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Author Topic: Body contact and personal space  (Read 625 times)
phoenix13
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« on: June 15, 2013, 08:24:23 AM »

I placed this topic in beginner, social and syllabus because most of the advanced dancers I know say that this is a no-brainer for them.  But, for newer dancers, this is by no means a no brainer, a lot of the time.

How do you feel about body contact?  Meaning (if you ballroom dance or dance bachata, etc.) do you dance in body contact at social dances? With strangers?  Only with friends?  Only with your partner?  How do you feel about it?   A necessary evil?  No big deal?   No way,no how?

Do you think that cultural norms around personal space have anything to do with how you feel about this?  Or is dance a culture all to itself?
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cha
Intermediate Bronze

Posts: 42


« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2013, 01:18:30 PM »

What a great topic, Phoenix13!   I dance smooth and rhythm, and body contact in those styles doesn't bother me at all.  I've danced bachata - and enjoy it - but haven't found that the body contact is more than the American dances - at least in the contexts that I've danced it.

But Argentine tango - that's a whole other ballgame.  The exposure I've had to AT indicates that a great deal of upper body closeness is required - more than is comfortable for me UNLESS I have a regular dance partner (a whole other topic enchilada).   And in the AT situations I've been in, most of the leaders don't want to hold the follower closely either, which seems to make it harder to accomplish the dance.
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phoenix13
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« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2013, 01:35:15 PM »

Thanks, cha!   Smiley

I think that you're right.  AT is a world all its own.

When it comes to other dances, even though I've been dancing a long time, I am still a little careful about body contact. You never really know what your partner is comfortable with,so you have to feel your way... No pun intended. lol.  

At this point, I generally try to follow the lead of the lead, if I don't know him.  Newer leads will usually go with an open hold,which is fine. But,if the gentleman invites me into body contact, I go.

Especially in social dancing, there can be a weird moment or two while you figure it out.  (Think foxtrot mixer! lol)
« Last Edit: June 15, 2013, 01:55:38 PM by phoenix13 » Logged

Dona nobis pacem.
elisedance
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« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2013, 02:48:05 PM »

eventually the you can start to crave the body contact - no not for that reason Wink Wink butbecause it gives you such a direct input into what the core of the lead is doing - the faster you can sense speed change and direction the easier following becomes.

The next stage is to not need it at all!  Eventually you just feel it, amazing as it sounds no body contact is requried.  I only do standard seriously so I always have body input but great latin dancers can follow highly complex dances without any physical contact at all....

I don't know much about AT but from what I've seen its very much about the coalescing of bodies.  I think its a big factor for those that come to really love it. 

Perhaps its not the ideal dance for you cha... (nor me either).
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millitiz
Intermediate Bronze

Posts: 220


« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2013, 10:34:02 AM »

The funny thing is, I actually don't really like to have body contact if I don't know you well enough...or maybe it is not done well? I don't know. I do have a personal bubble thingy off the floor.

I much prefer lighter connection - too much energy is like screaming to me.
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phoenix13
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« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2013, 10:45:57 AM »

eventually the you can start to crave the body contact - no not for that reason Wink Wink butbecause it gives you such a direct input into what the core of the lead is doing - the faster you can sense speed change and direction the easier following becomes.

The next stage is to not need it at all!  Eventually you just feel it, amazing as it sounds no body contact is requried.  I only do standard seriously so I always have body input but great latin dancers can follow highly complex dances without any physical contact at all....

I don't know much about AT but from what I've seen its very much about the coalescing of bodies.  I think its a big factor for those that come to really love it. 

Perhaps its not the ideal dance for you cha... (nor me either).

There are several different options, when it comes to AT hold. From what I understand, not all of them are intimately connected.
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phoenix13
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« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2013, 10:47:18 AM »

The funny thing is, I actually don't really like to have body contact if I don't know you well enough...or maybe it is not done well? I don't know. I do have a personal bubble thingy off the floor.

I much prefer lighter connection - too much energy is like screaming to me.


Yes.  I agree to both.  I'm not a fan of walking directly into body contact with a stranger.
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elisedance
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« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2013, 02:02:27 PM »

I'm an instant glommer or not glommer, guage it depending on what the lead wants.  Of course it assumes I feel comfortable with the guy.... Shocked Roll Eyes
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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...
phoenix13
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« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2013, 03:02:24 AM »

Exactly. You have to feel comfortable.  I often wonder what dance teachers do about that.  Surely they have students that they dislike and/or are less comfortable with than others.
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Dona nobis pacem.
elisedance
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« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2013, 01:43:39 PM »

Exactly. You have to feel comfortable.  I often wonder what dance teachers do about that.  Surely they have students that they dislike and/or are less comfortable with than others.

I have talked to a couple.  Basically they respect the distance until the person is comfortable.  If its a more advanced dancer they typically move right in - but the same-sex aspect can be an issue too. 
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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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