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Author Topic: The Yin and Yang of Ballroom Dance  (Read 2869 times)
elisedance
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« on: September 07, 2012, 04:02:56 PM »

So this is a thought thats been germinating in my head for a while but has been watered of late by my savant teacher who seems to have picked up the Ultimate Truths of ballroom dance somewhere by instinct it seems.

What it is is that:

"for every action there is an equal and opposite action"

It actually follows from the word 'ballance' - probably the only fundamental of any dance (on your feet anyway) for without ballance (and this is in four dimensions - up/down; left/right; forward/back AND time) you don't have any dance!

But the rule is one that you can use for the most particular of actions.  If you are going to extend a leg then your weight has to shift in the opposite directino (it gets complex when motion is added -so lets not at first).  But this is also true if you are expending energy in one direcion: your body can only create that (witout distorting) by exerting an equal and opposite energy the other way.

I was wondering about others thought on this - and of course we can also dig into DSVs  archives (for those of you with enough posts and access) for more insight.
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« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2012, 09:46:24 PM »

I never really quite go too deep in the mechanics of dancing and breaking it down. I know Richard Gleave does so and so do a few of my teachers (mostly men). I believe all those things are correct but knowing that it happens that way does this improve your dancing? I believe that most of it is instinctive and through trust of you own space. Then dancing with another who has that same ability you develop an understanding of each others trust.

I often ask the question of people who did you like to watch on the floor and why? (And generally it is the winner) because it was easy to watch it was smooth and connected. I believe that that is because of all of the above. If you try to give the information to a newbie about the mechanics it may be overwhelming. I have DVD's of the ballroom congresses of Blackpool that when I first starting watching them  I thought wow. and now when I watch them I go I know that I get it.

You cant beat experience and with experience you develop the Yin and Yang.
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« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2012, 02:31:40 AM »

Add to that, progressive balance versus static balance: very different skills and dynamics.  To me, progressive balance is much easier than static balance, kind of like riding a bike is much easier than balancing on a bike when not moving and not keeping your feet on the floor.

I think there is a huge balance/counterbalance element to dancing naturally.  Sway, shaping, top line, can usually be created just by allowing your body to counter balance.
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elisedance
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ee


« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2012, 06:44:06 AM »

The thing that triggered me to write this is actually shaping - head shaping specifically.  For over 10 years I've been trying to get my head right using all sorts of angles conscious efforts, 'shapes', rules, you name it - but when I glance at the mirror its never natural.

So my new dance guru tells me to use my body to shape my head!  What?  There is a natural anti-clockwise torso rotation when you move forward in PP - thats the rotation that works against your hip rotation in the opposite direction.  If your head stays - where its supposed to be - on top of your spine and does NOT rotate you end up with a natural shape. NO head rotation at all, its all an illusion and a yin-yang thingy (except perhaps a tiny one because your eyes want to see where you are going).

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drj
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« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2012, 09:22:48 AM »

Add to that, progressive balance versus static balance: very different skills and dynamics.  To me, progressive balance is much easier than static balance, kind of like riding a bike is much easier than balancing on a bike when not moving and not keeping your feet on the floor.

I think there is a huge balance/counterbalance element to dancing naturally.  Sway, shaping, top line, can usually be created just by allowing your body to counter balance.

where's that Like button?
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ancora imparo
elisedance
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« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2012, 11:15:54 AM »

Add to that, progressive balance versus static balance: very different skills and dynamics.  To me, progressive balance is much easier than static balance, kind of like riding a bike is much easier than balancing on a bike when not moving and not keeping your feet on the floor.

I think there is a huge balance/counterbalance element to dancing naturally.  Sway, shaping, top line, can usually be created just by allowing your body to counter balance.

where's that Like button?


I think you just hit it Grin
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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...
drj
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« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2012, 01:56:22 PM »

The thing that triggered me to write this is actually shaping - head shaping specifically.  For over 10 years I've been trying to get my head right using all sorts of angles conscious efforts, 'shapes', rules, you name it - but when I glance at the mirror its never natural.

So my new dance guru tells me to use my body to shape my head!  What?  There is a natural anti-clockwise torso rotation when you move forward in PP - thats the rotation that works against your hip rotation in the opposite direction.  If your head stays - where its supposed to be - on top of your spine and does NOT rotate you end up with a natural shape. NO head rotation at all, its all an illusion and a yin-yang thingy (except perhaps a tiny one because your eyes want to see where you are going).



You mean, your head's an extension of your spine? What a concept. I'm shocked, shocked!
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ancora imparo
elisedance
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ee


« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2012, 04:34:17 PM »

The thing that triggered me to write this is actually shaping - head shaping specifically.  For over 10 years I've been trying to get my head right using all sorts of angles conscious efforts, 'shapes', rules, you name it - but when I glance at the mirror its never natural.

So my new dance guru tells me to use my body to shape my head!  What?  There is a natural anti-clockwise torso rotation when you move forward in PP - thats the rotation that works against your hip rotation in the opposite direction.  If your head stays - where its supposed to be - on top of your spine and does NOT rotate you end up with a natural shape. NO head rotation at all, its all an illusion and a yin-yang thingy (except perhaps a tiny one because your eyes want to see where you are going).



You mean, your head's an extension of your spine? What a concept. I'm shocked, shocked!
Tongue Tongue

Not as shocked as I was ... oh, and did I say Tongue ?
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If you must leave the house, go build a home...

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Dora-Satya Veda
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« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2012, 05:14:56 PM »

Ahhh,  the famous  Law of Relativity.

Great dancing uses The Law of Relativity as that is how we are judged in competitions but the dancer must not use the Law to judge him or herself as that can have very bad consequences

DSV
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elisedance
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« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2012, 06:58:48 PM »

Ahhh,  the famous  Law of Relativity.

Great dancing uses The Law of Relativity as that is how we are judged in competitions but the dancer must not use the Law to judge him or herself as that can have very bad consequences

DSV

Does that extend to balance and frame issues?  Somethow I thought that would be in another law.....
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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 #10 on: September 10, 2012, 07:07:40 PM »

All of the Laws work in all aspect of dancing....

DSV
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« Reply #11 on: September 10, 2012, 08:48:05 PM »

before my latest injury our dancing had moved to that level, once I recover I hope that it comes back. I am sure once you have worked it out you don't loose it a bit like ride a bike Cheesy
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« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2012, 11:17:07 PM »

The more I dance the more I realize my body knows what to do if my brain would just get out of the way.  I also have learned that as you move up in levels and experience you work far less than you did at the lower levels.  Or, I should say you work far less against yourself if that makes sense.  I am very much into body mechanics.  In the horse world it was very important to know how your body worked with the horses to become one, working as a single unit and I have carried this into dancing for good or bad.  I guess I have changed a horse for a dance partner and I have become the horse and my parnter the rider. 
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Everyone tries to rush up through the syllabus levles and think once they are at the top they have arrived.  What they don't realize is that by doing this it is like skimming through a book, you may get the gist but you will never understand the story.
elisedance
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ee


« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2012, 10:45:11 AM »

The more I dance the more I realize my body knows what to do if my brain would just get out of the way.  I also have learned that as you move up in levels and experience you work far less than you did at the lower levels.  Or, I should say you work far less against yourself if that makes sense.  I am very much into body mechanics.  In the horse world it was very important to know how your body worked with the horses to become one, working as a single unit and I have carried this into dancing for good or bad.  I guess I have changed a horse for a dance partner and I have become the horse and my parnter the rider. 
Just what I feel.  And I love the horse-person analogy, I bet its just the same - excpet the horse doesn't have to think about it Grin
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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...
Alice
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« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2012, 10:41:02 PM »

The thing that triggered me to write this is actually shaping - head shaping specifically.  For over 10 years I've been trying to get my head right using all sorts of angles conscious efforts, 'shapes', rules, you name it - but when I glance at the mirror its never natural.

So my new dance guru tells me to use my body to shape my head!  What?  There is a natural anti-clockwise torso rotation when you move forward in PP - thats the rotation that works against your hip rotation in the opposite direction.  If your head stays - where its supposed to be - on top of your spine and does NOT rotate you end up with a natural shape. NO head rotation at all, its all an illusion and a yin-yang thingy (except perhaps a tiny one because your eyes want to see where you are going).



I'm a little late here, but I just had a head/neck breakthrough last week too... and it seems very similar!  My coach has always said that you cannot dance if even a pinky finger is tensed up.  Well, last week, I couldn't figure out why I wasn't able to move as much as I wanted to at practice and my partner suggested that I just let my neck go, not try to keep it in any particular place.  That did it!  I felt so much more relaxed, I could move even more than before and my partner said it felt like he had ten more pounds (of potential energy?) to play with Cheesy  OH!  and it looked SO much better!
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