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Author Topic: Floorcraft on the social floor  (Read 6815 times)
cornutt
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« on: October 08, 2009, 10:39:04 PM »

How good or bad is the floorcraft that you see at your usual social venues?  Have you ever had to speak to the studio management or an instructor about someone's floorcraft? 

About three months ago, we were doing a bolero, and a guy who is notorious at our studio for his poor floorcraft entered the floor and took a position near us.  About halfway through our dance, he was off to our right, and he did something I didn't expect and it was too late for me to stop my partner; he kicked her in the ankle.  She had to quit dancing for the night and her ankle was sore for the next week.  I know that one of the instructors spoke to him after that, but he hasn't improved any.  Now, when he comes on the floor, I move to the other end.  This isn't a guy who takes lessons or group classes at our studio.  The only time he shows up is on Friday night.  I don't know where he learned to dance.

However, most of the time, we don't have too many problems with floorcraft at the studio.  There are a lot of newbie couples whose floorcraft isn't so good, but they know it isn't and so they keep their distance from other couples.  Our instructors are good about teaching new couples a few avoidance steps early on, so they have some tools to work with.  Other places in town, not so much...

And I'll repeat a story that I told some time ago on DF.  The venue: a community social on a very large floor at the civic center.  I'm doing a waltz with a partner that I dance with frequently.  Because it's a community event, there are a number of couples there who don't know waltz; they do the drunken-sway in the center of the floor.  I'm moving down the LOD and I spy a drunken-swaying couple at the inside edge of my line.  I prepare to pass them, but just as I get there, the guy takes a huge back step, right into my line!  I try to change angles to avoid them, but wind up running my partner into his partner.  And then he chews me out.   Roll Eyes
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« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2009, 11:36:26 PM »


About three months ago, we were doing a bolero, and a guy who is notorious at our studio for his poor floorcraft entered the floor and took a position near us.  About halfway through our dance, he was off to our right, and he did something I didn't expect and it was too late for me to stop my partner; he kicked her in the ankle.  She had to quit dancing for the night and her ankle was sore for the next week.  I know that one of the instructors spoke to him after that, but he hasn't improved any.  Now, when he comes on the floor, I move to the other end.  This isn't a guy who takes lessons or group classes at our studio.  The only time he shows up is on Friday night.  I don't know where he learned to dance.


Pure jealousy or he wanted to show he's the top dog, even if it's in his own mind.
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elisedance
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« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2009, 04:38:27 AM »

The biggest hazzard IMO is not the bad dancer but the arrogant one - thats the guy (yes, we girls get to complain about guys here Smiley) who 'has the right of way' and is not going to stop for anyone.  Running into you is 'teaching you a lesson' (excuse) but really a reason to excersize his bully skills.  Of course in the process he uses his partner as the battering ram....
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cdnsalsanut
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« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2009, 08:55:00 AM »

Guys who fly into me, if I see them coming, run into my elbow. And I turn so it's me they hit and not my partner.  I'm pretty solid.

Though generally I must say that the ballroom scene in my experience is very polite and well mannered. I haven't experienced any bullies yet and usually when we get hit or hit others it's an honest mistake, we didn't see them or they didn't see us and soon followed by a chorus of "excuse me's" and "sorry about that's" and general begging of forgiveness.

People may find us a bit annoying because we do step out and cover a lot of ground.  That's the way we want to dance, it's not aggressive, it's what we're being taught to do.

I have been kicked and recently my friend from England left the floor in tears after being kicked 3 times in the ankle by a young girl "stepping out" at a salsa dance, but without regard or experience to shorten her turns.  Her ankle was black and blue for a week.  On the other hand, I really don't think the young lady did it deliberately and most salasa dancers, being pretty good dancers, know how to pull things up as the floor becomes more crowded. It's why slot dancing or "New York" style works so well in salsa clubs.

But some people do more rotational or "cuban rueda" style and when you swing around each other, if you don't stay on your "rails", then someone is gonna get kicked.
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TangoDancer
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« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2009, 06:00:26 AM »

The biggest hazzard IMO is not the bad dancer but the arrogant one -

Spot on, ED.
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Ginger
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I see what you did there.


« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2009, 02:40:55 PM »

What's really fun is to single out the people who refuse to dance safely, barrel right for them until you see the whites of their eyes widen, and then veer sharply, quickly off, completely avoiding them, but leaving them thinking they're goners.
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elisedance
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« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2009, 04:09:14 PM »

mmm.  of course what really happens is that they react in the wrong direction and you have the most G^&* awful crash - which you are blamed for ....
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Dancerette
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« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2009, 06:48:58 PM »

In all seriousness, what can we do about the obliviots who have no idea that they are dancing aggressively or with poor floor craft?
My two biggest pet peeves are the ones who stick in the fast lane doing a slow hug and suffle, and then suddenly execute a zig zaggy backwards thing out of nowhere just as you are about to try to overtake and pass them (as what happened to cornutt)

Or the ones who think everyone is in awe of their abilities when in reality we're all staring in horror that we might be the next victim of their manic arm styling or out of control lunging?

They can be the nicest people in the world, but drive us crazy on the dance floor; we don't necessarily want to alienate them, nor do we want to become known as the "crabby dancers", right?
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elisedance
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« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2009, 07:00:02 PM »

It really is a no-win situation.  The only thing to do (unless you own the studio that is Cheesy) is to give them a wide berth.  Or, I suppose, to do the Ginger dummy-crash treatment!
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Ginger
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I see what you did there.


« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2009, 08:49:14 PM »

Actually, they usually just freeze and hunker until we've blown over. :-D
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TangoDancer
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« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2009, 11:35:39 PM »

In all seriousness, what can we do about the obliviots who have no idea that they are dancing aggressively or with poor floor craft?

You can ask them to leave the floor. If they persist, you can ask them to leave the dance. If enough persons do this, they will change their behavior, or pick up their shoes and attitudes, and leave.
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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.
Dancerette
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« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2009, 04:56:28 AM »

In all seriousness, what can we do about the obliviots who have no idea that they are dancing aggressively or with poor floor craft?

You can ask them to leave the floor. If they persist, you can ask them to leave the dance. If enough persons do this, they will change their behavior, or pick up their shoes and attitudes, and leave.

Oh, I wish this would happen, I do, I do! There seems to be this huge reluctance on behalf of dancers to step up and say something, probably for fear of causing an altercation. Nobody wants to be seen as the trouble starter, and lord how embarrassing if an actual fight would break out! The management doesn't want to lose business; around here, as long as they're getting their admission dollars, they're happy.

We've mentioned it to a few instructors that perhaps floor craft could be something better covered during lessons and I do think they try, but people get out on the floor and forget the basic rules.

This weekend, we encountered a few couples totally dancing the wrong direction during standard dances. I did smile at one guy and say "wrong way, bud"; he looked alarmed and sheepish but seemed to no know how to start coming with us. I could tell he was trying to figure it out in his head, but it wasn't working for him.

We're thinking of hitting some out of town dances, ones where we've heard floor craft is better monitored. We're pretty conscientious, so should fit in OK.
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cornutt
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« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2009, 10:51:57 AM »

This weekend, we encountered a few couples totally dancing the wrong direction during standard dances. I did smile at one guy and say "wrong way, bud"; he looked alarmed and sheepish but seemed to no know how to start coming with us. I could tell he was trying to figure it out in his head, but it wasn't working for him.

A simple rule to tell newbies dancing smooth/standard is the old roller/ice skating rule: "don't cross the center of the floor".  It's usually when they try something fancy that they don't really know that they cross the center of the floor and then wind up dancing against LOD.  I do wish that instructors, especially in group classes, would avoid teaching steps that have elements where the step turns against LOD to newbies.  (Although in tango, if you want to get much beyond T-A-N-G-O, it's kind of hard to avoid.)
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QPO
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« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2009, 04:00:06 AM »

yes saw a crash in tango yesterday because someone went against line of dance. when we do so it is in the corners so we tend not to get in anyones way.
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Ginger
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I see what you did there.


« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2009, 11:04:58 PM »

Uh... we dance a lot of tango, and there aren't a lot of the figures going contra LOD for more than one count- and you can also always rotate them- that's our argument for the open left box- people go forward, but then start going right backward again instead of rotating and opening it.
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