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Author Topic: Open smooth and its leadability  (Read 1398 times)
ttd
Open Bronze
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Posts: 642


« on: March 22, 2011, 02:35:56 PM »

We've touched on this in the other thread, but how much of open work in smooth (or rhythm or latin) is leadable? For example, I've seem a smooth couple to do some moves side by side, with a lady slightly in front of the guy (so that when she turned around, she was in a perfect place for him to collect to and do a closed hold move), and there's no physical or visual contact for the lady, as they were both facing same way and were a couple of feet apart. So, there's no way he could have lead her to do a kick and turn around in the end of the side by side group.
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elisedance
Administrator
Blackpool Finalist
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Posts: 35013


ee


« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2011, 03:00:10 PM »

Sounds impossible to lead - perhaps the side-by-sidesegment is learned much as a step is learned (surely that must be the case in latin too).  On the other hand, some parts of smooth must be leadable else there would be no way to avert collisions or a migrant judge!
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ttd
Open Bronze
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Posts: 642


« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2011, 03:36:30 PM »

Everything in the closed hold is obviously leadable, and so are things where you have one hand hold. Since I do silver I have some free turns, and in the end of the free turn, there's usually a visual cue for me - the guy extends his hand, inviting me back into closed hold or one-hand connection. Shadow work is leadable, because there is physical contact, even though the lady cannot really see the man, he's behind her. But for the side-by-side stuff, which open competitors seem to be so fond of, I have no idea if it can be lead or has to be memorized or in some cases the girl is in the driver's seat because she can't see the guy and he can see her.
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Some guy
Intermediate Silver
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Posts: 1464


« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2011, 03:55:03 PM »

Everything in the closed hold is obviously leadable, and so are things where you have one hand hold. Since I do silver I have some free turns, and in the end of the free turn, there's usually a visual cue for me - the guy extends his hand, inviting me back into closed hold or one-hand connection. Shadow work is leadable, because there is physical contact, even though the lady cannot really see the man, he's behind her. But for the side-by-side stuff, which open competitors seem to be so fond of, I have no idea if it can be lead or has to be memorized or in some cases the girl is in the driver's seat because she can't see the guy and he can see her.
Interesting topic.  My first guess as to "is it leadable?" is "yes".  But it depends on the couple and the training they've had.  Some couples will create choreography and learn it individually and perform it.  So those couples are possibly doing steps that are impossible to lead and follow.    

Others will perform choreography, together and apart, only if they can read each other 100% of the time.  Some couples, and I've only personally seen it in Latin, get so in tune with their partner that they're able lead and follow without any physical contact.  It's almost like being able to read each others minds and finish each others sentences. You get a good idea of what the person's thinking patterns are like and all it takes is a gleam in the eye to know exactly what the other person is about to say or going to do.  Could that same couple do the same thing with the same level of intricacy with someone who they've never danced with before and who isn't as much in tune with them as their original partner?  Probably not.  However, could that couple dance with other people using slightly different side by side variations?  That answer is yes.    

I think the key is to forget traditional lead and follow and make it a conversation.  The man can initiate something and then let the lady perform whatever picture was transmitted to her.  The man can then follow the lady and initiate something different when he gets the chance to.  That's what happens in closed embrace, after all.  
« Last Edit: March 22, 2011, 04:04:00 PM by Some guy » Logged
Dora-Satya Veda
Gold Star
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Posts: 6871


« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2011, 05:31:32 PM »

I have over the years danced smooth with some very, very good smooth dancers. I am talking about professional finalists. They were all able to initiate what they wanted me to do and I could respond with no problem. SG is right that it does however depend on the way they prefer to dance the smooth. The smooth dancers that I have known personally were all into the idea of initiation and responding. So I would say that there are smooth dancers out there that think that is the way to go.  Grin

DSV
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drj
Bronze
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Posts: 334



« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2011, 05:58:27 PM »

This subject is dear to my heart at the moment, and has pried me out of deep lurkdom. My instructor has just begun to give me more challenging choreography -- and it is open smooth choreo. I am observing a blend of lead-and-follow and rehearsed groups. The rehearsed groups are those moments when the initiator/responder are side by side or without any physical contact, yet I've noted that even there, I look to him for visual cues in his body of what to do next -- not the steps or patterns, but how much "juice" to give it, so to speak. Of course, I cannot watch him when he is behind me, but he can see me, and adjust his response to my juice level. In that sense, yes, there is lead-and-follow even in those open positions, but it's quite different from what happens in closed hold.

So much can be led, even when apart: by watching him, I find out how much and where to move, in order to match his juice as well as I can. He's leading by example; it's still leading; I'm responding to his leads, it's still responding. It's quite different from what happens in closed hold, where I feel the change in his body weight, direction, and timing, and respond to them. In open work, I have to watch him more closely to sense those things.

Not to mention that we've worked together enough now that the ineffable kicks in, and the things you can't see but feel quite clearly are as important as those that are visible, and we also respond to them in each other.

At any rate, that's my experience, and my hope, in open smooth. Ancora imparo.
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ancora imparo
drj
Bronze
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Posts: 334



« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2011, 06:01:11 PM »

Everything in the closed hold is obviously leadable, and so are things where you have one hand hold. Since I do silver I have some free turns, and in the end of the free turn, there's usually a visual cue for me - the guy extends his hand, inviting me back into closed hold or one-hand connection. Shadow work is leadable, because there is physical contact, even though the lady cannot really see the man, he's behind her. But for the side-by-side stuff, which open competitors seem to be so fond of, I have no idea if it can be lead or has to be memorized or in some cases the girl is in the driver's seat because she can't see the guy and he can see her.

FYI, I saw your open silver in your last comp, and you were lovely.
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ancora imparo
ttd
Open Bronze
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Posts: 642


« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2011, 07:18:06 PM »

Everything in the closed hold is obviously leadable, and so are things where you have one hand hold. Since I do silver I have some free turns, and in the end of the free turn, there's usually a visual cue for me - the guy extends his hand, inviting me back into closed hold or one-hand connection. Shadow work is leadable, because there is physical contact, even though the lady cannot really see the man, he's behind her. But for the side-by-side stuff, which open competitors seem to be so fond of, I have no idea if it can be lead or has to be memorized or in some cases the girl is in the driver's seat because she can't see the guy and he can see her.

FYI, I saw your open silver in your last comp, and you were lovely.

Thanks!
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skipper
Bronze
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Posts: 376


« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2011, 10:35:11 PM »

There is always a lead....either from his hand.. the common center...visual.  My teacher always talks about the energy exchange. But in solo sections you must both know the agreed upon timing....
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