Swayback....is it really a bad thing?

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by SwingWaltz, Jan 9, 2009.

  1. YanaA

    YanaA New Member

    I agree with Chris. They isnt a gut. It looks like if he leads from the belly but they have strong connection in ribcage area. The ribcage is more forward than the belly. He is not sticking his belly out. Hips are backwards, they dont try to be connected in the lower body and that allows complete freedom of movement for both partners
     
  2. Rugby

    Rugby Member

    katandmouse I agree with you. I am hyperflexive, or what was onced called double jointed. I used to dance with a short guy and I would sway my back to make our heights more compatible because it was easy for me to do. It became a habit and I didn't even realize I was still doing it long after the short guy was gone. Over time it has taken a toll on my lower back and I am trying my best to get rid of it. The other problem with swaying your back is that you can block the man by swaying the back rather than opening the hips. Now I am trying to stay tall and long through my body. It not only shows my height off but allows for a better, more balanced and breatheable contact.
    As for the belly issue, if I stand properly I don't have a "gut" but if I sway then my gut of course sticks out. I have videos of Luca from way back and there was no sway. I have also noticed some of the tall male instructors start to sway their back when dancing with short ladies. Guess without knowing it (or maybe they do) they might be doing the same thing I did to make the bodies fit better.
     
  3. YanaA

    YanaA New Member

    I don't think he breaks his lower back-he still keeps it long but has different connection with the partner and has his chest more forward. The curve is not bigger than the natural curve
     
  4. Warren J. Dew

    Warren J. Dew Well-Known Member

    In this particular video, we can't see enough to tell for sure, but when I have seen other people with the "pregnant man" look on the dance floor, and also seen them stand up straight off the dance floor, it usually turns out that they have no belly whatsoever. An actual pot belly normally extends sideways as well as forward.

    The linked video is a response to another video entitled "Young Luca Baricchi & Loraine Barry Foxtrot Demo". I see much of the same effect in that earlier video, though it might not be as pronounced.
     
  5. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    Going to have to disagree with that. If you take a picture, erase the partner, and paste it over a backdrop that isn't a dance setting, it's going to look like rather unusual posture.

    With the partner, in a dance setting, it's easy to see what this approach does and why it was chosen.

    I think the unique aspects of this way of dancing are a lot more understandable in the light of his lecture comments on posture and alignment vs. freedom of movement. The problem however is that in the lecture the alternative presented and rejected is not a realistic representation of the more traditional way of dancing - it's not just aligned in the back, it's rigid everywhere, and obviously that will impede movement in a way that being aligned in the back but flexible in the hip sockets does not for generations of dancers who have used that method.
     
  6. katandmouse

    katandmouse New Member


    I think I've posted 4 times on this now and tried to say the same thing each time. I'm worried that people are going to think that since Luca assumes this posture that it is a good thing or being used to his advantage, and thus something others should be doing as well. The fact that you all are starting to over-analyze this is the start of that. Like I tried to say before, Luca is not conscientiously creating this posture. It is inherent within him. The protrusion of the gut is very typical of anterior pelvic tilt. See my other posts. And for those who think this is a posture Luca assumes just when he's dancing (for dancing), look again and look at the attachments to this post. He has anterior tilt just standing there.

    I know quite a bit about bio-mechanics and postural deviancies from a study of my own condition. I am not a professional, but if you all like, I can bring one in to explain further.
     

    Attached Files:

  7. SwingWaltz

    SwingWaltz New Member

    Point taken. But I don't think you know where I am coming from.

    I am NOT trying to create the Luca posture. But I have a natural sway in my back. People tell me that I NEED to get rid of the sway as it wrecks my posture. All I was trying to say that having a sway doesn't necessarily wrecks the posture!
     
  8. QPO

    QPO New Member

    When I viewed the video I thought his sway back perhaps was more obvious due to him carry weight. He may have a sway back, I do and I have to think about projecting my hips forward and maintaining body connection so it is less emphasized. I love to look at their dancing it is wonderful. I can only dream, but starting at 48 does leave me at a bit of a disadvantage, but I am up to the challenge.
     
  9. pruthe

    pruthe Member

    He may have a little extra weight in belly area, but like K&M says, looks like defect in spine. Some of the videos I've viewed of Luca and Lorraine's dancing, sway back seems less visible, even with jacket on. I'm thinking he makes an adjustment to compensate. Projecting hips forward is one way, but what about pulling in belly muscles to more flatten spine. You can stand against a wall to see difference. (Btw, I think Luca and Lorraine are fantastic dancers.)
     
  10. Josh

    Josh Active Member

    I see mostly perfect heel turns, when he leads them. Maybe you're looking at places like 0:20 and 0:48 and you think it should be a heel turn, but it's not.
     
  11. elisedance

    elisedance New Member

    Really Josh? I thought it was a heel turn that maybe ran into the wall..
    Whats that step then?
     
  12. katandmouse

    katandmouse New Member

    Yes, I know. It is not you I'm concerned about. The discussion was starting to go into how he is doing that. That could lead to someone trying to copy something that is not a dance technique, but a physical condition. That could be harmful. I'm trying to keep it from going there.

    I agree with you. I think you only need to correct it if it is creating a physical problem for you or preventing you from dancing correctly, and by that, I do not mean without a swayback.

    I do think that an elongated back, not only looks nice, it actually frees up mobility in the spine, the hips, and then the legs. So it is a good thing to try and achieve for that reason if you don't have it already, and you may! If you want to do that, though, don't go in the opposite direction, i.e., into posterior tilt. That is very dangerous. I know. Trust me. What you want to do is think of lengthening the spine. Experiment with that. When you get it right, you should feel your tailbone turn under slightly. Pull your deep, deep core muscles in at the same time.

    What I find sad is that ballroom dancing has become somewhat of an organized religion with a lot of rules that MUST NOT be broken - or else. There should be suggestions, not rules, and one should not be judged for failure to follow a suggestion. As long as we all get to "heaven," who cares how we get there. Different paths, different postures, they all add to the individualism and the beauty of dance if we allow ourselves to think of them that way instead of aberrations (rule-breaking).

    I happen to worship at the altar of Luca and highly recommend this DVD that has his "Form Follows Function" lecture. It's worth its weight in gold: tinyurl.com/a2y9vj
     
  13. katandmouse

    katandmouse New Member

    Ah, ha. This can lead into a new "Form Follows Function" discussion! I see what you're saying Elise, particularly at 48 seconds. See the comment above I just made about rules. We're taught feet have to come together and we have to turn on the heel. Lorraine didn't do that. But maybe Luca was taking license with a step to fit that room, and that made that impossible. His goal was to get around her and he did that. Goal accomplished. Well done. Love to hear what a pro or judge would say about this, though.

    I did not get to see them dance in Vegas, but my friend did. He said if you held the rulebook up to Luca, he broke many of the rules. He was doing things my friend was taught to never, ever, ever do. Would he do that in competition? I'd like to think so, but probably not if he wanted to win because many of the judges carry a rulebook with them, figuratively speaking. This is unfortunate and, from the lectures I've heard, I think Luca is trying to change that.
     
  14. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    i think it's an illusion, not a real swayback. i see it that his hips are soft in order to allow more space for movement. he teaches this technique in this Dance Bible DVD...
     
  15. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    non-heel turns? not following...(pun not intended...)
     
  16. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    i agree. his torso rests forward a bit, as if on a shelf. i studied that guys body & how he holds it like crazy when i watched his Dance Bible several times a couple years ago, lol. i remember noticing the same thing and wondering, what's up with that? he's doing something mechanical, on purpose, by now i'm sure quite natural.
     
  17. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    those are good little diagrams.

    it is my understanding that he tilts it on purpose.
     
  18. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    i agree. lorraine has the best feet i've ever seen...mesmerizing.
     
  19. elisedance

    elisedance New Member

    at 48 sec (apparently I didn't note Josh did) he leads her into what looks like an aborted natural turn figure but there is no heelturn. Both Josh and Chris think this was a legit step but it must be something I don't know cause it looks weird to me. I would certainly do a heel turn there - but if it is correct I would love to learn what she is doing...

    [You might want to trace this back to my original comment #8, CS at #16, Josh at #30 and K&M #33]
     
  20. Rugby

    Rugby Member

    Okay everybody I can end the mystery here about the heel turn. Its actually a change of direction with sway ending. We have the identical step in our routine with the same sway ending though we take ours into a swivel afterward then into the type of promenade exit they have. In our lesson video we look exactly as they do but obviously they are more skilled.
    Luca has the theory that the man should always be overtop of the woman in a dominant manner, which results in the posture he uses. He mentioned and showed this idea at the Blackpool workshops in 2003 I believe.
     

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