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Author Topic: Are You A Logical Or Emotional Dancer?  (Read 5385 times)
Bordertangoman
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« Reply #45 on: August 02, 2009, 08:03:40 AM »

how would a logical expression be different from an emotional one in dancing..


surely the point of dancing is to express it in the body rather than (just) the face.?
Seriously? A logical expression would be dancing what you believe the proper expression should be (tango with mean and nasty faces; foxtrot with a smile; paso with brows frowned and intent). How about an emotional expression... smiling if the tango makes you feel sensual; melancholy if the fox makes you feel so; paso w/ the head held high showing a content expression... if these are what one "feels"?
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cornutt
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« Reply #46 on: August 02, 2009, 11:55:41 AM »

I'm more of a logical person in general (which shouldn't surprise anyone here).  I have found that when I'm learning something new, or concentrating on perfecting a technique, it's 100% logical.  That's my starting point.  In order to clear mental bandwidth for the emotional side, I first have to internalize the logical processes.  That's when the emotion can come in.  A couple of pages back, Elise mentioned the difference between emotion and intuition, and that was a very good point.  Intuition per se isn't an emotion; it's a set of thought processes that, in computer terms, execute in the background.  And by doing so, it makes room in the conscious mind for emotion.  The problem with intuition is knowing which thought processes are running back there -- the conscious mind doesn't always know, and incorrect intuitive processing can lead a person very much astray.  But when it's working properly, intuition is not just valuable, it's essential to our everyday functioning. 

It might surprise people to find out that intuition is important in science and engineering.  Many important advances have been made, and many disasters averted, due to the intuition of someone in the sciences, or engineering, or a related profession.  There have been many cases where a scientist, presented with a wide-open field of choices and no reliable evidence on how to proceed, will intuitively decide "path X is the way to go".  And it turns out that it is, but only in retrospect can the scientist explain the reasoning that went into the decision.  One of the difficulties in intuition is that, lacking direct access to the conscious mind, it usually has to signal to us using emotions, which is where the confusion between intuition and emotion comes in.  I work in a job where we deal with complex systems that, once they are built, sometimes turn out to have adverse behaviors that could not have been foreseen.  I've had the experience of looking over test data for a system, and although the system passed the test, something in the test data did not look right.  I couldn't put my finger on what was wrong with it, but looking at it gave me an uneasy feeling.  I consulted with a colleague, and he agreed that it "looked funny".  Based on intuition, we started investigating a certain aspect of the system, and we wound up discovering an undocumented behavior of an off-the-shelf hardware part, which would have prevented the system from working properly in actual use.  In this case, the consequences would have been loss of some irreplacable scientific data, and a loss of several million dollars to the company we were contracting with.

So I've learned to trust my intuition in my professional life.  But it took me a while to develop a properly tuned intuitive process; during my student and intern days, my intuition was constantly leading my astray, because I didn't have the knowledge and experience for it to work properly.  During that period, I had to be 100% "consciously logical", looking up and verifying/proving every single thing, because I couldn't trust my intuitive sense.  The same thing happened when I was a beginning dancer.  Now that I've got some experience, I have a better developed intuitive sense for dancing.  But I'm still having trouble trusting my intuitive process in dancing.  This is something I just realized as I was typing this.  Hmm. 

Anyway, the point is, you have to develop that intuitive level of processing (call it "habit", "muscle memory", what have you) before you have any mental bandwidth to emote during your dancing.  We've had a thread recently about hitting the wall, and I went through a phase like that a couple of years ago.  I'm realizing now that when that happens, it's either because the intuitive sense isn't developing, or because it isn't trusted.  In my case, it was a little of both, but more the former.  I felt overwhelmed with information, and I didn't feel like I was getting enough time in lessons to get the feel for how things were supposed to work, and so my intuitive sense wasn't developing.  Among other problems, it causesd me to lose the emotional connection with the music, and dancing in general was just not very enjoyable.  At the time, my DW and I were taking lessons together.  I had to start taking lessons on my own, in order to get the one-on-one time with my instructor, and we had to go back to fundementals on a lot of things and do a bunch of reviewing.  That allowed me to get my intuitive sense working again and I started relating to the music and enjoying the dancing again.  From there, I was able to make progress.  We've recently started taking our lessons together again, and it's going much better.

EM, I was thinking about you as I wrote the above.  Do talk to your instructor about it.  Maybe you need to slow down the learning rate a bit, and spend more time practicing what you know.  When I was in my difficult phase, I used to start lessons by asking my instructor, "Can we just go around the floor a couple of times, before we start critiquing?"  We'd do a couple of minutes of waltz or foxtrot or something, consisting mostly of just simple things.  It allowed me to enjoy the feeling of dancing with her and relating to the music for a few minutes, and put me into a much better frame of mind to start the lesson proper.
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phoenix13
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« Reply #47 on: May 11, 2013, 06:39:52 PM »

the point is, you have to develop that intuitive level of processing (call it "habit", "muscle memory", what have you) before you have any mental bandwidth to emote during your dancing. 

This. Kind of related to why I dance/my first memories of dancing.  I want to get back to the place where dancing is pure emotion, but first I have to develop my abilities to the point where my body, dance patterns, etc, are mere tools that I use to create dance,which is a work of art.  (However old and shriveled I am,by the time it finally happens.  Grin )

It's like music. You practice scales and arpeggios for a billion hours then, when they are literally a part of your mind and your muscles, you no longer thin about scales.  You  just play the music.  Same deal with dance, IMV.  Logic comes first then, when you have mastered *some of* the building blocks, you dance to create figurative music.
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elisedance
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« Reply #48 on: May 11, 2013, 10:12:17 PM »


It's like music. You practice scales and arpeggios for a billion hours then, when they are literally a part of your mind and your muscles, you no longer thin about scales.  You  just play the music.  Same deal with dance, IMV.  Logic comes first then, when you have mastered *some of* the building blocks, you dance to create figurative music.

I'm not sure rote and logic are the same thing - and some people learn to dance just by dancing.  It depends in part on how your brain works.  I think the things wer have to comit to automatic memory are those that are integral - that define - a particular dance type.  Logic is to me thinking out how to move the body and then doing it.  Rote is doing an action over and over until its automatic.  But I think all these terms are not clear and have overlap.

A note on muscle memory - I met someone who believed that the muscles themselves can learn and that it was necessary to transfer this memory into the brain before you lost it - I don't think there is any scientific evidence for this idea.  Which is why I'm a bit peevish about the term - although I have used it too since it does convey the 'entrained learning' idea very well. 
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phoenix13
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« Reply #49 on: May 11, 2013, 10:27:35 PM »

Hmm.  Interesting.  I thin that rote is a step in between logic and emotion.  I must first understand/talk about/see what I am trying to learn.  Then comes rote learning/repetition.   Then comes emotion. 

All three separate things, in my world.  Music. Math. Dancing.  I have to grasp the concept intellectually first.  Then I can commit it to memory.  Then I can use it.


But that's just me.  Cool
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elisedance
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« Reply #50 on: May 11, 2013, 11:33:41 PM »

I don't think you are giving your brain enough space.  I see logic and emotion as parallel operations, not serial ones.  If I have something to solve I use logic; but if I have an important question to decide upon I use my common sense - and sometimes that defies my logic.  But I find it is more often correct for major decisions, it seems to take into considerations things other than facts.
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phoenix13
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« Reply #51 on: May 12, 2013, 05:24:41 AM »

I agree that they are parallel operations.  I think that the proportions of each change as one progresses along the learning curve.
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QPO
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« Reply #52 on: May 13, 2013, 08:20:56 AM »

when we were in Holland the coach said you are bad dancers Tongue and he said because depending on the piece of music you dance better. But there are just some pieces that when they start you feel that filling your body! That is something we have to work on to improve that we dance well to any piece of music Tongue
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phoenix13
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« Reply #53 on: May 13, 2013, 09:48:57 AM »

when we were in Holland the coach said you are bad dancers Tongue and he said because depending on the piece of music you dance better. But there are just some pieces that when they start you feel that filling your body! That is something we have to work on to improve that we dance well to any piece of music Tongue

Wow.  It must've hurt to hear that.

Not sure  I agree, btw.  If you're a good dancer, you can dance to anything?  Not really, IMHO.  Not everything is danceable.  You have to be able to dance to the undanceable in order to be good? 
Mmm. I have trouble accepting that.
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elisedance
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« Reply #54 on: May 13, 2013, 12:29:14 PM »

I think we need to define 'good'.

IMO the coach was wrontg.  A good dancer dances best to music that connects to them.
However, a professional dancer has to be able to dance to any music - same is true of a dancesport-dancer.  So thats 'good' in terms of the technique of dancing vs the emotion of dancing - right up the street for this topic!
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phoenix13
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« Reply #55 on: May 13, 2013, 12:52:12 PM »

That makes sense.  Separating the logic from the emotion makes the coach's comment make more sense.  From a technical perspective, maybe they were right.  No matter what music you are hearing, you should be able to execute the dance that fits.  But, from an emotional perspective, of course you dance better to music that connects to you.
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Rugby
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« Reply #56 on: May 14, 2013, 12:26:19 AM »

For me I try and dance my body the best I can no matter the music but my soul dances the best when it is touched by the music.
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elisedance
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« Reply #57 on: May 14, 2013, 07:12:20 AM »

For me I try and dance my body the best I can no matter the music but my soul dances the best when it is touched by the music.
but whats the point of dancing if you are not emotionally driven?  Is just a chore then...
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QPO
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« Reply #58 on: May 14, 2013, 11:31:34 PM »

I don't think he was saying that we were BAD dancers, but the fact that we dancer better with good music over  music that does not inspire you. He was very happy with our direction for the period of time we have been dancing, it has taken other couples 20 years to get where they are and we have done it in four! Grin
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phoenix13
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« Reply #59 on: May 15, 2013, 08:33:43 AM »

Sounds like he gave you the old feedback sandwich. A constructive comment, preceded and followed by a compliment.  Works every time.Smiley
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