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Author Topic: Power  (Read 3303 times)
elisedance
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ee


« on: September 12, 2009, 02:56:06 AM »

I don't think this is covered anywhere else.  When I watch top competetive couples the ones that stand out are those that seem to have almost unlimited power and energy and seem to be unlimited in their ability to cover the floor. 

What gives them this vim?  I am learning that its done by a high degree of independence.  This may be a duh moment but I think the secret is in getting away from the lead/follow concept.  I know its been mentioned before but couples that dance solely by the man leading and the woman following are going to get bogged down.  While the man has to lead in the sense of initiating the step sequence, selecting the line of dance and avoiding other couples, BOTH partners lead and follow.  How does this occur?  Both have to know the steps and the short step sequences.  Its as DSV stresses, this is achieved by different job allocations but when it comes to executing a step that has been decided on and initiated there is an interplay between the two with respect to who is leading and who is following.  Thus, in say, a foxtrot feather - reverse turn - feather finish - three step, the man initiates the thought but the woman, going backwards actually leads the action.  She does so until the heel turn where her role is to follow the man's lead as he brings her round and she then relaxes (falls) into his lead as he goes backwards until the last step and the three step when she is again in control. 

I have found this amazingly liberating and DP has come to love it - he expresses that sometimes he has to move to make sure he's not left behind Smiley
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TangoDancer
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« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2009, 03:10:47 AM »

When I watch top competetive couples the ones that stand out are those that seem to have almost unlimited power and energy and seem to be unlimited in their ability to cover the floor. 

What gives them this vim?  I am learning that its done by a high degree of independence. 

Your entire post is most accurate, ED. I only highlighted this portion b/c I wanted to say that it is also a relaxed sense of movement that is misconstrued as power. The more we are relaxed; lightened, uplifted in the movement, the easier it is to transfer weight across the floor.

Worked this w/ a competitive couple for 2 hours just today. Happy to hear that you are getting it.
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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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ee


« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2009, 03:19:09 AM »

thanks Smiley  its amazing to discover that taking charge of yourself does not lead to discordance between us but to more concordance.  At first sight that seems nonsensical - how can you dance if you are both doing your own thing?  the answer is that you both do the right thing and you both listen to each other all the time.  Of course, a lot of things have to click into place before that can happen - the man can not listen effectively to the woman until he is reasonably comfortable with the overall lead and if the woman puts inappropriate energy in the couple will fall apart. 

whats also interesting is that the many things we learn - keeping a strong frame, staying in aligment etc etc are obviously designed to permit independent movement to happen - not (as I first thought) to just permit effective one way instruction from the man to the woman. 

And I learned this from pro - lets hear it for pro/am competition as the learning tool Wink
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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...
Some guy
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« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2009, 06:19:09 PM »

I think you're right on ee!!!

DSV says that if two people try to dance like one, they will look like two.  If they dance like two, they will look like one. 

As Tangodancer said, relaxation is really the key.  DSV told me once that flicking a whip is faster and sharper than wielding an iron rod.  Actually, the characteristic crack of the whip is caused by the end of the whip breaking the sound-barrier.  So a flick of a whip can cause it to move faster than the speed of sound, while all the muscle in the world couldn't hope of doing that with an iron rod.  So the more relaxed you are, the faster, sharper, and more powerful you'll look.  What's more amazing: the top dancers seem to have endless energy because they're hardly expending any!  I'm still trying to wrap my head around all this, but it sure beats the pain and suffering I used to endure during practice trying to "produce" speed and power. 
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SwingWaltz
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« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2009, 10:02:13 PM »

I LOVE DSV!!!  Cheesy
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emeralddancer
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Nottingham, MD (by way of NJ)


« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2010, 09:33:51 PM »

I am struggling with this. It is something my instructor does with me, but it is not what is being described here.

I am not an advanced dancer at all. Very much bronze level in steps and in learning. Much still learning just basics as far as where my center(s) is, balance, magic spot, steps, names of steps, not anticipating, etc and so forth.

BUT my instructor will pull this 'power' and dancing 'big' with me durning socials and sometimes durning lessons and it is so gosh darn humiliating on my part because I can not as of yet keep up at all. I feel as if he is literally pushing/pulling/throwing me around the floor for 2 or 3 minutes. If I say anything, I get the 'ol "you have to get use to this if you want to compete.' Or 'I know you can do this, that's why I push you so hard, just stop making excuses and try harder.'
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It is more important who they are as people and only then is it important who they are as dancers.~Marcia Haydee
elisedance
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ee


« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2010, 04:37:04 AM »

Personally I would push back!  Being hauled round the room is not, IMO, very helpful at all since it may move you physically but it does not at all teach you how to move on your own pair of stumps.  I think he needs to tell you when you should move in response to him and when you have to go by yourself.  Its very liberating knowing that sometimes you are not the follower but the leader - its empowering. 
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If you must leave the house, go build a home...

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Some guy
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« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2010, 11:19:36 PM »

I agree with Elise.
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QPO
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« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2010, 04:43:01 AM »

I am struggling with this. It is something my instructor does with me, but it is not what is being described here.

I am not an advanced dancer at all. Very much bronze level in steps and in learning. Much still learning just basics as far as where my center(s) is, balance, magic spot, steps, names of steps, not anticipating, etc and so forth.

BUT my instructor will pull this 'power' and dancing 'big' with me durning socials and sometimes durning lessons and it is so gosh darn humiliating on my part because I can not as of yet keep up at all. I feel as if he is literally pushing/pulling/throwing me around the floor for 2 or 3 minutes. If I say anything, I get the 'ol "you have to get use to this if you want to compete.' Or 'I know you can do this, that's why I push you so hard, just stop making excuses and try harder.'

I would be going someone where esle. I dont beleive that dancing should be that way. One thing to step it out but another to make you feel humilated. Strange teachers Roll Eyes
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samina
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« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2010, 09:33:14 AM »

I've found the capacity for power is all within... how grounded, how relaxed, how free-flowing one's energy is, how concentrated in the core so that one can move greater intensity of energy through one's body and absorb it, contain it, redirect it, and not lose grounding and balance. It's a personal thing, a personal capacity, so each dancer would have to attend to that individually.

Then...bringing that to the table, they can do the same with a partner. But if I can't manage great power through my own nervous system and body-being, I certainly can't manage it whilst plugged into someone else's nervous system and body-being. Lord, I tried. But it's like dancing with a stallion while one is a foal. Smiley

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Some guy
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« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2010, 12:22:18 PM »

... I can not as of yet keep up at all. I feel as if he is literally pushing/pulling/throwing me around the floor for 2 or 3 minutes. If I say anything, I get the 'ol "you have to get use to this if you want to compete.' Or 'I know you can do this, that's why I push you so hard, just stop making excuses and try harder.'

The fact that you can't keep up with him tells me that he's not using his power correctly.  It sounds as if he's exerting his power rather than creating power.  Don't even try to keep up with him.  He has not taught you what your basis for movement is.  Remember, it should feel like he's following you.  Very dangerous and unproductive to try and keep up with him because he's then doing the opposite of what it's supposed to be.  Now, if he wants you to relax more so that your body will automatically keep up with him without so much as trying, then that's a different story.  You should feel like you went for a walk in the park.  It should really feel like your body is breathing a sigh of relief as you fly around the floor if he's doing it right.

He obviously has good intentions for you and he cares enough to take so much trouble with you, but if it's not the right thing, you know what they say: the road to hell is paved with good intentions.  He might damage your body not to mention the fact that you aren't learning to ballroom dance (which I believe is what your focus is).  
« Last Edit: September 20, 2010, 12:52:11 PM by Some guy » Logged
TangoDancer
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« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2010, 05:15:05 AM »

2 things...

1. This is good....

I've found the capacity for power is all within... how grounded, how relaxed, how free-flowing one's energy is, how concentrated in the core so that one can move greater intensity of energy through one's body and absorb it, contain it, redirect it, and not lose grounding and balance. It's a personal thing, a personal capacity, so each dancer would have to attend to that individually.

Then...bringing that to the table, they can do the same with a partner. But if I can't manage great power through my own nervous system and body-being, I certainly can't manage it whilst plugged into someone else's nervous system and body-being. Lord, I tried. But it's like dancing with a stallion while one is a foal. Smiley

2. This is excellent.....

The fact that you can't keep up with him tells me that he's not using his power correctly.  It sounds as if he's exerting his power rather than creating power.
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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.
emeralddancer
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Nottingham, MD (by way of NJ)


« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2010, 11:00:11 PM »

well between whatever "power" and my lack thereof, my rear felt it today as it smacked the floor at full speed and impact as he was deminstrating what I was doing wrong and I was so not prepared for what happened..  Roll Eyes  (it is sore, er rather my back right side sorta between tailbone and side) ow ow ow ......

Amazing when I am doing it wrong (and unaware I am doing it) I am prepared, more so amazing when I am being shown what I am doing wrong and not prepared. Valuable lesson in this.
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It is more important who they are as people and only then is it important who they are as dancers.~Marcia Haydee
elisedance
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ee


« Reply #13 on: September 22, 2010, 04:57:00 AM »

Its beginning to sound like  Judo lesson, not ballroom... Tongue
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The limit of your love is also the limit of your art...
Becca
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« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2010, 12:20:14 PM »

My problem is different..  have lots of power ( I mean go-power and energy, not speed, speed doesn't have much to do with what i'm talking about) but not always the control needed to go with the power... To counter this, I practice things veryyyyyy slowly and work on controlling my dancing a lot (every single time I dance, practice, or walk through the grocery store even...). And since i've started working on this and keeping conscious of this, I think my control has seriously improved. But even slowly, i feel like the power behind it is still all or nothing.

I wonder if one can power through things way too much... sometimes i don't think i know/understand how to dance at a nice medium (unless i'm exhausted and medium is just what happens). It's either all systems go, or walk through it not really trying or dancing.  I fell like my dancing has an on/off switch, there's no in between. Also my dancing is very independent (ballet background, ugggg), I have to consciously remember that I'm supposed to keep my connection with my partner active otherwise I'm just powering through doing my own thing, maybe once I come to a better understanding of that, the 'power' I'm talking about will feel different..?  I know that power and control feel very different when the connection is really active, do you think that's how it's supposed to feel? Or should I strive to maintain that power I do have, and just focus on building more and more control until it feels like they sort of match up?

Does anyone know if this is a good thing? Or a learning curve or something?
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