Ballroom Dance > Pro Am where Am is the male

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by 123N, Oct 25, 2005.

  1. alemana

    alemana New Member

    and here i thought if your pro had lots of students, poured lots of money into comps with pro-am entries and was a good politicker, then you tended to get higher marks! oh wait.
  2. DancePoet

    DancePoet Well-Known Member

    Lets hope not.
  3. cornutt

    cornutt Well-Known Member

    Er... um... the other side of that coin is that quite a few women have no interest in dancing in an am couple, having to suffer with someone who just might be a less-than-perfect lead. I know of more than a few female competitors who never, under any circumstances, dance with anyone other than their instructor.
  4. cornutt

    cornutt Well-Known Member

    Tsk, tsk, such cynicism! Not to say that it isn't warranted sometimes... :x
  5. alemana

    alemana New Member

    i know, silly me, right?! whatever was i thinking!!
  6. Dancefever

    Dancefever New Member

    (sorry, this is added for clairity)

    Originally Posted by mamboqueen
    The thing I notice most about the male pro/am dancers I've seen -- and this is strictly my opinion -- they don't seem to show a range of emotions from dance to dance. I noticed this with David, too. I thought his expression (and he did show some) was not that different in rumba than it was in cha cha. Having said that, I still couldn't take my eyes off of Diana and David.

    Let's pick David apart along with the other male "students".

    I don't think that comment is at all fair, in fact it is stereotyping.

    If I said that the women amateurs in pro/am tend to be (as an example only) "more out of shape" than the female professionals, could that be taken the wrong way? Is it fair? Is it stereotyping or just my opinion?

    In Dancebeat I have read where the columnist point out where some women professional competitors need to "get in shape" if they expect to move up. So this is something the judges take seriously, but is it right?

    Maybe I just took the comment too personally.
  7. alemana

    alemana New Member

    what comment exactly? can you quote it please?
  8. alemana

    alemana New Member

    oh, you're reacting to the comment about emotional expression. having gone back and read it - yeah, you're definitely over-reacting... perhaps the comment hit close to home in some way. the word "stereotype" is far too strong for the very mild comment MQ made.
  9. alemana

    alemana New Member

    but that aside - i h avent' seen this particular pro-am couple dance, and i'd like very much to. i haven't seen terribly much "high level" pro-am dancing at all, just one comp, USDSC this year, so it would be nice to get a fuller view of what i'm up against. there is a local couple i have seen many times where the am is the guy, and seeing them work together on the floor was one of the things that made me *want* to do pro-am, actually. it had some semblance of a partnership, and i liked that.
  10. alemana

    alemana New Member

    (probably also has something to do with the fact that there isn't, in this case i'm talkinga bout, a huge age difference between the two of them. that helps 'equalize' things subconsciously to me, i think.)
  11. Dancefever

    Dancefever New Member

    Generalizing? Is that better?
  12. alemana

    alemana New Member

    jesus that huge eye avatar of mine is starting me make me a little crazy. i feel like i'm in the panopticon, only the person watching IS MYSELF!!! yikes.
  13. Dancefever

    Dancefever New Member

    Having done Pro/Am as a male student, it is much harder than it looks. As a guy, I have to carry myself and effectively lead, otherwise it just looks like two people dancing, not dancing together. If the woman professional attempts to cover for the man, it is way to obvious. If the student is sharing the floor with other professional men, he has to mark his territory the same as the other pro men or he and his partner become a hockey puck out there. There is less a female pro can do for her student than a male professional can do for his student. If he forgets anything or due to a crowded floor, has to adjust the routine, it is his responsibility. So I think there is a disadvantage right off the bat. Then, when I had to share the floor with one of my coaches, the guy who choreograph all my routines and do so much of the same stuff that he was doing, imagine the stress that can cause if you think about that. The guys job is the same whether he is the student or the pro.

    So when MQ seemed to find fault not just with David but with all male students, that is a rather trivial critique of a young male who against the odds came out on top. I picked David and Diana to be on top before I recognized it was Diana, I thought David was a pro until I looked at the program.

    So I want to applaud his accomplishment and a heck of an accomplishment it was as well as any male student that is willing to test himself swimming with the sharks. And I applaud Diana for her fine training, to prepare him for such a monumental task that he executed flawlessly. Well, almost, some here will manage to find flaws.
  14. alemana

    alemana New Member

    it's difficult to imagine a milder, less offensive comment than this one.

    it was small, well-couched with a disclaimer, and sandwiched by praise for the man in question. i can appreciate that your own experience with the difficult role of the amateur leader in Pro-Am makes you more sensitive in general. but the reaction strikes me as out of proportion to the comment. i am typically *way* less balanced in my comments, so i would look to commentary like the above as a model for well-intentioned discourse in a community like this one.

    anyway, i'm boring myself and doubtless others with the meta stuff. finito.
  15. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    Originally Posted by mamboqueen
    The thing I notice most about the male pro/am dancers I've seen -- and this is strictly my opinion -- they don't seem to show a range of emotions from dance to dance. I noticed this with David, too. I thought his expression (and he did show some) was not that different in rumba than it was in cha cha. Having said that, I still couldn't take my eyes off of Diana and David.

    Phew. I personally am hoping this tangent ends sometime soon. Very very very soon.... [hint, hint, hint?...pretty please hint?]

    The fact that MQ said she couldn't take her eyes of the couple dispite the faults she found should speak for itself.

    Now I realize that being a leader is tough, as a leader myself, and that competitions are judged differently...BUT I am a merciless critiquer myself, and the number one thing I personally look for is emotion. I don't care what and how people are judged. I don't care what others think about the effort put into technique and to just do the basics as an am which is tougher as an am leader then a pro one. While I appreciate the effort that am leaders have to put forth in pro/am couples as compared to the pro being a leader I do not see why should that appreciation cause my opinions to change. Why should it? I personally dislike performances as so many times the performers faces are stiched together in this artificial way. Beautiful dancing, but cold! :-( It gives me shivers. I would rather watch a couple fooling around to the music in salsa with no salsa step anywhere to be seen but obviously connected emotionally then an advanced dancer couple next to them. Same with competitions. I look and see how the couple connects. I can see that connection in a couple bumbling on the floor and also a smooth professional couple where a beginner like me cannot notice any of the glaring mistakes. The bumbler that connects will get my applause over a smooth couple that wins a round. And I do go and compliment them. So there!! :p;):)
  16. Dancefever

    Dancefever New Member

    So do we want to make a separate thread about emotion in dancing or do we continue this thread about Pro/Am where Am is the male?
  17. saludas

    saludas New Member

    "Emotion" is part of expression and it is considered, rehearsed, and projected. It IS part of the dancing, but it is repeatable and created. it is usually NOT 'spontaneous'.

    Ruud Vermey in his book on Latin makes the case that a rhumba, for instance, is a dance of passion and romance, but you do not need to be in love or passionate about your partner to EXPRESS the meaning of the dance. The viewer 'feels' passion by observing, and the empathy that they create gives the observer the feeling they might be watching something 'privte and personal' - but in reality, you are watching ACTING.

    A beginner sees this and because it is done expertly, believes that it is real - same as a good actor makes you believe that their character is doing what they intend.

    The best actors, for instance, get a reputation for 'not acting'! Absurd as it may seem, with as many acting coaches and as many thousands of hours 'on the boards', great actors like DeNiro and the many out there today make it look 'easy' and the public thinks that their 'acting' is how they really act - in real life situations.

    Jack Lemmon (the original Felix in "The Odd Couple") gave interview after interview distancing himself from his onscreen persona, to no avail. Everyone who sees him onscreen thinks of him as a nervous, stuttering nerd, when in reality he is a trained actor that shows that expression in his roles. He was CAST in roles similar to his expertise, but believe me, if simply BEING the part was what acting was all about, then you could simply hire a thief to play one on tv. And as you know, there are no doctors ACTING on tv - they hire actors to play beleiveable doctors! George Clooney was NOT a doctor, you know... LOL

    The best dancers make EVERYTHING look 'natural' and 'easy'. Those 'surprise' moments on the floor are CHOREOGRAPHED, mostly.

    The IMPETUS for the expression may be spontaneous, but usually the expression is CREATED. There is a difference.

    Social dancing, like salsa, tends to elevate the expression to almost religious levels, but that is in many ways becuase social dancing is by it's nature spontaneous, but most dancers who get beyond groupclass stepism make a study of wht they are trying to express in every connection and that expression becomes integral to the movement (hip rolls, for instance, connotating physical desire, or quickstep showing gaiety and abandon).

    Finally, no offense, but beginners think they see a lot and have many times very strong opinions as to what they think they see ("The judges were wrong - couple A danced a lot better than couple B") but as you get to understand the artform you'll see things that were formerly considered 'good' that now look lame, and so on. No offense, but one of the first things my coach said to me is that 'dance is an illusion'...
  18. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    Some great points there Saludas. :cheers:
  19. Dancefever

    Dancefever New Member

  20. mamboqueen

    mamboqueen Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry. I was just stating an observation I made at the last comp I was at. I only mentioned males because that is the gender that is the subject of the thread. I have my very own share of issues trying to convey emotions in dancing, and so I specifically look for this when I see people dancing. I would have to say that in watching the two dance, that was the only thing I noticed that just didn't click for me. Technically, I thought they were great. I noticed it with two other male dancers who were performing, too. And I noticed it with a lot of women....but we weren't talking about women here.

    I don't really see why it should be such a big issue to mention something you would have liked to have seen in a dance. Frankly, I like to get feedback, good, bad or otherwise. Gives you something to work on to improve your dancing.

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