Ballroom Dance > Close to giving up.

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by dgarstang, May 10, 2013.

  1. It does sound like you might want to look around at other dance schools for more consistent lesson provision. In response to your comments about socials:

    You've just ruled out 3 opportunities to dance! Make the most of every dance you have learned - you bothered to learn them, so use that knowledge. Even if they're not you're favourites, they are opportunities to build your confidence, and you might find your opinion of the dances improves once you have made the effort.

    Don't underestimate the value of basics. It sounds like you haven't had all that much experience of actually dancing at socials - so you're obviously going to have to start out with basics before you move on to the more exciting stuff. If the floor is busy, resorting to basics is fairly standard practise I think for a lot of couples at socials. Frankly, it can actually be more enjoyable because you feel less pressured than if you are trying to deal with advanced figures in a compromised space.

    Social dancing = social + dancing. The 'doing the basics' part is a component of the experience which should ultimately result in more accomplished dancing and more comfortable, even enjoyable social interactions, if you're prepared to give it a chance and make the most of the opportunities it offers. If this really holds no appeal, then maybe you want to shift your focus to competitions, although I'm sure a lot of floorcraft skills essential for competition are picked up primarily at socials.
  2. SwayWithMe

    SwayWithMe Well-Known Member

    So very true! It is easy to feel one is "past" basics, but they are a wonderful place to figure out connection with an unfamiliar dance partner, make smalltalk without having to think too hard about the dancing, and, of course, apply the new technique one has learnt this week. Technique is what makes for good dancing, not an extensive library of patterns.
  3. Janson

    Janson Active Member

    I do so agree with this!
    It was just yesterday that I was dancing with a beginner, and whilst I was still trying to provide the best lead and frame to help - I found Cha basics and Waltz natural turns to come back smooth and easy. I worry more when social dancing that I'm boring my partner with simple stuff but then think - if I'm not getting bored at this, why should they? It's much nicer to have a simple, clean and successful dance with someone than trying lots of complicated steps and getting them wrong.
    chomsky and twnkltoz like this.
  4. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    in my experience, the only people who get tired of the basics are people who can't do them well
    flightco, debmc, SwayWithMe and 8 others like this.
  5. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I would far rather dance basics with someone I don't know than a bunch of flashy stuff
    SwayWithMe, danceronice and twnkltoz like this.
  6. manteca

    manteca Member

    I think it also helps to cultivate a dance group you can go out with. I'm always socializing and getting people's numbers in class if I get the chance and send out an FB or text blast when I'm headed to any dance location. Even if just 1 person shows up, it's better than none. And if 10 people show! Whee it's a party!

    The nice thing about going out with a dance group is that you can "play" and have fun, it doesn't have to be such a serious and terrifying thing. I'm mainly interested in Latin, but if a Foxtrot or Waltz comes on you can grab a friend and say, look I don't really know how to do this, but can we just go with it and see what happens? Or maybe some nights, you find a few people who are interested in the doing the Samba, so you practice together and later decide to all join a group class together.

    The best part is your dance group can attract other like minded people, especially if they are also alone, so you'll usually keep meeting more and more people with the same interest in dance. It's a good feeling when you've gone out or met up with your group and you get that great compliment "gee I'm glad I met you guys, I came here all alone".

    And don't get the idea that I'm somebody who is super social. When I enter a dance hall by myself and I don't know anybody, you can usually find me standing next to a plant like a wall flower. It's very normal to be like that. But eventually because I've had good experiences with other friends, I've broken out of that shell and eventually will ask somebody to dance, even if it takes me 20-30 minutes to size up the crowd :)
    chomsky and twnkltoz like this.
  7. Soulmate61

    Soulmate61 Active Member

    dgarstang said:
    Social dancing, ie doing basics over and over holds no interest for me.

    Nowadays in WDC-run latin world championship, every round will have 1 of 5 dances restricted to basic moves in the book, e.g. in Round 1 basic cha cha only, in Round 2 basic jive only, and so on. In an era of ever wilder deviation into athletic invention and circus moves, the basic syllabus reaffirms and protects the spirit and character of a dance, signally different from 4 other dances.

    Unsurprisingly world champions dance basic better than anybody else, you can see the flavour, finesse and purity of movement. On basic steps the best stand out from the ordinary like Rolls-Royce and Leonardo da Vinci.

    If social quickstep comprising the same 3 steps repeated round the room gets boring, then fair enough that would be ultra-basic needing variety and spice. In social dancing when steps are plain and without spice I try to dance the best way I can, better than last time given an understanding from last time of what partner will permit.

    Sure I am waiting for the perfect partner. Miss Cinderella where are you, your glass slipper awaits. :D
  8. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    size 6.5 uk please :)
    Soulmate61 likes this.
  9. Soulmate61

    Soulmate61 Active Member

    Would basic styling do, Cindy?
  10. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I prefer simplicity :)
  11. Soulmate61

    Soulmate61 Active Member

    One moment I was close to giving up.
    ♥ ♪ The next moment brings rainbows and roses, ♥ ♫
    such is the wonder of dance.
    chomsky and fascination like this.
  12. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    HAAHHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA spat coffee at my computer
    fascination likes this.
  13. dlliba10

    dlliba10 Well-Known Member

    From what I understand, that rule (1/5 being a basic dance per round) has been discontinued. But I totally agree with the intention behind it and everything else you say.
  14. jfm

    jfm Active Member

    I thought doug didn't like social dancing and was all about the group classes? I'm probably misremembering and I can't be bothered to go back and look at that thread from a while back. I'm confused about what he's looking for.
    Is he going with the intention to dance?
    Is he going with the intention to socialize generically with dance as an easy ice breaker?
    Is he going with the intention of meeting a special lady?
    I think expressing his motivation and priorities in and honest way (without fear of people yelling at him) might be best for people to give appropriate feedback.
    We are all assuming that his motivation is to be a top dancer, but what he may really want is to be able to make it around the room enough to get by (without getting bored by his own moves hence being annoyed by doing basics all the time), while the prime target is making friends?
    And I think if that is the case, it's ok.
    Doug, if you are there, does this make any sense? Would framing answers in this context make more sense?
    Apologies if this ground has long since been covered and I've come across as presumptuous. I don't think theres anything wrong with liking dance as the backdrop to socialising and sometimes it feels (not necessarily on DF, but more in real life!) that one will be horribly judged for saying so...
  15. jfm

    jfm Active Member

    AT would probably drive him to a break down. It is BRUTAL. I would not recommend it for anybody with high levels of performance anxiety.
  16. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    or high levels of social anxiety!
  17. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    or a low tolerance to red wine ,cigars ,and arrogance:eek:
    danceronice, dbk and twnkltoz like this.
  18. dbk

    dbk Well-Known Member

    Yeah, not gonna lie, I usually have to avoid the AT section of this board, let alone actual AT communities.... and mine is not a fragile dance ego...
    danceronice and leee like this.
  19. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    The AT section of this board scares me off AT in reality. And I really don't think a complicated system of eye contact and gestures is a good idea for someone with social anxiety as that makes reading social cues even MORE complicated.
    Sania likes this.
  20. dgarstang

    dgarstang Member

    Hi all. Didn't know the thread was still going, sorry. I've been trying to "just do it" lately. I'm not ashamed to admin that a little medication has helped with the social anxiety over the past few weeks. The fact that I've had a little pushing from my instructor and some of her fellow students has helped.

    Had a bit of a setback at tonights party though. Took my medication, and all started out fine. However, neither my instructor nor any of her other students where there tonight. I was on my own. As the party started, I sat there and watched the dance board. Ok, a samba, I'll sit this one out, then a west coast swing, and oh, now a viennese walz, and then a few more I'm not familiar with or excited about. Frustration levels and boredom starting to rise now. By the time a foxtrot comes up, I've lost my nerve and it goes down hill from there.

    Here's kind of a run down on my feelings of the dances:
    Foxtrot: Love it to death. Favourite.
    Waltz: Also love it.
    Tango: Like it, but CBD keeps cutting the group classes and my confidence is low.
    Hustle: Same as above. CBD cut the class.
    EC Swing: Great. Love it
    Cha-Cha: Great. Love it.
    Viennese Waltz. Would love to learn. How do the people on the dance floor learn it? I've never seen any group classes for it.
    West coast swing: I just do not get this dance. It makes no sense to me.
    Samba: Don't really like it.
    Rumba: Slow. Bores me. (Signed up for a class a few months ago but I was the _only_ person so they scrapped it).
    Salsa: Don't really like it. Kinda meh. Seems like a crappy version of cha-cha to me.

    So, at the end of the day, all I'm dancing at parties is waltz, foxtrot, ec swing, cha-cha and that's about it. I talked to the dance director there about adding some more classes and he said that they typically don't like to keep classes going for very long because people don't want to do the harder stuff, and when they do tie up an instructor in a group class that continues on and expands on previous months, that instructor is tied up from teaching other easier classes that people want. He didn't really want to do the hustle as a series group class because they have that as a drop in on Saturday night. I've tried that class (beginner) a few times and had to drop out because I couldn't keep up. Note to instructors.. Leaders can't follow your footwork if you put everyone in a circle and the leader is facing you!

    I learn best when I start a series group class early and build on it each month, like I have been with the foxtrot and walts classes now for the past 8 months or so. Fortunately they haven't cancelled those yet.

    Now, I know this is going to sound really hypocritical, as I'm nothing that special myself, but during the first foxtrot and waltz tonight I watched. I was watching to see if there was anyone I would like to dance the next one of those with. I was casing out who I thought might be about my level, who knew some of my steps, or might in fact just be plain better than me, and therefore I might learn something from dancing with them. However, as I sat there watching, I was so uninspired. No one seemed to be doing it 'right' (see this is where I know it sounds hypocritical, sorry), their timing was off in general and it looked like people where just downright fudging their footwork

    What would also probably help (and I've said this before) would be if some of the followers that attend my group classes with me where to actually go to the parties. That doesn't happen. I'd be much happier dancing with them, at least on occasion, (yes, because I admit it would be slightly less anxiety inducing as I already know them), but I'd also know that they would about the same level as me, and kind of know what types of things I might be doing. Also, it's been suggested that I ask some of my fellow group classes members if they would like to practice with me. I'm only in a waltz and foxtrot group class at the moment and they are either all couples, or not anyone I think I'd really get benefit from practicing with.

    Once again, this wasn't anxiety tonight. It was just... I seem to want more from the parties than they are able to provide. I went to the taxi dancing last night at CBD, and yes, it was great to dance some dances with the instructors. That's always useful. However, the attendance was pretty bad and I spent the rest of the time chatting to my instructors other students. They seemed fine with this. That's all good, but I don't want to spend the majority of an hour at a party, not actually dancing. I joked that I could just bring some of my work with me and do that in between the instructor dances.

    A similar thing will happen at Cubberley tomorrow night, except it probably be worse if I go there. The quality of the dancing is a lot lower than CBD in my humble opion. I'm wondering if I should double down on the medication, find a way to wear PANTS tomorrow night and go back and try CBD again. I kind of wish there was smooth-only dance parties around, but that would never garner enough interest. I'm always amazed at how many more people go to the salsa parties at CBD that the ballroom parties. What it is with salsa?

    Dance Boulevard in San Jose only has salsa dancing on Saturday nights, but tomorrow night seems to be a showcase event for them, so that's not really feasible.

    I started up private lessons with my instructor again today. I really don't want to waste the money I'm giving her by not having a chance to actually USE what I learn.

    My instructor mentioned the International Grand Ballroom ( Maybe at least going along as a spectator to the upcoming one. That's cool. I'll check it out. However, how does that help my short term socials? I'd like to do both.


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