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Author Topic: Height and partner dancing - how does it affect you?  (Read 1217 times)
elisedance
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« on: June 19, 2011, 04:16:56 AM »

This came up on Tanithe's newbie topic - I mentioned that I had difficulty finding a partner because I'm tall - and she mentioned she has the same issue but for the opposite reason! 

How has height affected your dancing?
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Tanithe
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« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2011, 06:03:53 AM »

Being only 5'0 its been difficult to dance standard because of the lack of leg space for my partner and my frame being very stretched and awkward, I have found dancing new vogue a little easier due to being separated for parts of the dances or in shadow positioning and with Latin it just looks out of place because in a lot of the finishing poses you try to hit it looks a bit weird or unbalanced visually.

Its the infinite search to find the perfect height and skill level lol  Huh  Tongue
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elisedance
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« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2011, 07:42:02 AM »

Being only 5'0 its been difficult to dance standard because of the lack of leg space for my partner and my frame being very stretched and awkward, I have found dancing new vogue a little easier due to being separated for parts of the dances or in shadow positioning and with Latin it just looks out of place because in a lot of the finishing poses you try to hit it looks a bit weird or unbalanced visually.

Its the infinite search to find the perfect height and skill level lol  Huh  Tongue

Interestingly, there have been great dance partnerships with large height differences, even in standard.  I think we even had a discussion on PDO about a ballroom style that was developed specifically for such a case... if I can remember where ... round school was it???
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QPO
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« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2011, 08:42:26 AM »

Being only 5'0 its been difficult to dance standard because of the lack of leg space for my partner and my frame being very stretched and awkward, I have found dancing new vogue a little easier due to being separated for parts of the dances or in shadow positioning and with Latin it just looks out of place because in a lot of the finishing poses you try to hit it looks a bit weird or unbalanced visually.

Its the infinite search to find the perfect height and skill level lol  Huh  Tongue

well we had a a lesson with lecia putland yesterday and she is shorter than me and my partner is 6'3-4?( not sure) and she could stride it out with him know problem at all. I beleive it is all about using the legs properly the extension and flex..... you would be surprised what you could do with a taller partner if required.  Jacob Grech and Zadie do a great job and there is a significant height difference.
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ttd
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« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2011, 10:32:39 PM »

I danced with a considerably shorter guy the other day at a party (he is 5'2" at most, I stand almost a full head taller than he is in heels, and I am only 5'4" without them). He did international style. Standard was very, very awkward. Latin was easier, but still not ideal. It did not help that he wasn't a very good lead. But even if he was, I am not used to having to compensate for the gentleman's lack of height, it's usually the opposite.
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elisedance
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« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2011, 05:15:33 AM »

My first teacher here (I had to start virtually from scratch when I moved to Canada) was at least 6 inches shorter than me.  It worked OK as long as I pushed my butt out!  When eventually I switched to my second one (about 3 inches taller than me) it felt very odd initially, standing up and dancing - but I soon took to it!! Then dancing with Anton who is 6'5" or so was a positive luxury!!  I wonder sometimes how high I could go ...
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QPO
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« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2011, 08:51:55 AM »

I danced with a considerably shorter guy the other day at a party (he is 5'2" at most, I stand almost a full head taller than he is in heels, and I am only 5'4" without them). He did international style. Standard was very, very awkward. Latin was easier, but still not ideal. It did not help that he wasn't a very good lead. But even if he was, I am not used to having to compensate for the gentleman's lack of height, it's usually the opposite.

we have a couple that is that situation...she is much taller than he is...and in standard she looks very awkward  but I am sure that those that are quite proficient at dancing would make it look good, it is just repositioning yourself. but as you say you need to be confident in what you do.
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elisedance
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« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2011, 05:26:13 AM »

we have a couple that is that situation...she is much taller than he is...and in standard she looks very awkward  but I am sure that those that are quite proficient at dancing would make it look good, it is just repositioning yourself. but as you say you need to be confident in what you do.
I think its more than that - no amount of repositioning makes it look comfortable (personal experience).  As mentioned above, my (much shorter) pro told me to stick my butt out... I'm not sure what shape I would be in now if I had kept that up...
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ttd
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« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2011, 03:25:58 PM »

I think there is a difference in each direction beyond which some things cannot be adjusted. I think if a guy is more than 10" taller than the girl, closed hold will be awkward. I have a friend who is 5'2" and she used to dance with same teacher as I did some years ago, and he is 6'2". She switched to dance with a shorter pro and she said closed hold felt a lot easier with him. I am 5'4", my teacher is 6'2", I think it's OK but kinda borderline. His pro partner is also 5'4", so he is used to dancing with someone this height. And I am used to dancing with guys 10" taller than I am, because my previous teacher also was 6'2". From watching smooth, though, I think there are some moves outside closed hold which just look better, when a couple is more evenly matched in height. Rhythm and Latin have same issue, even though on higher levels there's not much closed hold work, but still, aesthetically, couples which don't have a huge height difference, look better, imv.
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phoenix13
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« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2013, 05:26:37 AM »

So,looking at it from the other direction, what is the ideal height differential?  Should the couple be the same height (allowing for the lady's heels, of course?)
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elisedance
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« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2013, 03:27:39 PM »

depends on the dance of course.  I think latin permits a larger differential - in standard the ideal height difference is rather small.  The problem is actually not mostly the look - though it can look strange to see a tall man with a short woman (the opposite is rare - unless the woman knows how to shrink in frame!). 

In standard two main problems with size difference come to mind; leg length and also arm length.  In fact its much easier to dance with a man with long arms if he is shorter - you can get further into frame and actually look good. 

Leg length is worse - the thought you are going to kick someone in the privates can be a big inhibitor of dancing Shocked  Its actually a problem mechanically too as you can't stride out.  Thus, a short guy with long legs far better to dance with than the opposite.

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phoenix13
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« Reply #11 on: June 30, 2013, 06:53:15 PM »

So it's not really height that makes the difference; it's the length of ones limbs?
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elisedance
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« Reply #12 on: June 30, 2013, 09:32:06 PM »

well, thats what I think.  I've been able to dance well with short guys and I've had a hard time dancing with moderately tall ones - both because of leg length.  Long arms are a godsend tho, you can sort of relax into them like a sumptuos couch  Cheesy
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QPO
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« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2013, 05:17:36 AM »

I think that the man should be taller when a lady is in heels that give her 2" HEEL. SO THAT WOULD BE ABOUT 15CM DIFFERENCE OR 6". THIS ALLOWS HER TO STRETCH  herself. sorry hit caps lock. but nothing is perfect and I know where partnerships where the women is the same size as the man without heels. too much knee bend but if you are in a relationship it makes that difficult.
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phoenix13
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« Reply #14 on: July 01, 2013, 05:45:54 AM »

Exactly. If you are in a romantic relationship, whatever the height difference, you have make it work as best you can.
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