Holding wrists in social dances

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by mindputtee, Dec 29, 2012.

  1. Bailamosdance

    Bailamosdance Well-Known Member

    When I hold a follow in Latin, I grasp her palm not her fingers...
  2. bia

    bia Well-Known Member

    My teacher sometimes holds my wrist in lessons, probably for the reasons Larinda described, and I have no problems with it. But occasionally my DH, playing around, takes my wrist when we're practicing, and my back immediately and involuntarily goes up -- I know he's kidding, and I love and trust the man, but it's a hold that creates/marks a significant power differential, and I'm not comfortable with that with him. I've run into it just a couple of times in social dancing, and I don't like it, though the overall attitude/behavior of the leader can significantly intensify or mitigate the degree of dislike.
  3. cornutt

    cornutt Well-Known Member

    Yeah, that was why I asked the question. It seems to me that the follow is going to perceive that as manhandling, no matter how gently it's done. With all due respect to Larinda, I think a student follow will tolerate things from someone that they know is an instructor that they won't tolerate from someone else.
  4. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    Unless the community as a whole is taught to use it properly.
  5. debmc

    debmc Well-Known Member

    Particularly if the wrist hold is more of a wrist lock... and you are unable to remove your wrists from the person doing it. I've had that done to me before, did not like it, found it very intimidating, especially as a female having a male do it to me on the dance floor.
  6. ajiboyet

    ajiboyet Well-Known Member

    Makes sense. However, I think it's up to the woman to hold her body such that she can pick up clear leads from her fingers and palm.

    Or maybe it's just easy for me to say this because I don't usually follow.
  7. bia

    bia Well-Known Member

    To clarify, what I'm discussing here is not one of the latin holds I was taught, with the leader holding the meat of my hand and his thumb extending along my wrist. What I'm discussing is when the leader's fingers are encircling my wrist, with my hand not involved at all.
  8. JudeMorrigan

    JudeMorrigan Well-Known Member

    Here's the thing that gets me about this. I don't (yet) dance smooth, but when I was doing pro-am latin, there were a few patterns where my instructor wanted me to go with a wrist hold in lieu of a hand hold. After the lessons where she introduced me to these, I tried to apply them at a social dance here in Huntsville. It was really quite obvious that the ladies I used the hold on found it confusing and uncomfortable. So I stopped doing it at that venue. As far as I'm concerned, if I'm social dancing and I'm doing something that's making the lady uncomfortable, I'm doing it wrong.

    Of course, that's not to say that there might not be other venues where it would be just fine. I just think it's worth trying to be aware of the person one's dancing with.
  9. debmc

    debmc Well-Known Member

    As Bia pointed out, there is a difference between when a leader holds on to the follow's wrists with his hand, or a leader encircles the follow's wrists with entire hand/fingers, rendering the follower in "lock down" mode.
  10. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I think there is also a difference between the competitive pro/am dynamic and the social one....your pro knows your intent...in fact, she requested it and has experienced it before...asocial lady with no competitive experience (particularly in that move) may have serious questions/concerns about a hold that seems restrictive...

    like, I don't think twice about coming into contact with my pro in standard, or (now) about placing a hand on his chest.....I know of men at social venues who positively blanch when I forget myself and go into contact in close hod with them...and who continue to quake for most of the dance ...and heaven knows what they would think if I placed a hand upon their chest...i think it is always fair game to tell a social partner that you aren't accustomed to this or that when you dance and to inquire (even if it's right after the dance)as to a particular methodology
  11. JudeMorrigan

    JudeMorrigan Well-Known Member

    Absolutely, that was a huge part of my point. Believe me, I wasn't faulting the ladies in question at all.
  12. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I hear you...I was just making an observation for the benefit of the larger forum
  13. mindputtee

    mindputtee Well-Known Member

    There are some really interesting points here. I don't think I'm a particularly difficult follower, and I know some other girls who I know are good followers who have commented on it happening too. He always asks me, so I can't be that difficult.

    I've always been taught that ballroom is a conversation, the leader suggests a move and the follower decides to comply. I feel that when my wrist is held in such a way (the encircled way, I'd have to wrench it away to drop frame if I wanted) that I'm not longer a part of the conversation, I'm forced to do what he says. It's really interesting to see the very differing perspectives on this though.
  14. bia

    bia Well-Known Member

    As far as this particular leader, given that he uses the same hold with all of his partners, and assuming that he acts as a gentleman otherwise, I would assume that the wrist hold is a convention that he learned in a context where it is more common and/or a habit that he developed because he found that it improved the effectiveness of his lead. If you're curious, I don't see any harm in asking him for reasons; if you'd just prefer a different hold, I don't see any harm in asking for that, either.

    Without the intention of being inflammatory, I'm trying to think of any other context where one person has another person by the wrist that isn't coercive. I'm not trying to impugn anyone's motives, and I recognize that particular positions and movements can have very different meanings in dance than outside dance, but I am not at all surprised that many of us followers don't like it. Since it's not common in our previous dance experience, our automatic interpretation will be according to whatever other connotations we know for being restrained at the wrist.
  15. madmaximus

    madmaximus Well-Known Member

    The few times I've done this in a social-dance context were with ladies who demonstrated severe cases of not-letting-go (in Latin/Rhythm/smooth)--most particularly during under-arm type turns, where the danger of breaking someone's wrist because of momentum is very real.

    Typically, in 1) a social context, I use a finger/palm hold, 2) with a beginning/intermediate, I use a palm/hand hold, and 3) with a competitor (and depending on her level too,) I would use a hand/wrist combination.






    m
  16. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Hi max! Nothing to add. Just glad to see you. I hope you and yours had/are having wonderful holidays. :)
  17. madmaximus

    madmaximus Well-Known Member

    Hi Py!

    I've been SOOOO busy, this is the first real time-off I've gotten this past many weeks.

    I thank you for the well-wishes; indeed, we are enjoying the holidays.

    Likewise, I wish you and yours (and everyone on DF for that matter) the best of the holidays.






    m
  18. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Happy New Year, max! :)
  19. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    Yup, it is a Cuban thing.
  20. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    I have used multiple holds. Sometimes, I use just one finger. It all depends...I have had ladies who don't like those wrist like holds...and one said that she realized I did it from rueda and danced with a lot of beginners...

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