Ballroom's Place in Society

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by pygmalion, Dec 12, 2003.

  1. chrislo

    chrislo New Member

    I don't know about the US but here in the UK there are plenty of places where ordinary people go out to dance together. In these places the competitive dancers are in the distinct minority. I spend most of my Saturday nights doing just that, and once a month run a social dance. The emphasis is on social, to me there is no point in learning to dance if you don't use it but there are many people who just do classes and go home.
     
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  2. chrislo

    chrislo New Member

    Ta will read through
     
  3. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    Actually, Tango was first introduced by Frenchman , Pierre, early 20s, who briefly danced Tango with one Eve Kelly. I would bet that, this version was much closer to the original, as it came from Paris.. however, Jacques, who was of the time period , was most certainly the one who re-designed the dance to fit into the current B/room picture .

    Scrivener advanced Henrys ideas ,to what we see today and, yes , he was a lot later than Henry ( middle to late 30s... Henry, 20s ) .

    Jacques was one of the original founders ,of what today is known as the Rev. technique . As to why the English went the path they did ?.. just look at all the other dances, and ask the same question.. if you come up with a definitive answer, let me know !
     
  4. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    thank you tangotime :) you are a true wealth of history. I hope there is somewhere that you are keeping all of this written down, besides little snippets here. Because when we all end up thinking wiki is the truth we need someone who can actually set us straight.
     
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  5. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member


    There are so many who contribute, and, I still learn from them .
     
  6. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    If I may return to the original topic for a minute...I think the reason Americans in general don't dance is an issue of ego. A lot of people I talk to who won't take up the hobby say it's because they are afraid of looking stupid. They think it will be hard to learn. Or, they go ahead and take one lesson and give up because it was hard. Um...so? Whatever happened to facing a challenge head on just to see if you can do it? The typical modern American wants everything to be easy. Instant gratification. They want to look like the dancers on DWTS now, and if they can't, why bother?
     
  7. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Again, it depends. There are many excellent articles that have references from published, high quality sources.
    That little blurb about foxtrot came from someone's masters thesis for example.

    The key to evaluating wikipedia articles is to look for references. If there aren't any, well, it doesn't even meet wikipedia's standards. But if no one is interested enough to fix it, it stays that way.
    Look for references!
     
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  8. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    I shall now borrow shamelessly fromt the Waltz article in Wikipedia. 'Cause I'm the one who put this material in the article.
    Note the references

    There are several references to a sliding or gliding dance,- a waltz, from the 16th century including the representations of the printer H.S. Beheim. The French philosopher Montaigne wrote of a dance he saw in 1580 in Augsburg, where the dancers held each other so closely that their faces touched. Kunz Haas, of approximately the same period wrote that, "Now they are dancing the godless, Weller or Spinner."[1] "The vigorous peasant dancer, following an instinctive knowledge of the weight of fall, utilizes his surplus energy to press all his strength into the proper beat of the measure, thus intensifying his personal enjoyment in dancing".[2] The wide, wild steps of the country people became shorter and more elegant when introduced to higher society. Hans Sachs wrote of the dance in his 1568 Eygentliche Beschreibung aller Stände (1568).[1]
    At the Austrian Court in Vienna in the late 17th century (1698) ladies were conducted around the room to the tune of a 2-beat measure, which then became the 3/4 of the Nach Tanz (After Dance), upon which couples got into the position for the Weller and waltzed around the room with gliding steps as in an engraving of the Wirtschaft (Inn Festival) given for Peter the Great.[3]
    The peasants of Bavaria, Tyrol, and Styria began dancing a dance called Walzer, a dance for couples, around 1750. The Ländler, also known as the Schleifer, a country dance in 3/4 time, was popular in Bohemia, Austria, and Bavaria, and spread from the countryside to the suburbs of the city. While the eighteenth century upper classes continued to dance the minuet, bored noblemen slipped away to the balls of their servants.[4]
    In the 1771 German novel Geschichte des Fräuleins von Sternheim by Sophie von La Roche, a high-minded character complains about the newly introduced waltz among aristocrats thus: "But when he put his arm around her, pressed her to his breast, cavorted with her in the shameless, indecent whirling-dance of the Germans and engaged in a familiarity that broke all the bounds of good breeding—then my silent misery turned into burning rage."[5]
     
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  9. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Don't know if you all ever look at the country western thread, so you might not know that here in Portland, there is at least one place that has dancing five nights a week. I dance there twice a week. It is as you say, social dancing with all of the pluses and minuses. There's another CW place across town that gets a younger crowd.
    "Country Western" dance takes in a fair number of dances in these parts, and everywhere else I've gone to dance.

    There are also many other places for other genres of dance: Argentine Tango, salsa, West Coast Swing, etc.

    Wolfgang, for one, (who hasn't been heard from for a while) always pounded on the fact that "Ballroom" was a more controlled, safer, kinder gentler environment than other dance venues. I think there was a lot of truth to that.
     
  10. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    one of the great things about knowing very little is that you can always claim to be the expert at what you are doing because no one but you knows what it is....it is a quick and easy way of attempting to diminish the reality of one's own inedequecies...I have danced with improvisational masters...they had a lovely time
     
  11. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    "Whether it shall be the simplicity or even the over-vigorous robustness of the peasant dance on the one hand, or the elegance and over-elaboration of the professional dancer on the other hand, is a natural tug-of-war, which we shall watch operating through the century."

    That's a quote from Lloyd Shaw's "The Round Dance Book - A Century of Walzing" copyrighted in 1948. Anyone interested in dance history in the US could do a lot worse than look at this book. Shaw also wrote a book called "Cowboy Dances."

    Here's a bit more about waltz in the US.

    Within Country Western waltz there are the Spanish Waltz and the more modern (for the late 1930s- early 1950s) Pursuit Waltz. At one time it was considered ill treatment for a man to make the woman walk backwards in some locations.[15]
    In California the waltz was banned by Mission fathers until after 1834 because of the "closed" dance position.[16] Thereafter a Spanish Waltz was danced. This Spanish Waltz was a combination of dancing around the room in closed position, and a "formation" dance of two couples facing each other and performing a sequence of steps.[16] "Valse a Trois Temps" was the "earliest" waltz step, and the Rye Waltz was favored as a couple dance.[17]
     
  12. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    Good breeding - And thus we are back on topic

    Only five years later it became a fashion among all aristocrats to dance the crude bavarian, mazurkish, schottish, or bohemian (note the double meaning of bohemian) waltzes. Also the folk music was incorporated into the courtly repertoire.

    ballroom - courtly - high society - rural - country - downtown - folklore

    Altogether no question of etiquette, money, class, tradition or blood: Only a question of fashion.
     

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