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Author Topic: 'In The Moment' vs 'In Parallel Motion'  (Read 5039 times)
Dora-Satya Veda
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« Reply #15 on: June 16, 2009, 02:04:48 PM »

when we stop dancing competitively dow we get worse immediately?

It depends on what level you were at before you stopped dancing. I have several students that have stopped dancing (one of them for about 10 years) and once in a while do a social dancing. They still feel great to dance with. If you have the basic principles down then they will never go away because they are so simple. You might not be doing things to the extreme anymore but the basics will still be there.

Dora-Satya Veda
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Edward Teller
elisedance
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ee


« Reply #16 on: June 16, 2009, 03:15:35 PM »

...as I found recently playing the violin, >30 yr hiatus made little difference (mucho thanks to my excellent school teachers)
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Dora-Satya Veda
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« Reply #17 on: June 18, 2009, 02:09:25 AM »

...and yet you learned routines and I think you teach routines.  Perhaps you could expand on the question if all dancing should be ITM then why have routines at all?  Why not ban them entirely?

It seems to me that the purpose or a routine is to have something familiar - and hence NOT entirely ITM.  That a routine can allow you to achieve if not more, perhaps something a bit different than ITM alone?

I am sorry it took me some time to get back to you on this. I have been traveling and I wanted to make sure I gave an answer that I thought would be a responsible answer

Now, I can only speak for what my teachers, peers and I did and what we teach.

Yes, we do learn a routine. But as soon as the man knows the routine fairly well, then he learns the “precedes and follows” of each of the steps he dances. Then he learns to play around with the routines and precedes/follows until he can seamlessly go in and out of routines. You learn this at every level, whether you dance syllabus or open.

Now when my partner and I competed, he had short sections (I would call the “short sides”) that he could intermix. My partner would start wherever there was open space on the floor and he would dance whatever can to his mind, whenever it came to his mind. It really taught us both to be very clear on each of our separate jobs and how to take full responsibility of our jobs.

This is how the routine issue was told to me.
In the old times they never did routines. They did what ever came to their mind, whenever and it came to their mind. After a while they found themselves repeating a few steps over and over again. They soon started getting bored with the repetition. They then created small segments that they could inter mix. They would still dance very much with the music in focus (so ITM) and as free of routines as possible. Then started the big “phrasing thing” and the routines became an absolutely must. You had to dance on phrasing otherwise you would not be considered a good dancer. Many of the “old” teachers had a very strong musical sense but it was not as structured as it is now. They actually listen to each individual piece of music and danced what would fit to that piece of music. Many of the “old” teachers were very much against the idea of phrasing. They claimed it would become a hindrance to the musicality. This has in many ways turned out to be true. The ITM musicality has gone. It has become very organized and with no ITM musicality. The funny/sad thing is that the reason phrasing was introduced, was to improve the understanding of music and it turned out to actually stop the musical creativity to each individual piece of music.

Sorry, this was a little longer then I intended. I guess you all know me by now…..get me talking and I can’t stop. Sorry.

Dora-Satya Veda

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« Reply #18 on: June 18, 2009, 05:33:16 AM »

Very interesting post DSV.  And I think everyone reading it would see it as their partner aspiration - to get good enough to do exactly that. 

However, for most of us I think we go through a learning sequence that does have a stage where a relatively rigid routine is necessary - it permits us to develop technique in new steps that would be hard to get if we did not have some idea of what was coming next.  Perhaps the real key is to realize that this period is a stage and not an end in itself - that is once the routine is learned it is crucial to then start to break it down to smaller segments and ultimately to the point where each component can be danced with any possible preceding and following steps with just as good method.

With DP I am at a stage where he could liead any of our syllabus figure that and I would have no problem following.  We are also developing some failry complex step sequences that he can do the same with.  We have routines at this stage but he feels free to dance any step sequence whenever he chooses.  On occasion he forgets the sequence and something new happens - which I love - because I think I do about 95% ITM dancing with him.

With pro, however, we are working hard on basic technique and also on developing complex steps for open competition.  Since we have yet to dance round the room Shocked in all the dances we have developed a fixed routine.  I can't see a better way to get into these figures than that - and it certainly helps me learn the ITM necessary to both learn these steps and also the quite demanding technical changes at the same time.

So in summary (see not only has to appologize for length!!) I see routines as an essential part of learning but a stage and not an end in themselves.
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Dora-Satya Veda
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« Reply #19 on: June 18, 2009, 11:21:17 AM »

Very interesting post DSV.  And I think everyone reading it would see it as their partner aspiration - to get good enough to do exactly that. 

However, for most of us I think we go through a learning sequence that does have a stage where a relatively rigid routine is necessary - it permits us to develop technique in new steps that would be hard to get if we did not have some idea of what was coming next. 

Let's just say you are dancing silver to have some more steps to choose from.

Please note: I am talking about the man's learning and jobs here. Say, you learned a silver routine and you know the routine fairly well.

Let's just say, you start your Foxtrot with the following long side.

Feather, Reverse Turn, Three Step and Natural Turn.

You now learn that after the Feather Step, you can dance a Three Step, a Reverse Wave, an Open Telemark or a COD. You then learn the after the Reverse Turn, you can dance a Reverse Wave, a COD or an Open Telemark. You then learn that after the Three Step, you can dance a Feather Step, a Natural Weave, a Closed Impetus, and 1-3 of Natural and an Open Impetus. Your steps are still basic Bronze and Silver. I am sure many of these steps are danced in other places of the routine. Learning to mix them up gives the man a great change to be able to floor craft well. It teaches the man to dance any size of floor and with any amount of other dancers on the floor. As the steps are still Bronze and Silver and probably for the most part in the routine, then it still easy to work on the basic techniques! Whether you do a Feather Step followed by a Reverse Turn or a Three Step it is still a Feather Step. A Feather Step is still the same whether you dance it LOD, DC or DW and what ever you precede it with and follow it with. As my main teacher always said "A Feather Step, is a Feather Step, is always a Feather Step....a Heel Turn, is a heel turn, is always a heel turn. You might do it in different directions or it might be on a different foot but the basic technique is always the same. Don't make it into a science".

It is just a different way of learning. I have found that the students that have been taught this way never has a problem with floor craft and the size of floors. They take this skill into their open amateur levels and even into the professional level. It is just a good skill to have and the sooner you learn it the better. When you then hit the next level this is second nature and you have a change of dancing ITM. A fun and great place to be!!!!

This is just what I was taught and what I teach in regard to this subject of routines.

Dora-Satya Veda
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Edward Teller
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« Reply #20 on: December 16, 2009, 05:37:36 PM »

This is how the routine issue was told to me.
In the old times they never did routines. They did what ever came to their mind, whenever and it came to their mind. After a while they found themselves repeating a few steps over and over again. They soon started getting bored with the repetition. They then created small segments that they could inter mix. They would still dance very much with the music in focus (so ITM) and as free of routines as possible. Then started the big “phrasing thing” and the routines became an absolutely must. You had to dance on phrasing otherwise you would not be considered a good dancer. Many of the “old” teachers had a very strong musical sense but it was not as structured as it is now. They actually listen to each individual piece of music and danced what would fit to that piece of music. Many of the “old” teachers were very much against the idea of phrasing. They claimed it would become a hindrance to the musicality. This has in many ways turned out to be true. The ITM musicality has gone. It has become very organized and with no ITM musicality. The funny/sad thing is that the reason phrasing was introduced, was to improve the understanding of music and it turned out to actually stop the musical creativity to each individual piece of music.
Dora-Satya Veda

Hope it's ok to bump this thread from ages ago. I was called to choreograph a Christmas dance for a competive couple's showcase. They are a fairly well ranked couple, so I thought that I could go full out, and make it really nice. I stayed away from tricks, but the musicality and float of the dance, if I must say so..ahem  Cool is really nice. What makes it so nice is the phrasing, or better said, cross phrasing (I tend to do that a lot). Thay were totally baffled by this, and are having a heck of a time getting the dance to float like it does on the vid that I sent.

It brought to mind this thread, and the last post by DSV. Strange?

Do others have issues with cross phrasing? Does it confuse you? Do you like it in your own dancing? Just curious.
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elisedance
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« Reply #21 on: December 18, 2009, 07:24:40 AM »

please expand.  cross phrasing sounds like someone reporting on their taxes par example Tongue

[I took the next two posts and made a new topic on 'Phrasing' please continue this discussion there...]
« Last Edit: December 22, 2009, 05:52:17 AM by elisedance » Logged

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elisedance
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« Reply #22 on: December 22, 2009, 06:00:45 AM »

But since we're back on the topic: my dancing now is definitely both.  However, there is always an element of 'in the moment' (ITM) there, but its meaning changes subtly.  When the competition floor is clear we do, as I think most dancers do, our routines this means going all out, on the edge as it were since you know what is going to happen next.  However, when a block arises, you have to switch into a relaxed follow mode.  While there is more 'paralell motion' when you are in routine mode the key for me is to yet keep a part of me 'in the moment' that is essential if we are still to look like a couple and dance together - every time you do your routine there are differences that have to be adjusted to and while both partners go in and out of ITM, depending really on which one is on the inside or outside of a rotation or going forward or backwards, the woman does more as she has to be sensitive to any non-routine step.

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« Reply #23 on: December 26, 2009, 06:26:05 PM »

This switching into.out of ITM seems way too complicated to me, esp. if while dancing a comp. Let's take my fav analogy of a child in a swing. When a parent is pushing the child, the child must be seperated from the parent, that is learn to not fight the movement, yet be proactive at the same time... learn to use its legs to aid the movement. The trick, IMO, is not to learn to switch effectively between the two, but to become one in the same. As the child learns to encompass the pumping of its legs into the movement, seperate yet together with the pushing of the parent, so does the partner learn to dance the routine seprately yet ITM w/ the other.

To constantly have to switch back and forth would place undue cognizance on the dancer which would interfere with the ability to feel. float, and perform. This might seem like a matter of semantics, btu I think not. It is a matter of changing the way one processes dance, which, hopefully, frees the body to achieve, perhaps the same result/s, easier.
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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.
elisedance
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« Reply #24 on: December 26, 2009, 06:29:50 PM »

Actually, I think that is what I am selling - I don't mean it to be abrupt since you have to be ITM all the time at some level.  I mean the step is only 10% of the dance so even if that is automatic in a certain routine all the other elements - expression energy, power, direction, movement have to be 'in partnership'.

Still, I maintain - and I think most dancers do this - that dancing from a routine has an element of rote.  Indeed, if it did not why even have the name?
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TangoDancer
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« Reply #25 on: December 27, 2009, 12:57:53 AM »

Oh, I agree. My former post was more directed toward your sentence, "...When the competition floor is clear we do, as I think most dancers do, our routines this means going all out, on the edge as it were since you know what is going to happen next...." I guess I wanted to make the point that even in this moment, one could "...go all out..." yet be simultaneously ITM.
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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.
elisedance
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« Reply #26 on: December 27, 2009, 05:47:06 AM »

As I see it true ITM dancing is incompatible with even the notion of a routine since the latter implies a pre-knowledge of what is going to happen whereas the former implies exactly the opposite.
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elisedance
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« Reply #27 on: March 14, 2010, 07:27:33 PM »

I've been thinking about this a bit more as my own dancing is evolving from one (parallel motion) to the other (in the moment).  Perhaps a better way to put it would be dancing in paralell vs lead-follow, or in body school parlance as Sam has been researching, 'same job' vs 'individual jobs'

Bu the point of this post is outcome.

A. It seems to me that if you dance separately, but together you loose on the dancing looking like you are a unit.  However, you can gain by being able to do more dramatic sequences and generating what I think is a more dramatic outcome.

B. If, instead, you dance by body-school you can loose by a lack of drama - in particular, because the woman is always waiting and responding she has less time and freedom to do the dramatic moves.  On the other hand, you gain by being entirely coordinated and natural.

The version that 'wins' may be as much a fashion issue as a dance one.  Sometimes the judges are looking for spectacular actions (favoring A) and others by coordination and communication between the partners  (favouring B).

Love to have comments....
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TangoDancer
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« Reply #28 on: March 18, 2010, 12:50:09 AM »

Interesting post. Yet, I feel that it is incomplete.

Body School is not only waiting/responding, it is also following through to the natural extension of the movement, which will in turn create shape, which can in turn create dynamics unattainable by the parallel motion method.

Also, re your other point, remember the saying, "If you dance as one, you will get 2. But, if you dance as 2, you can create 1".
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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.
samina
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« Reply #29 on: March 18, 2010, 01:19:02 AM »

For my part, I don't have a mindset of separating these two elements into two approaches... at least not the way you described them in the OP, elise. As a follower, I'm ITM, but I also participate equally in the dialogue -- like conversing or playing catch -- (and of course, I'm speaking idealistically, here...) and contribute my own energy.

My own instructor created routines for us as guides & learning, but they were never "routines" to be adhered to, and I would hear it if I were not ITM. At the same time, his expectation was that I show him "what did I want the move to be?" after he launched his lead. He expected me to be active, to take his initiation and move it with my own volition to the next place, where then he would have to "deal with" (haha...) the outcome.

So I guess the paradigm of these two separate approaches doesn't really fit into my concept of how it works. I would interpret true "Parallel Motion" to not involve lead and follow, to be action taken in parallel, without an energetically conversational aspect. And that has no place in my experience of ballroom.
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