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Author Topic: Things you wish instructors would emphasize sooner  (Read 14673 times)
Some guy
Intermediate Silver
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Posts: 1465


« Reply #45 on: September 18, 2009, 11:31:11 AM »

I'm fighting the battle too, in my own little way.  Trying to show anyone I can what little I know about "walking" and making it easier.  However, I think the best way to fight it is to try and make an example of myself and become someone that people will want to emulate, the way DSV and TD did.  I can't really fight and change much being a no-name amateur.  It's like being a really really angry... kitten. 
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Dora-Satya Veda
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Posts: 6871


« Reply #46 on: September 18, 2009, 11:32:28 AM »

I wonder what it is about ballroom dancing that makes us want to make it more difficult than it really is.  I for one am in love with the illusion created by the simplicity of it.

That is a great question SG. My main teacher wondered for 50 years plus. My dance mother have wondered for 40 years plus. I have wondered for 20 years plus. I am sure TD also wonders.

I would love to hear some answers of why and what the benefit is to making it so difficult that is can't be achieved. It seems like some kind of addiction to failure. Sorry to be so direct.

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

Edward Teller
Dora-Satya Veda
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« Reply #47 on: September 18, 2009, 11:42:54 AM »

I'm fighting the battle too, in my own little way.  Trying to show anyone I can what little I know about "walking" and making it easier.  However, I think the best way to fight it is to try and make an example of myself and become someone that people will want to emulate, the way DSV and TD did.  I can't really fight and change much being a no-name amateur.  It's like being a really really angry... kitten. 

Yes, it is good to make an example of you, but even that doesn't always help. Talking from experience, they will often say that you had amazing talent and that there is no way they can do what you did. Just to give you an example, my main teacher was a world finalist and trained world class dancers from the early 60's, my dance mother is many times over world champion and they would/do still fight them. I would think they would be a great example. I would however see and hear students fight them on the simplicity all the time. I am not trying to discourage you but do be aware that there will always be people that don't want to go through an open door.

I can also tell you that once you get it it is truly amazing and you would never want to give it up and you will be well rewarded for the price that you paid to attain it.

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

Edward Teller
pruthe
Bronze
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Posts: 274



« Reply #48 on: September 18, 2009, 12:14:39 PM »

A famous Einstein quote: "Things should be made as simple as possible, but not any simpler." My experience is it's sometimes hard to make things simple. Reading some of the posts by contributors on PDO helps me to make things simpler.
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"It's not what you do, but how you do it."

"The Truth in Ballroom Dance is found in the Basic steps."

A.S.
Some guy
Intermediate Silver
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Posts: 1465


« Reply #49 on: September 18, 2009, 02:11:00 PM »

Very wise words Pruthe!

DSV, I'm still trying to figure out why people like to make it so complex.  I've been looking for simplicity since I started.  When I first started and I was exposed by a visiting coach to the concept of how simple all this is, the only reason I was forced to "reject" his ways was because everyone (including my partner) told me what that coach was teaching was just plain wrong.  At the time, not knowing much about the dance world or where my coaches were ranking in comparison to the visiting coach, I took my local hometown folks' advice.  I guess in the grand scheme of things it was that visiting coach that planted seeds in me that took almost 3 years to start growing.  It took me another 3 years to successfully find the simplicity I was looking for.  That tells me how hard and rare it is to find it.  

I actually think many people will be disappointed when they find out how simple it can be.  I for one, at first, was a little disappointed.  Then when I discovered the "zen" aspect of dancing and how it touches nearly every other aspect of day to day life I got hooked again!  "Rising" without rising, "lowering" with lowering, "turning" without turning, creating "drive" without driving, stepping without "stepping", "footwork" without the use of footwork, ...it's all quite fascinating!
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cornutt
Administrator
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Posts: 1845


« Reply #50 on: September 18, 2009, 04:53:09 PM »

The other thing that happens is that people will look at you and say to themselves, "His dancing looks better than mine -- what's different?"  But one thing I learned pretty quickly when I was a newbie is that it takes some training before you can properly interpret what you see someone else doing.  I'd try to copy what I saw, but inevitably it would just come out a mess, because I didn't understand the underlying mechanics.  How many times have we run across new dancers who see Cuban motion, mis-interpret what they see, and then do some kind of ridiculous bump-n-grind trying to imitate it?  It's not really their fault; they just lack the knowledge

So if I'm doing something and I notice someone watching me with that puzzled look on their face, I'll take the initiative: "Would you like me to show you how I do that?"  Because I know from experience that newbies won't always ask; they may be too intimidated.  Of course, if they say no, I'm not going to force it.  But if they say yes, I'll take them over to the corner of the floor or something and go through it with them.  And, BTW, I always end with "Now keep in mind I'm just a student, so you need to follow this up with an instructor." 
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MusicChica
Intermediate Silver
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Posts: 1325


« Reply #51 on: September 18, 2009, 05:08:10 PM »

How many times have we run across new dancers who see Cuban motion, mis-interpret what they see, and then do some kind of ridiculous bump-n-grind trying to imitate it?

Or the knock-kneed potty dance. Cheesy
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cornutt
Administrator
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Posts: 1845


« Reply #52 on: September 18, 2009, 05:11:49 PM »

How many times have we run across new dancers who see Cuban motion, mis-interpret what they see, and then do some kind of ridiculous bump-n-grind trying to imitate it?

Or the knock-kneed potty dance. Cheesy

What?  You mean you don't do tango that way?   Grin
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elisedance
Administrator
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ee


« Reply #53 on: September 21, 2009, 07:50:37 AM »

wish you lived closer, thats all I can say ...
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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...
cornutt
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« Reply #54 on: September 21, 2009, 09:13:34 AM »

wish you lived closer, thats all I can say ...

 Kiss
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TangoDancer
Open Bronze
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Posts: 736



« Reply #55 on: September 23, 2009, 03:43:24 AM »

DSV, I'm still trying to figure out why people like to make it so complex.  I've been looking for simplicity since I started.

One of my favorite mantras is, "through the eyes of a child". I try to approach much like this. Adults make everything complicated by being adult. 

"Rising" without rising, "lowering" with lowering, "turning" without turning, creating "drive" without driving, stepping without "stepping", "footwork" without the use of footwork, ...it's all quite fascinating!

It is fascinating, n'est ce pas? You are fascinating to me. I find it fascinating when someone gets it. And, you are there. Not that you know it all; neither of us do. But you see the matrix... the zen, and you seek to continue. Another zen moment... before we ask, we are answered; it is not for us to learn, it is for us to realize.
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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.
TangoDancer
Open Bronze
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Posts: 736



« Reply #56 on: September 23, 2009, 03:47:23 AM »

Or the knock-kneed potty dance. Cheesy

Don't get me started!  Angry
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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.
Some guy
Intermediate Silver
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Posts: 1465


« Reply #57 on: September 23, 2009, 12:46:16 PM »

Another zen moment... before we ask, we are answered; it is not for us to learn, it is for us to realize.
I love this!  This is so true.  I noticed that with my current coach I'm always getting answers before I've asked the question.  At the time I think that I understand it, but then it's always the case that I usually don't fully understand the answer until I "realize" it's true meaning (which takes a few months some times).  Basically, I'm still fighting how simple all this is supposed to be.  When my coach uses a simple word to describe a movement it's amazing the kind of rubbish I attach to it thinking, "surely it can't be THAT simple!".  After weeks/months I realize, "heck!  It really IS that simple!".  I need to close the gap between hearing the answer and realizing it's true meaning!  Cheesy
« Last Edit: September 23, 2009, 12:49:29 PM by Some guy » Logged
Rugby
Moderator
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Posts: 3599



« Reply #58 on: September 23, 2009, 02:18:15 PM »

The other thing that happens is that people will look at you and say to themselves, "His dancing looks better than mine -- what's different?"  But one thing I learned pretty quickly when I was a newbie is that it takes some training before you can properly interpret what you see someone else doing.  I'd try to copy what I saw, but inevitably it would just come out a mess, because I didn't understand the underlying mechanics.  How many times have we run across new dancers who see Cuban motion, mis-interpret what they see, and then do some kind of ridiculous bump-n-grind trying to imitate it?  It's not really their fault; they just lack the knowledge

I know many studios who teach the bump-n-grind because even they don't know any better.  Then again most of them are only two video lessons ahead of their students anyway.  I learned this and thought it was correct since it seemed to be what I saw.  I didn't understand and neither did my instructors at that time (they still don't) and all I got out of it was to damage my hip joints.  Even worse I became very, very good at doing it so it took even longer to correct.  Now if I see people do it I will correct them by showing them how they look and how it looks when you use proper body mechanics.  Once they see the difference they laugh and say they would look better with no hip movement then what they were doing and what they were doing was actually much harder to do.  I don't know if the instructors teach it from ignorance or to fool their students into thinking they have great cuban hip action the same way they teach the ladies to lean wayyyy back so they look like a champ level dancer, regardless of the future back problems.


   
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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
Intermediate Silver
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Posts: 1465


« Reply #59 on: September 23, 2009, 03:12:54 PM »

I think it's great to get these ideas out there Rugby.  Hip movement is also one of the "zen" elements of dancing.  If you force it, you will hurt yourself... just like the illusion of the ladies bending backwards (they should be projecting forwards to create the illusion of bending backwards right?!). 
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