Developing Showmanship

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by pygmalion, Nov 16, 2003.

  1. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Rumba? Slut? No. Woman in love. Harken back to those days when you were falling in love with your sweetie, pull up a romantic thought or two, and have at it. :wink: :D
  2. mamboqueen

    mamboqueen Well-Known Member

    Well, he tells me to vacillate back and forth. Actually, I hate to admit it, but slut is probably easier than love! *LOL* Remember back to the days when I fell in love. . . . oh, Jenn, twelve years, two kids and very little sleep makes one's memory a little vague over time.
  3. Warren J. Dew

    Warren J. Dew Well-Known Member

    I think there are actually at least two separate things that can be considered part of 'stage presence'.

    One of these is having a look which draws the eye - which, I believe, consists primarily of having good posture. If you hunch and slump, people will tend to look past you without noticing you; if you stand up straight, they will see you. Some people have such incredibly good posture that every eye will be on them even before the music starts.

    The other is audience interaction - involving the audience in your performance, responding to them and giving them a feeling of involvement so they can respond to you.

    I'd note that neither of these, though, constitute good dancing by themselves. In good dancing, movement is even more important than posture, and interaction with one's partner more important than interaction with the audience. Those are the things that I really like to see.
  4. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    I agree with most of what Warren said, but I think there's also an even more elusive quality. It's almost like the ability to look like you are moving even when standing still - I think it's an "energy" thing of some sort.
  5. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    Presence?
  6. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

  7. tasche

    tasche New Member

    Mambo Queen For the rhumba I think more of unrequited love than flirty slutty thing. I think that has more intensity.

    Regarding wat Chirs is talking about. Some of the top ballet dancers have that "thing" about them like they could affortless step into an incredible combination at any moment. Body flight perhaps. Its a certian " I dont know what"

    Perhaps because there is so much skill and technique in standing still that you dont think about. Certainly in ballet this is true and I could list about 10 corrections made to me in class based on my "standing" alone
  8. etchuck

    etchuck New Member

    So I asked this question to my private lesson instructor (Dan Calloway, again for those who want to know). Essentially, one has to be able to interact with the audience. If you are doing a presentation, you want to make eye contact with your audience. Same thing here. So yes, you can/should smile and look out towards the audience if you're not looking at your partner (but you should still be wary of your audience anyway).

    The other thing is to remember what makes your dances characteristic of each other. Stretch out your lines as much as possible. Move deliberately from position to position. Do whatever you really make your hip motion move (well, not "whatever" but there are things you can do).
  9. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    So how come my dancing and public speaking thread crashed and burned?!? :wink: :lol:
  10. etchuck

    etchuck New Member

    Well, I guess both public speakers and dancers would get more attention if they were naked... :shock: anyway...
  11. mamboqueen

    mamboqueen Well-Known Member

    Eeek! The last thing I want to see are naked swing dancers! I don't care WHAT kind of shape they're in!
  12. Genesius Redux

    Genesius Redux New Member

    At least nobody would ever have to ask what "swing" means again.... :wink:
  13. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Swing? :roll: :lol: :lol:
  14. mamboqueen

    mamboqueen Well-Known Member

    I'm sure there would be a lot more dance-related injuries. Maybe a new line of medical practice, for that matter!

    Gosh, you could go lots of places with this topic, but I think I'll just go home and cook dinner for my kids!
  15. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Good idea, mamboqueen. It only deteriorates from here! :wink: :lol:
  16. dancerdol

    dancerdol Member

    Bumping up this thread- I have had some feedback recently on my dancing - I seem to have a lot more "presence" "showmanship" etc. in my Open Bronze and Silver dancing (1st and 2nd place) from the judge and audience feedback in my last two comps then in my Closed Silver dancing where I'm not making Finals in Scholarship. I think of the definition of presence in competitive ballroom dancing similar to stage presence for an actor - the technique should be a given - it's the choice of costume, attitude on and off the floor, energy, personality, engagement and interaction "connection" with my Pro and the audience, spontanaeity even within the choreography, everything coming together to make a performance watchable and memorable. I find it is much easier to "perform" in Open (I've also been dancing these routines for a year longer then the Closed) - striving to now bring this same joie de vivre and confidence to Closed. Anyone else facing similar challenges? Or already moved past this point and have some advice? Thanks!
  17. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I think there are lots of factors...even somtimes what we think is in play actually isn't...sometimes the competition is steeper in closed silver...sometimes things vary due to a panel or from comp to comp....for me, showmanship is the easy part......I do think open choreo allows one to really milk it...but I also think that if you can do that in closed silver it has even greater impact because it isn't found there as often......I don't know that I find it harder in closed silver...I find it harder in any routines that are newer...I think it takes a long time to know something so well that alot of the spontaneity of how you want to play it has the freedom to come out...in my silver, I know it...cold...I know how to handle whatever is going to happen on the floor to interrupt it......in my open, I have has less time with how we are going to navigate traffic or pick up from where we left off or shorten a side or whatever, I have to be much more clear-headed...with my closed, I can just go out there and sell and experience the dance...so I think for me it isn't the level, but the degree of comfort with the material that is most conducive to that aspect.....I also think that in the silver, because I am very very comfortable with the degree of technical info I have, I don't feel like I need more to shine and I feel very comfortable using what I've got...in gold/open, I have much more to do and some time to go before I am so solid on that ...and am able to let the best of the fun part of selling it really come out to play consistantly....for me, that is more about the amount of time put in with it than the level
  18. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    let me add: I have seen you dance...and I think your showmanship is a strong suit...
  19. dancerdol

    dancerdol Member

    Thanks fasc - I appreciate the compliment and your overall comments are great for the entire forum. I agree that experience with the routines makes a difference - I've been dancing the Open Silver routines (they are upgraded from my Open Bronze) twice as long as the Closed Silver and maybe I just need to work harder at my dance position and be patient. : ) I noticed that I have the opposite challenge then you do - I can navigate any traffic etc. in my Open routines - I'm like "bring it on!!!" LOL
  20. debmc

    debmc Well-Known Member

    So is there a difference between the showmanship we should be demonstrating when we are doing closed syllabus vs open routines? Should closed routines be more about demonstrating clean technique with the syllabus steps, and open be about adding artistry and performance as well?

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