Ballroom WCS versus non-Ballroom

Discussion in 'Swing Discussion Boards' started by toothlesstiger, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. DWise1

    DWise1 Well-Known Member

    That is what my present teacher says. Most NC2S music is light and emphasizes the up-beat. The SQQ only makes sense when you emphasize the down-beat.

    And the final test is that both partners are dancing together.
  2. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    Huge Westie pet peeve of mine: the opposite of compression is tension (that, and the word "height" doesn't have a "TH" sound in it). To me, "leverage" is a synonym for "manhandle," which I don't think is a good objective!
    Bailamosdance likes this.
  3. Dancelf

    Dancelf Member

    My favorite was always "send your energy into the floor." Oh yeah, that makes a lot of sense....

    At least nine times out of ten, when you say "tension", what you get is contraction in the bicep, and to a lessor degree the flexors(?). The result? Followers that feel heavy, that have trouble getting around on turns, and that are easily knocked off balance during a turn.

    It's a problem analogous to describing leads as "push" or "pull"; sure, you can give yourself credit for your uncompromising vocabulary, but most dance instructors are instead judged on the results, which aren't as good.
  4. DWise1

    DWise1 Well-Known Member

    Review your mechanical engineering. Tension is the force directed along a member that tries to pull the ends apart. That is actually the proper term for what the teacher is describing, but most students don't understand it.

    And, yeah, the misuse of "leverage" doesn't make much sense.
  5. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    When we're in a class, the teacher can use whatever terminology gets the point across, and can demonstrate it. Here, on the internet, we only have words, and I would prefer to words that are as unambiguous as possible. Many words that have precise meanings in science and engineering are a lot fuzzier to the general public, but if the words are understood, lets use them with their precise meanings.

    Granted, it's all I can do to keep from cringing every time my teacher tries to apply physics. :rolleyes:
  6. snapdancer

    snapdancer Active Member

    Being an engineer, I understand what tension is from that perspective. But also understand that the unwashed masses use the other meaning for the term.

    Probably best to avoid the use of the mechanical engineering definition of "tension" in a dance context. Maybe use the analogy of a string, and you pull apart the ends of the string, but the pull is only strong enough to take up the slack in the string and not so strong that you create tension within the body. (My meaning of "tension" here is as non-engineers would think of it.)
  7. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    No matter what word you use, without someone physically there adjusting them, "the great unwashed" will still misunderstand. So let's just pick precise, concise terms for discussion.
  8. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    Fine. Most patterns have at least one count where there is neither tension nor compression, turning or not, where you have set the follower in motion and she is moving of her own volition/momentum on the trajectory you set for her.
  9. DerekWeb

    DerekWeb Active Member

    I am not a great WCS dancer, yet I do notice most followers do not wait for the lead to start a pattern(including DW). They start forward when they think they hit the '1'. In an exercise a few years back Nino DiGiulio had the followers close their eyes and he held up fingers for what count we should lead on. Most followers had difficulty waiting.
  10. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Their center should be over the weighed foot on "1," so they have to start moving forward before then.

    With a "good connection" your partner should feel you moving away, or not. But, if there is no break in the music, you would expect that next step to happen, unless there was something else indicated, such as a sideway movement.
    West Coast swing is more of a dance in motion, unlike Argentine Tango, where the default is to wait for a lead before moving (at least in theory).
  11. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    It's not just WCS. And it's not just followers.
  12. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    They still need to wait for the lead. If the leader doesn't lead me out on 1, I stay put.
  13. DWise1

    DWise1 Well-Known Member

    You and me both!
  14. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    Um, yes? What review do I need to do? And compression is the force directed along a member that tries to push the ends together. My issue is with the use of "leverage/extension" instead of tension. In order to leverage something, one must have something else to leverage it against. I suppose one could claim to leverage against the floor, but one is always doing that (unless one has invented a frictionless surface or an antigravity field).
  15. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    swoon....engineer speak
  16. snapdancer

    snapdancer Active Member

    I suspect the author of this had her tongue firmly in her cheek when typing this :)
  17. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Very possibly (probably, even) not. Some of us like that sort of thing. "Brainy is the new sexy."
    fascination likes this.
  18. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    As much as I respect Skippy Blair for the consistency and depth of knowledge she has brought to the non ballroom dance community, this is one place where I think she should have kept looking for a "correct," or at least good word for something. Far as I've been able to see, I think she was the one who popularized this usage.

    This comment, which I don't don't disagree with, but would not make without reservation, has sent me into the research mode to look at reaction times compared to time between steps. Interesting stuff.
  19. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Having recently added pull ups to my work outs (I've been a runner and hiker for decades, and belonged to a gym, where I used the weight machines, for a few years, but haven't much do any upper body training.) I've noticed how hard it is to start from a straight arm position.
    Leverage, it occurs to me. Or lack thereof.

    In West Coast we are told not to go to arm's length.
    I wonder if the "bent arm" is what led to use of the term "leverage."
  20. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    Leverage would be applicable, talking about straight versus bent arm, if you were trying to lift something, because the fulcrum of the lever is at your arm socket. But so many physics terms are misapplied in dance that it could have come from anywhere. :-(

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