Ballroom Dance > Finding "your" dancing

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by DanceMentor, Sep 26, 2012.

  1. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    I think it is so easy to compare yourself with others, because competitions are naturally based on comparison. Then so often we look at others and try to decide what we need to do to be better. But is there a point you reach where you know "your" dancing?
    ("your" can also be "our" dancing as in a couple)
  2. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    Hi Mentor, I´m posting kind out of area, because I did not run through the common transmission box of studios, classes, metal-levels and awards:

    I am an autodidact. And so already right from the beginning (I started dancing at the age of 40) every single step was my own effort and thus "my" own dancing.
    Definitely: When you are being asked to teach!
  3. chomsky

    chomsky Well-Known Member

    Being the newbie that I am, I was always afraid my dancing wasn't mine until I had managed to grow up as a dancer and have more than one instructors. All I had ever learned and all the passion I had emanated from the same source. Now I am forced to move on to my next instructors and for the first time I need to find dance and the pasion for dance deep in me. I felt so dependent on my first teacher that I was eager to have a second teacher just to prove to myself dance was in me. This is my challenge: "my" dancing. Nice question DanceMentor.
  4. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    When I discovered that dance wasn't about the moves and connected with both partner and music on a visceral, that was when dance was mine.
  5. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I don't know that I compare myself to others....I watch better dancers, and I evaluate why they are better dancers ...I think about the thinkgs they do that I like...but even that can be considered a measure of my own subjective creativity in determining who I like and specfiically what they do that I'd find worth emulating...and then I spend a decent amount of time also assessing what looks good on me...and decided what to meld into my dancing....and alot of stuff also just happens, which my pro has always technical as he is, he has always felt that it is easier to make an artist a champion ...he has alsways suggested a starting point and encouraged me to explore what works on me emphasizing that he and I don't have to match as long as what we both do looks good....
  6. GGinrhinestones

    GGinrhinestones Well-Known Member

    I think, in the end, I'm still searching for this...but I had a pretty profound moment recently that could probably be explained as a recognition of "my" dancing. I've been dancing one style almost exclusively for a while now, and struggling a bit (as all dancers do) to meet the expectations for what that style should look like and feel like because it never felt natural to me. I enjoyed it, because I enjoyed the challenge...but then I had the wake-up call that I was off track from what had drawn me to dancing in the first place. It's funny, because in a sense it was a comparison with others that brought it out - watching other dancers in my previous style who obviously had such love and drive for it, and realizing that I...didn't. The more I thought about it, the more I realized I was dancing and competing in a whole style of dance because everyone else expected and wanted me to, and I was just too stubborn to quit. So...I quit. Well, not quit, exactly, but switched styles to what had me wanting to dance in the first place. My teacher was a bit concerned at first (but he's coming around), and no one else gets it...but I feel as though I am dancing for ME for the first time since I started dancing...and as a corollary to that, I am discovering "my" dancing for the first time.
    Chr0n, chomsky, debmc and 2 others like this.
  7. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    like...that is so important...
  8. 3wishes

    3wishes Well-Known Member

    i knew i reached my own style of dancing "my" dancing when it no longer mattered to me what the people with the clipboards liked or did not like and that it did not matter if it was a social event or a competition but that i danced because i wanted to, for me and me alone.
  9. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

  10. debmc

    debmc Well-Known Member

    Great question and I am enjoying the answers. I would say that is a goal of mine, to find my own dancing... to the people who have, that sounds great!
  11. latingal

    latingal Moderator Staff Member

    Up until probably this last year, I've concentrated mainly on learning the correct technique and getting it in to body memory to have a solid base to work from. Somewhere in that long process, I began to forget that dancing the technique perfectly would not mean that I was dancing well.

    As of late, my pro and coach have taken to reminding me of this, and have been escorting me out of my head and in to the realm of knowing my own dancing and starting to explore what it is that I naturally bring and wish to bring to my dancing. It's a fascinating process!
    chomsky likes this.
  12. theAnnelis

    theAnnelis Active Member

    Part of me thinks it's the moment when your peers can imitate exactly how you do a of my friends in the studio once showed someone "how Annelis does a New Yorker" and I couldn't believe it, it was exactly what I always saw myself doing in the mirror! LOL
    chomsky likes this.
  13. chomsky

    chomsky Well-Known Member

    I just reread this and realized how much I identify with it!I want to start studying the viennese waltz even if it makes no sense, it does to me! I just need to make my teacher(s) come around...
  14. SwayWithMe

    SwayWithMe Well-Known Member

    Great question!

    I compete ProAm, and have had the same instructor since my very first lesson. I spend many many more hours dancing with him than with anyone else. During my New Year's pondering I came to the conclusion that my dancing was far too tied to him. While I have no wish to change instructors or stop competing with him, I do feel that I was limiting myself by my dependant attitude.

    For me, finding *my* dancing has thus far been about two things. The first is really owning what I dance to the point that the partner of the moment doesn't make or break the experience. Absent a *really* horrific partner, I ought to be able to dance all of my technique with anyone. This was really just a matter of "going for it," and has been so very rewarding -- I have had some wonderful dances with guys who only knew the basic, and dances with the advanced dancers are just mmmm good. You know you've found it when a social dance draws applause! :D

    The second relates to really owning my dance education. In the past, taking coaching with my instructor always comes back to revisiting things afterwards with him in lessons. Taking a few hours by myself with high-level instructors has been amazing, both in what I've learnt and in my ability to self-correct.
    chomsky likes this.
  15. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    I don't know about "my" dancing, but I find bits and pieces come from different teachers. It's more about learning which came from where.
  16. ajiboyet

    ajiboyet Well-Known Member

    Interesting...scary too...
  17. snapdancer

    snapdancer Well-Known Member

    I say that if you're having fun, your partner is having fun, and the people around you are still having fun then it's all good.

    But for myself, I want to have better fun as time goes on.
    5678dance likes this.
  18. ajiboyet

    ajiboyet Well-Known Member

    It definitely matters to me what the people with the clipboards think.
  19. jiwinco

    jiwinco Active Member

    Funny this thread came up, one of my New Year's resolutions was to find me in my dancing again. I looked around the studio and saw that most of teacher A's students danced like teacher A and most of teacher B's students danced like teacher B etc. Then I looked back at my own videos and realized what was missing in myself. I was trying to dance like my teacher and not me, so I look stiff and uncomfortable in current videos. I am technically much better, but it doesn't look natural.... it isn't me.

    So I am on a journey to keep the better technique and just make it me. I lost the fun and the reason I started dancing. I took time off from competing because that allowed me to just relax and find my style. I have been told that I look like my old self. (At one time I was often told that people enjoyed watching me dance because I always looked like I was having so much fun) So, my current effort.... have fun and just dance like myself. Sometimes difficult in the pro-am world.
    chomsky and fascination like this.
  20. dbk

    dbk Well-Known Member

    I'm happiest when I come off the competition floor thinking "that felt awesome!" I get a lot of satisfaction out of getting good marks, sure, but that's icing on the cake.

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