one guys beginning dance struggles

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by wiseman, Jun 16, 2010.

  1. Joyful Dancer

    Joyful Dancer New Member

    Ditto to the posts above.. YOU are only responsible for YOUR dancing and no one else's. It is a partnership yes; however, each partner is 100% responsible for their dancing. As for the time you've been taking lessons it is just a tiny beginning. I've been dancing not quite two years and feel as if I "know nothing". My coach has been dancing many years and he continues to take weekly lessons to gain additional skills/knowledge.

    Good luck and please don't be so hard on yourself :)
  2. wiseman

    wiseman New Member

    Seriously, I have no idea what I'd do without this site. Just when things were starting to get really frustrating, people here manage to help me get through it. If it weren't for you guys, I would've given up already. Perhaps I've been way too hard on myself and am expecting to dance like a pro when I've only been dancing for a couple of weeks. Well, make it a month if you count the old studio I went to (which only taught me the basic steps and nothing more).
  3. cl100

    cl100 Member

    Remember, basic steps are still important. You'll always come back to them so don't think that they aren't important.

    It's not about learning new steps. You can learn tons of choreography & if you can't do basics.. then you can't really dance w/ other ppl because we all learn basic steps from different schools. Everyone will have different choreography & they are derived from your basics!

    Have fun! I think that's the most important. if you're frustrated now.. you have WAYYYYS to go.. because we don't ever stop learning & like fashion.. dancing also changes w/ time.
  4. wiseman

    wiseman New Member

    Oh yes, they definitely are! I'm at the point where I've gotten the hang of the basic steps now, which is why the instructors tell me that I'm learning fast. But now that I'm learning new stuff like turns and shines, it starting to get frustrasting.
  5. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    Don't know if this applies to you, but maybe it relates. I taught a little salsa in silicon valley. The typical high-tech type is used to picking up, understanding, and remembering new concepts almost as soon as they see them. These same people would get very frustrated learning dance. They expected learning dance to work the same as intellectual learning. Mistakes should only be made once or twice, they feel. The problem is, the body doesn't work that way. Your brain may understand it, your body needs lots of practice, enough to push the concepts into muscle memory.

    So, to your challenges. First off, with any physical activity, mistakes are negative feedback. If it wasn't unpleasant to make mistakes, you would have no incentive to improve. Just like doing it right provides positive feedback, hits that reward center in the brain, reinforcing the correct movement, even when it was random chance that you did it right that time. You felt it, and you got the mental reward.

    So think of it this way. Maybe you've got to hit that reward center for a particular movement 100 times before that movement gets into muscle memory and you don't have to think about it. Maybe 1000 times, I don't know, maybe it varies by the technique, and how much you have to unlearn to learn the new technique. And how do we speed up that process? Practice :)
  6. kayak

    kayak Active Member

  7. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    learning something physically and understanding it mentally are two different things...folks who are usually book smart have a very difficult time with this...it is important to remember that dance, that most art, is not a fast food sort of endeavor....and that frustration will make it take longer....if you begin to see frustration and impatience as impediments, you will drop them...just hold on to the determination and understand that no matter how talented you are, it is going to be a lifelong process and the better you get the more it slows and the more you truly know how badly you stink at it...dance isn't a possession to be owned and mastered, it is a blessing to be savored...forgive yourself for being an impatient flawed human being...oh, and certainly drop the "it's all my fault b/c i am the man thing"...the women aren't looking at it that way...and it has an underlying albeit unintended arrogance to it...blame games are not useful or attractive...you just apologize when neccessary and smile and do your best...and get accustomed to a bruised ego...b/c dance takes courage and maturity for the long haul...and most of us struggle with that
  8. wiseman

    wiseman New Member

    Interesting article. Thanks. I especially liked this:

    Listen up ladies. The guys have an enormous responsibility. Leaders have to learn how to hold you, take care of you, turn you, make you feel comfortable, and protect you. Give beginners respect, honor, and most importantly, your patience and understanding during their learning process. They will remember how you treated them.

    And I agree. Some women make it hard for us beginner guys and that contributes to my frustration. Not all women are like that (which is good), but some are. And even though it’s only some, it still makes it hard for us. And he’s right. I WILL remember those few girls that acted up on me in the beginning and will not dance with them when I become good. Not because I want revenge, but because of the way she acted. When some women act up like that, it just shows that she’s not very mature.

    I like that chart he put up. I hope he’s right. I really hope my skills get boosted up when I least expect it. I’m sure it will, though. The most important thing is that I don’t give up. Most men give up, which is why most never learn. As long as I have this site, I will never give up. :D
  9. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    the reverse is true as well though...keep that in mind...alot of newb guys with easily bruised egos imagine fault finding where there is none or are quick to fault their follow...and I would urge you to reconsider returning rudeness with rudeness b/c a) you might have read them wrongly and b) progressing beyond them and showing hospitality is far sweeter...


    when I was starting out a more advanced know it all guy got in my face in a group about not following...sheesh, I was just doing whatever I could to figure out the pattern and not step on anyone...I was dumbfounded by his rudeness...my dancing has far eclipsed his now and it is much nicer for me to enjoy the fact that we both know it... in silence
  10. wiseman

    wiseman New Member

    I'm talking about women who stopped dancing with me completely right in the middle of a dance because she was annoyed for whatever reason. I find that a bit rude. Like I said, it was only a couple so far. It only happened twice out of the tons of girls I danced with, so the percentage is very small.

    And when I become good, I will dance with whatever girl is willing to dance with me, whether she is good or not. But if I see a girl that was rude to me in the past, it's not worth asking her to dance. I would ask the girls that I know are kind and considerate.
  11. Joyful Dancer

    Joyful Dancer New Member

    Wiseman, to reiterate what Fascination said, please reconsider your actions regarding the “blame game” and repaying rudeness (actual or perceived). You’ve only been dancing a short while. Trust me, far too many times, in the beginning of my dancing, I was on the wrong side of “It can’t possibly be my fault” and “I’m going to remember how rude so and so was to me tonight”. It is just not worth it in the long run. Dancing can be such a source of joy when we turn off the negative voices in our heads, respect ourselves, respect our teachers, and for sure respect all of our partners. Even if others do not dance by this credo; you will be the better man for having done so. Again, best wishes to you in your dancing pursuits J
  12. wiseman

    wiseman New Member

    You’re all misunderstanding the whole thing. If you invited someone to your house and they were rude to you, would you invite them to your house again? If a guy took a woman out to lunch and she was rude, should the man take her out to lunch again? This is the point I’m trying to make. If a girl is being rude to me when dancing with me, why would I ask her to dance with me again? So she can continue acting up with me?
  13. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    Something that may provide some relief in the long run is the change in emphasis from material to quality of execution. Sometimes classes are targeted so the challenge is merely "surviving" the routine rather than "dancing" it - I've seen cases where even the teacher's own demonstration was quite a struggle. While there is a role for pushing yourself, and for drilling certain steps for speed and accuracy, most of the training time as a dancer is consumed with making things that you can already survive take on an ease and artistic value.
  14. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I think very often, it is wisest to have more than one intereaction with a person before I determine their overall proclivity toward rudeness...so yes...the answer is yes....it takes me a while to decide that someone is permanantly not worth it...a long while...certainly you can choose otherwise and that is also your perogative...the forum is here for people to offer a variety of perspectives...they aren't attacks...they are differing perspectives... unconditional affirmation is rarely what is provided, though there is also plenty of affirmation...which I hope you are noting....
  15. wiseman

    wiseman New Member

    Interesting. Because all the instructors I had said that the man’s responsible for whatever happens in a dance.
  16. wiseman

    wiseman New Member

    Gotcha. I understand now. Thanks! I'll keep that in mind. I guess people here have been through this more than me, so they know more about this than I do. And sometimes I can forget that. So, I apologize. I'll try to be more patient and understanding with all the women no matter what kind of attitude they give me. At this point, I really can't be too judgmental.

    I really appreciate the help you're all giving me. So, thanks again.
  17. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    there is a context for everything...the man is repsonsible for initiating the movement, for how big it is, for the direction in which it is going....it is a daunting role, particularly in the beginning... the lady likewise has a daunting role of trying to interprete that blindly regardless of the skill of the man...which is why I am simply saying that I rarely see or hear of ladies being impatient with new leads unless they are married to them :) or are simply frustrated themselves....and I would say that the bulk of them do not view the "success" of the dance to be on the man...yes, many things are on him and there are some twits out there....but I think to put it into the context in which you are putting it is putting entirely too much pressure on yourself, which isn't good for you...or for your follows...who are there to assist you, not to evaluate you...whether they know it or not
  18. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    it's all good...listen, being new is enough to put anyone on the defense...it is HARD....and all I am saying is that, for me, part of what ballroom can be...is graciousness....if we always return what we think we got, the balance of positive energy out there is going to dwindle to a level that really isn't neccessary...if a person can try to tap into what is most essential about being a good soul in the midst of their vulnerable times, like when they aren't very good at something, it changes everything....but listen...I have felt a similar frustration when I was new...we all empathize
  19. wiseman

    wiseman New Member

    It’s funny how much harder it is for men to learn dancing given the fact that there’s a shortage of male dancers out there. Now I know why so many men refuse to dance or give up. I hope someday women will appreciate me for sticking with this skill and not giving up. Not many men today do that. :D
  20. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I think women who themselves have not given up, remember it is also not a walk in the park for them even if it seems so (and if you doubt that just strap on some three inch heels and start moving backward with no idea what comes next), those women have every appreciation for how easy it would be to quit...I quit once a week for two years :)...it is best not to compare the challenges...they are different and both significant...so appreciate them as well...

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