General Dance Discussion > Hardest dance to conquer

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by MadamSamba, Jan 4, 2004.

  1. MadamSamba

    MadamSamba Member

    Hi, folks. Obviously the answers will be many and varied, but what style of dance or actual dance do you find most difficult?

    Personally, I have a hard time getting my head around dances with foxtrot timing. What about you? Is there a style, a dance or a particular move that seems to thwart you every time?
  2. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    What do mean when you refer to foxtrot timing MadamSamba?

    Personally I find many dances difficult. I'm just a raw beginner, crawling along, and just learning to take my first steps. :)
  3. MadamSamba

    MadamSamba Member

    Sagitta, here in Australia, we have a dance style called New Vogue. It's basically sequenced dances based on old-fashioned dancing. It's beautiful, but also very florrid and filled with fancy moves and great big arm movements. Several of the, the Barclay Blues, for example is done to Foxtrot timing. I hate that because I can never figure out my Q, Q, Slows! :)
  4. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    I was asking about the timing as the Q, Q, S timing basic is identical to rhumba, and salsa. However, S,S,Q,Q pattern is different. This reminds me of country dancing where the q,q is not side, together but forward, forward or shuffle, shuffle. :) That's where the difficulty comes in for me. Melding the two basics together seemlessly when dancing. I haven't done that much foxtrot, anyway, so maybe it's a matter of getting more dancing under my belt. :)
  5. looyenyeo

    looyenyeo New Member

    What a great question, and one that is very close to my heart - the foxtrot.

    I don't believe that there is anything inherently difficult in the concept of timing in the slow foxtrot i.e. SSQQS where 2xQ=1xS, in 4/4 time.

    The tricky bit is learning to keep the leg in motion like a pendulum, and timing the swing in such a way that your foot contacts the floor on the beat, and your weight transfers on to it slightly late on the beat. That way, one of your legs is always in motion, and your bodyweight is always in movement. This is what we call "flight".

    The level of control needed is high, I can only think of tango argentino to match it.

    Try not to think of it as a cluster of steps, more like a flowing stream.

    Sagitta, it's worth the effort. And once you get it right, there is no other feeling quite like it.

  6. suek

    suek New Member

    Well put, and applies to all dances, I think. Certainly to lindy hop. And blues. And balboa. Yes I bravely stand by that "all dances" statement. Otherwise how could it be dancing?

    In privates (thanks DNice!) I keep getting reminded to dance the steps, not step the steps. As in flow. As in movement through the footwork. Instead of clomping around left right to whatever rhythm. HU-U-U-U-GE difference.
  7. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    And . . . what you said suek is so "right on."

    Dancing through the footwork and what you do with your body while doing all those fancy footwork patterns . . . if you still do them. There is so much more to dancing than just doing patterns and moves.

    Since most of the other dances that I do allow me to be an individual and kinda do my own thing . . . the only dance that I do that IS technicla and won't let me do what I want . . . is Waltz. It is my most difficult and most challenging ance that I attempt to do! WCS is the easiest!

    (deleted duplicates of above post - Sagitta)
  8. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    I haven't done lindy or some other swing dances (YET) but I have to vote with looyenyeo and MadamSamba on this one. Foxtrot, hands down. That is, if you want to have the proper footwork and that flowing feeling/appearance looyenyeo talked about.
  9. ballroomboilergirl

    ballroomboilergirl New Member

    Foxtrot timing is a bit tough...however, I don't think I know enough foxtrot yet to really struggle with it...

    ...I find the hardest dances (at least for me) to be mambo, viennese waltz, quickstep, and jive. Ironically, these are also four of my favorites. I think the challenge with all three is that the rhythm is just very FAST, and you have to have a tremendous amount of focus in order to keep up and get the correct footing. And jive just involves a lot of attention to technique and is so daggone tiring! :oops:

    And, in a statement that will probably make some of you hard-core swingers double over in laughter, I also have a hard time with WCS and Lindy Hop. Since I'm so used to 4-count patterns, its hard for me to reconfigure my brain for the 6 and 8 count WCS swing I'm not used to dancing "on the slot", so I often find myself just kinda wandering off :lol: And don't even ask me what my problem is with Lindy...I guess its a multitude of things...the weird posture, the rhythm, swiveling...uggghhh, it makes me dizzy just thinking about it :cry:
  10. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    I like the picture!

    OK, back to reality . . . :roll:

    I too, have a hard time with Lindy Hop . . . I'm very new to it.

    With WCS, the counts will come to you . . . give it time . . . and pay more attention to the music than the 6 or 8 counts! And the slot??? . . . hey, that's my job to keep you there . . .

    Weird postures are fun, and so are the rhythms. Just hang in there. I've been dong the WCS for about 10 years now, and could compete against anyone, yet consider myself a "rookie" in the dance.
  11. tsb

    tsb Well-Known Member

    for leaders, the learning curve is so high for beginners anyway, i would imagine that the first dance would prove the greatest challenge - in terms of the assimilation of posture/balance, rhythm, timing, footwork, and leading. a lot of that will carry over to other dances so the learning curve shouldn't be as steep.

    having said that, it did seem to take a little longer to adapt for argentine tango because the connection and frame are so different from the other dances i'd learned. on top of that, there seems to be so much more variety in terms of style and balance depending on the instructor(s) you choose.

    i've noted that a lot of people have problems getting used to the count in WCS. i think the main issue is that people are thinking steps instead of connection and lead and follow; instead of counting steps, it's mroe helpful to think that a figure ends when the leader initiates the next figure with some sort of body lead. regardless of whether the figure is some variant of a block (sugarpush), pass or whip (change of direction), the connection will dictate when the follower has reached the end of her slot, which can be followed by optional styling in place to fit the musical phrasing before initiating the next figure.
  12. d nice

    d nice New Member

    Actually the main problem with most people getting their heads wrapped around six count timing is not the lead but rather the fact the music is set in 4/4 time... you are on phrase once out of every four six count figures.

    To those that listen actively to the music it feels weird to be dancing off the one... understandably so, especially since so much WCS these days is danced to pop music rather than jazz or blues which regularly have instruments or the vocalist starting in or dropping off the music off phrase.

    Now when you are dancing by direction and momentum instead of patterns it flows more naturally, you are absolutely right.

    Vernacular jazz, hands down is the hardest for me. I'm generally considered good to very good at vernacular jazz but the isolations, the grounding, the complicated and sublte syncopations and on top of all of that the expectation for both rhythmic and body improvisation.... Whoa.
  13. ballroomboilergirl

    ballroomboilergirl New Member

    I think I just had a breakthrough :idea:

    See, like d nice said, I was so wrapped up with being "on beat" with the music that the figures just weren't making sense (timing-wise) for me. I used to have the same problem with hustle...I wasn't necessarily feeling "on beat" at the beginning of each new figure. Then, once someone explained a bit more of the music theory behind hustle to me (Hustle is 3-count dance in 4/4 time; therefore, you are back "on beat" every four steps or measures of music) it all made sense; now, to help myself "forget" the beat, I count Hustle as "&1,2,3 &4,5,6 &7,8,9 &10,11,12. So maybe if I can just come up with a similar counting pattern for WCS I won't feel so awkward...any suggestions?
  14. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    Swing could really get deep into music theory if you let, and if you do, it will really help with the dancing.

    You may want to drop the numbers, learn to "hear" the music . . . maybe counting this way - QQ Q&Q Q&Q and QQ Q&Q QQ Q&Q - for six or eight beats???

    I had to learn Hustle this way for the same reasons that you quoted . . .
  15. ricodancer

    ricodancer New Member

    Hands down, I think the hardest is International Foxtrot. Ay caramba- I'll stick with Latin for now!
  16. dancersdreamland

    dancersdreamland New Member

    Spotting during any kind of dance is particularly difficult for me...I just forget my head and body don't have to move at the same time.
  17. ricodancer

    ricodancer New Member

    Spotting was the most difficult part of learning pirouettes, for me, I think because you have to rotate the head so quickly to produce multiple pirouettes. I don't find it such a problem in ballroom dance, except when I have to spot a partner who is also turning, or quickly spot that partner's hand. I frequently throw double pencil turns into social dancing, especially salsa, and to be able to quickly locate the partner's hand at the end of the turns is a nice challenge.

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