do it," they say. "Forget what I told you."
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"As to methods there may be a million and then some, but principles are few. The man who grasps principles can successfully select his own methods. The man who tries methods, ignoring principles, is sure to have trouble.”

 ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
GreenEyes26
Mind Workers
Intermediate Bronze

Posts: 110



« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2011, 06:51:45 PM »

It would be fun to start a group Smiley, but I don't know if I would be able to do it now...not an organized group anyway. However, my partner and I do talk sometimes about what we dance and why we dance it. He's on PDO, too. lol. We get a lot of ideas and theory from online forums.. Smiley.



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"As to methods there may be a million and then some, but principles are few. The man who grasps principles can successfully select his own methods. The man who tries methods, ignoring principles, is sure to have trouble.”

 ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
QPO
reg mods
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Posts: 20848


Adelaide South Australia


« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2011, 11:44:26 PM »

Mine pops in and reads but does not post any more.....there are plenty of spouses on this forum! Shocked
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Dance is a delicate balance between perfection and beauty.  ~Author Unknown
Dance Forum
elisedance
Administrator
Blackpool Finalist
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Posts: 35042


ee


« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2011, 05:31:03 AM »

It would be fun to start a group Smiley, but I don't know if I would be able to do it now...not an organized group anyway. However, my partner and I do talk sometimes about what we dance and why we dance it. He's on PDO, too. lol. We get a lot of ideas and theory from online forums.. Smiley.

So now we have to play the 'spot the GE spouse Cheesy' game!

My DP is not on here - I think he's only visited once or twice (maybe he lurks??).  its not his thing - I do, however, report to him all the interesting things I pick up.

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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...
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