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Author Topic: Unlearning  (Read 4360 times)
elisedance
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ee


« on: May 13, 2009, 04:23:30 AM »

This comes up from a comment QPO made about trying to get rid of bad habits learned early on.

The question is: how much of what you learn do you then have to unlearn?

I think its enormous - perhaps %80 (wild guess) of what you learn at one stage has to be relearned later on?  Amazingly, I find that this continues even into advanced technique....

Is this necessary?  Could we avoid it?  Does it matter?  Or does it just make dance teachers rich? Tongue
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Dora-Satya Veda
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« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2009, 01:05:14 PM »

This comes up from a comment QPO made about trying to get rid of bad habits learned early on.

The question is: how much of what you learn do you then have to unlearn?

I think its enormous - perhaps %80 (wild guess) of what you learn at one stage has to be relearned later on?  Amazingly, I find that this continues even into advanced technique....

Is this necessary?  Could we avoid it?  Does it matter?  Or does it just make dance teachers rich? Tongue

Everything we learn will have to be revised soon or later. As we discover more about the mind, the body and social acceptance things get revised. With every level of understanding the things that you thought to be true will change sometimes a lot and sometimes a little. Change is a constant in the universe. This is one of the basic Laws of the universe; namely the Law of Perpetual Transmutation.

How much needs to be unlearned will totally depend on how you learned it. If you learned it as basic principles then it doesn’t really change all that much but expansion and growth will naturally follow. I always tell my students that the information they get is in addition to what they already know and not instead of. I always say “add” or “plus-plus-plus”.

I do have one question here.

Why would you want to spend the time unlearning Huh

It takes the same time to create a new habit as it takes to get rid of a habit. Why not just create new habits and the old habit will disappear as they are no longer being used? 

Hey, by all means if you want to pay me thousands of dollars to change your habits the slow way, go for it. Just tell me when I ask for your goals, that one of them is to change your habits really slow. I will make sure your wish is my command.  Wink Grin

Just my 2 cents worth.

Dora-Satya Veda
« Last Edit: May 16, 2009, 11:04:46 AM by Dora-Satya Veda » Logged

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

Edward Teller
Beachbum
Intermediate Bronze

Posts: 177



« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2009, 02:29:17 PM »

Ummm, yeah.  Are you actually unlearning or are you refining and revising?  Unlearning to me implies you were completely wrong about the original material / approach / technique / etc.

I've heard a couple of people advocate abolishing Bronze level because moving to Silver is "radically" different.  They would start their students at Silver and go from there.


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Yes.  Quite.
ttd
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« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2009, 03:57:28 PM »

Ummm, yeah.  Are you actually unlearning or are you refining and revising?  Unlearning to me implies you were completely wrong about the original material / approach / technique / etc.

I've heard a couple of people advocate abolishing Bronze level because moving to Silver is "radically" different.  They would start their students at Silver and go from there.




I am assuming you're talking about american style waltz and foxtrot. These are the only dances where bronze is entirely different from silver that I know of.
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ttd
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« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2009, 04:08:47 PM »

This comes up from a comment QPO made about trying to get rid of bad habits learned early on.

The question is: how much of what you learn do you then have to unlearn?

I think its enormous - perhaps %80 (wild guess) of what you learn at one stage has to be relearned later on?  Amazingly, I find that this continues even into advanced technique....

Is this necessary?  Could we avoid it?  Does it matter?  Or does it just make dance teachers rich? Tongue

I think there is a difference between fixing bad habits and adding new layers to technique.

Also, I think that creating a habit where there was none before takes less time, than replacing previously acquired bad one. It's natural for humans to slip back into the original habit.
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cornutt
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« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2009, 04:38:41 PM »


I've heard a couple of people advocate abolishing Bronze level because moving to Silver is "radically" different.  They would start their students at Silver and go from there.


I am assuming you're talking about american style waltz and foxtrot. These are the only dances where bronze is entirely different from silver that I know of.

I've seen the results of students in American style who skip bronze and go straight to silver.  It ain't pretty.    Roll Eyes Tongue  Actually, I can make a pretty good argument for bronze waltz.  It's not all that different; you still have to collect the feet in silver (a big topic of my recent lessons  Shocked).  The only difference is, in bronze, that's where you stop; in silver, it isn't.  Now bronze foxtrot, I might grant you the point there.  Although you still have the "box rhythm", which at least introduces the silver count. 

I'll toss out another example which I actually think is more to the point.  Bolero is often taught to beginners in a simplified style which moves sort of like a cha-cha without the triple steps; it's a very linear style in which the 1 beat is a straight side movement, and the 3-4 is a rock with little or no pivot, and there is no body rotation.  For those who don't know the dance, a proper bolero is danced with a substantial amount of body rotation, such that the 1 beat steps are closer to forward/back and slightly side; the odd-bar 3-4 (leader rocks back) has a substantial amount of pivot, and the even-bar 3-4 (leader rocks forward) has a substantial amount of CBMP, and the whole dance kind of moves in an arc.  Often, beginner bolero dancers are often either taught to do rise and fall as if it were foxtrot, which is not correct, or they aren't taught it at all.  This difference is not part of the syllabus as such, but it's a common way of introducing beginners to bolero. 

When I stepped up to the more advanced bolero style, I found it very difficult to break out of the linear style.  I went through a period where I pretty much had to tear it all down and re-learn bolero from scratch, and for a while it was so bad that I simply could not dance it with any partner other than my instructor.  Even now I still don't feel like I've gotten all of the aspects of the timing of the rotation and the rise/fall straightened out.  And I'm not the only student who has gone through this, and because of our experiences, our studio's instructors no longer teach the linear style to beginners.  They either teach the "arc" style, or if the student isn't ready for it, they just leave it off until later.
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skipper
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« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2009, 11:38:22 PM »

I would agree with the plus-plus-plus idea.
AS children, we learn to add by addding 1+1=2  2+1=3 and so on.....then comes "carry overs"...then subtraction....the multiplying etc. Isn't this the same idea as plus--plus---plus?

As dancers, most people learn walking forward, backward and chasse's. Aren't all patterns of movement a combination of these things?
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Dora-Satya Veda
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« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2009, 11:42:12 PM »

As dancers, most people learn walking forward, backward and chasse's. Aren't all patterns of movement a combination of these things?

I would have to agree with Skipper, on this one. All the steps that I know are either going forward, backward, side-ward or a combination there off. It is pretty easy when thinkig about it that way.

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

Edward Teller
malakawa
Open Bronze
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Posts: 830



« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2009, 11:50:59 PM »

I would agree with the plus-plus-plus idea.
AS children, we learn to add by addding 1+1=2  2+1=3 and so on.....then comes "carry overs"...then subtraction....the multiplying etc. Isn't this the same idea as plus--plus---plus?

As dancers, most people learn walking forward, backward and chasse's. Aren't all patterns of movement a combination of these things?

i agree.

2 cornutt - we call it "papa bolero" which introduce students with the steps and timing.  Wink

you are teaching your students what they are ready for, especially social students. and even competitive beginners. first you learn the steps than you start with technique.

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QPO
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Adelaide South Australia


« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2009, 02:30:57 AM »

Interesting, I find the hardest thing to unlearn if anything is the bopping. I am good most of the time and being aware of it helps, but people say you a bopping up and down! grrrr if someone had told me about that at the beginning I feel I would have been better now. I see dancers from my first school on the floor all doing the bopping and think well they have not being told to stop.
My current group lesson teacher is must stricter about making sure people do the right thing from the beginning and always uses the correct terms for steps.
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Dance is a delicate balance between perfection and beauty.  ~Author Unknown
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skipper
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« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2009, 09:01:21 AM »

Interesting, I find the hardest thing to unlearn if anything is the bopping. I am good most of the time and being aware of it helps, but people say you a bopping up and down! grrrr if someone had told me about that at the beginning I feel I would have been better now. I see dancers from my first school on the floor all doing the bopping and think well they have not being told to stop.
My current group lesson teacher is must stricter about making sure people do the right thing from the beginning and always uses the correct terms for steps.
[/quote
Have you thought about thinking different words? Instead of the negative DON"T bop---think smooth, level, even, quiet--any word that works for you!


In you mind if you are thinking "don't bop"--what is the last word your mind hears? answer--bop!
So, with that thought in mind, what will you do?]
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QPO
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Adelaide South Australia


« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2009, 09:13:38 AM »

Yes I will be aware of the thoughts that go through my head. but I think it is also sometimes where my energy is coming from...it is more evident in the NV dances rather than the standard, we have that style under control
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Some guy
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« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2009, 06:34:35 PM »

"Unlearning", in my recent experience, as recent as a few minutes ago when I was PMing something about this very topic, is too hard for me to do.  It's just not worth the time or the trouble.  Especially when I'm trying to unlearn something major, like the basis of movement, the flow of energy, or the "feel" of the dance.

Learning is a much faster and easier activity to me because I find that my mind is more open to learning new things than it is to letting go of old information.  My brain gets protective of old information and I find myself conflicted when I try to unlearn something.  Part of my brain fights to cling onto old information with arguments like, "but a top world pro told you this, and you paid thousands of dollars for that...". 

Instead of unlearning, I learn new information and tack on any existing information that I have which I think might be useful.  For example, I changed the way I dance Standard almost completely.  I learned the new form of movement as a completely new style.  That way I wouldn't have any old baggage or habits that I would revert back to.  After I changed my basis of movement, my frame, the feel of the dance etc., I was able to tack on all the Standard steps and patterns I knew quite easily to my new set of knowledge.   On the contrary, I realized that the reason I have such a hard time learning anything new in Latin is because I've done it much longer than Standard and I'm very attached to the knowledge I have gained over the years.  It's this very same knowledge that's obviously holding me back but my brain just does not want to let go of it.  I need to learn the new way from scratch and tack on my old steps and patterns.  I'll let you know how it goes!
« Last Edit: May 14, 2009, 06:36:16 PM by Some guy » Logged
QPO
reg mods
Continental Champion
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Adelaide South Australia


« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2009, 10:36:23 PM »

Thanks some guy I wait to here your results, in the mean time I will look to changing the way I view my learning...
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TangoDancer
Open Bronze
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« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2009, 04:41:02 AM »

There are 2 topics here; 1- unlearning habits, and 2- silver before bronze, and, that the latter is one of my pet peeves, I couldn't let it go. Sorry..... Roll Eyes

Beachbum stated that it had been heard; Cornutt says that he has seen it and it isn't pretty. Most of you know that I am a strong proponent of teaching silver first in the american style. And, this is where the 2 topics become one.

Let's concur that; 1- dance is movement, 2- the law of motion is move-continue-stop, 3- in dance, we refer to this as step-swing-recover (setting the body in motion, allowing the motion to continue, collecting when the momentum stops). Accepting these as givens, we apply certain techniques to these 3 movements, SSR. In smooth, re the feet, this is heels - toes - toes, and re the core this is movement of/from center, and shoulder lead. These are truths that remain so throughout (as they are really based more on physics than dancing).

Cornutt's statement might be true if speaking of persons whom have not been trained proerly from the inside out rather than from the outside in. This is speaking of person's whom have been trained from a book, or set of rules/patterns rather than from their body's natural movement/s. Further, they were trained from the feet/fingertips to the core rather than from the core to the feet/fingertips. When one is trained from day one with what we call "The Movement of Dance" (above paragraph), then they are far ahead of the curve. For all practical purposes, this is what we call silver (american).

Since fox was mentioned in the previous posts, here's my dare.... Study step-swing-recover with the proper footwork and CBM (shoulder/side lead). Once the movement is feeling comfortable, apply it to what we call bronze fox (understand that since the natural law of motion only has 3 parts, then the fisrt step [left for the man] must be a prep step; one would dance preparation-step-swing-recover) Look and feel how amazingly that transforms the dance! If everyone learned these basic "silver" techniques first, their "bronze" would be astoundingly progressive much quicker. My studios never use the terms bronze, silver, gold; we say social, ballroom, exhibition. When a student enters and says that they wish to learn BR, they get silver. If they wish to learn social, they get bronze with silver techniques. If they want exhibition, they get sent to the school down the street.  Cheesy
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The most beautiful part of the dance is often found in between the steps... and in the movement within the stillness.
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