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Author Topic: Floorcraft: how is this even possible without true lead and follow?  (Read 5639 times)
Some guy
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« on: March 20, 2015, 06:06:33 PM »

What prompted me to start this topic was this article by Anthony Hurley.  I would love for coaches to hurl chairs at their couples and have them do all their routines competitively in social dances like Anthony had to contend with.
http://www.freedomtodance.co.uk/news/floor-craft-lost-art-anthony-hurley-anthony-hurley/

In my opinion, what Anthony is asking is near impossible when the basics of partnering skills are not even mentioned in most of today's coaching sessions.  Breaking out of one's set routine and reverting to basics is considered "not competitive" and no couple would risk it.  Furthermore, the precedent is set when couples with ZERO floor craft, and think of ballroom dancing is pinball on steroids, are marked as champions. The day they disqualify for collisions, we'll start seeing some serious floorcraft.  The other option is to have competitors truly respect each other.  HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!

My question to even Anthony would be, why on earth would a couple have to revert to basics when their routine is compromised?  Are their advanced figures that are unleadable or unfollowable?!
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Rugby
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« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2015, 04:50:26 PM »

You have a good point.  Sometimes I get peeved at my partner since, though we have routines, he likes to dance whatever he feels and what he can at the time rather than just a strict routine.  It would be so nice to know what we were going to do before going onto the floor but on the other hand it is nice to know he can get us out of problem and I can stay with him .  We do 80% lead and follow instead of a routine and though it has bitten us in the butt now and then overall I have been quite glad that he can do this.  There are so many times when there have been too many couples, small floor, rude couples, or mainly ones that can only do routines (which is the mass majority it seems) that have made it difficult if not impossible to dance routines well or at all.  We don't have a place to practice so our practices are at social dances so we are used to working around people.
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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.
Some guy
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« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2015, 03:32:16 PM »

That sounds awesome, Rugby! We need more people on the floor like you and your partner!

I've heard so many competitive couples balk at social dances and never attend saying that they can't dance properly due to the crowded floor. Funny statement.
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elisedance
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« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2015, 03:09:32 PM »

That sounds awesome, Rugby! We need more people on the floor like you and your partner!

I've heard so many competitive couples balk at social dances and never attend saying that they can't dance properly due to the crowded floor. Funny statement.
Of course they should stop at "....they can't dance properly."
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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...
Some guy
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« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2015, 09:34:53 AM »

 Grin
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sandralw
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« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2015, 02:10:04 AM »

IMHO I think the very best thing you can do to improve your overall dance technique is to go out and social dance... and I don't mean in a studio with other competitors.  I mean out in the real world.  Go to a club, a hotel, anywhere there is dancing. Forget doing "Big Top" for ballroom.  Forget doing the flashy arm moves in Latin. Forget the fancy footwork... stick to just walking around the floor.  Go out and connect with the music, the movement and flow of the floor and the people surrounding you.  Get in tune with your own body and that of your partner.  Enjoy dancing in the moment!  You will find yourself as a dancer out there.  You will then understand the role you play to your partnership.  You both are leaders and you both are followers.  And you both follow the music.... together.
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Dora-Satya Veda
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« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2015, 05:39:05 PM »

I would say that floorcraft is not possible without the points that Anthony Hurley pointed out.  In number 3 on his list of necessity of weight connection with your partner which is a totally lost art as well. 

Too many of the basic principles are lost today for floorcraft to be part of it. It is a shame however a fact.

I have danced with Anthony Hurley many times and he is amazing at navigating around others on the floor. When I would take lessons with him he were often having to navigate around Peter Eggleton and the couple he was teaching. Plus there were also several latin couples in the studio.

If couples would learn each their jobs floorcraft would be very easy and simple to master...

DSV
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"As we understand more things, everthing is becoming simpler"

Edward Teller
SparkleMoose
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« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2015, 01:04:28 AM »

Who's teaching these people to be battering rams, though? who's letting it slide, pinning it high, and looking the other way when you hear that thunk of person-on-person trading rhinestones?  It's on the shoulders of anyone instructing/coaching people who dance to emphasize at intervals the need to not smash other people. They won't do that, because they believe in milking competitors for all the money they can, and babysitting their social bread and butter by feeding them junk food figures with no understanding of what it is they're doing. They'll keep doing this, because people with ego issues refuse to wise up, and people are stupid enough to believe everything they're told without questioning or researching "what happens when this happens" or "why does this happen when such and such".  It wouldn't kill people to play devil's advocate just a little bit more in their lives.

Just the simple ability to dance without following a script has gone by the wayside. I social dance much more than I compete, and when I dance with people really ringing their "I'm a competitor!" bell, I think it's pretty pathetic when something doesn't go right, and they can't just roll with it, they have to actually stop, "bounce count" (wait- hold on, five-six, no... shh- five, six, seven, okayGO basic) and then start over again, or they can't break anything down "From that last promenade position before the wing", they have to rewind to the complete beginning, fast-forward-dance through all of it, and then hit that spot.

Sure, dancers don't understand what they're dancing, because I'm not sure teachers understand what they're teaching- that, or they don't care, as long as they can placate their students into cutting more checks.

Also, if I see some jerkwad "competitive dancing at me" at a social and I know they're going to mow me down, they need to understand that I give them the benefit of the doubt with a heavy dose of stink-eye exactly one time, before I ronde-face them the next. A social floor is a social floor. If you want to air out your comp routines on it, modify them so that you're not trying to kill anyone, or you might find yourself out of commission.

Hi again, btw. Like herpes, I just keep flaring up. Also, this forum needs a Neil DeGrasse Tyson "badass-hands" icon for posts like this one.
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Some guy
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« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2015, 03:09:10 PM »

I agree.  I was taught by such coaches, once upon a time, before I switched and learned the truth about ballroom. 

Back then, what I was always taught was to ram people, knock them out of the way, stand your ground, etc. etc. etc., because the judges are watching and you have to be dancing no matter what.  That's because that's precisely what my coaches did, and they placed very highly: as high as you can get, actually, in the U.S. 

When I was competing, it just wasn't who I was, so I wouldn't do that.  There was one competition I did in New York and vowed never to do that competition again. It seemed like every amateur in New York was taught one thing: kill or be killed. Nationals was no different, and the ONLY competition I didn't see as much of that was at Embassy Ball, back when it was an IDSF competition, with lots of international couples.  That's the first time I actually saw that you can compete and be courteous all at the same time.  However, the very same couples from that New York competition were being jerks to the international couples.   To my great surprise, the internationals couples made the subsequent cuts and the jerks didn't.  That was also the first time I learned that being courteous and stopping for others or allowing others to pass did not mean that the judges overlooked you.  Then again, the panel of judges was also international.   
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Dora-Satya Veda
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« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2015, 03:51:53 AM »

Yes, common courtesy should be the rule....

DSV
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"As we understand more things, everthing is becoming simpler"

Edward Teller
Dora-Satya Veda
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« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2015, 08:40:36 PM »

A friend of mine inspired me to look at Victor Sylvester's book "Modern Ballroom Dancing" and I found this in the book that I think should be mentioned here.

I quote.... "Once upon the floor, remember that other couples are also there. Avoid a collision, if possible, by taking shorter steps or altering your line of dance. If a collision does occur always apologize to the other couple, even if it was not your fault"

Yes, this is written under Ballroom Etiquette of his book.

DSV
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"As we understand more things, everthing is becoming simpler"

Edward Teller
Some guy
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« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2015, 01:35:50 PM »

Wow! Good advice, from a legend.
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