the quantal shift - good to great and fast?

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by elisedance, Jan 1, 2009.

  1. star_gazer

    star_gazer Active Member

    I was always looking for ways to speed things up and my kids obliged because they wanted to be considered good dancers. Recently someone advised me to come up with a "5-year plan." I think that makes lots of sense. How you fill in the five years, the other posters have addressed.
  2. elisedance

    elisedance New Member


    Great advice. Up to now I have relied on dancing itself for excersize (though I do stretching in addition). I've managed to bring my weight into range by diet (I seem to be good at that) but gym is a reluctant but essential resolution...

    Interestingly, however, a dancer I know is in superb physical condition but looks awful when she dances. I was wondering - can one be TOO fit? Have too taught muscles to dance well? In particular for a follower, I feel like she is muscle bound. Is that also possible?
  3. _malakawa_

    _malakawa_ New Member


    this is one of the best posts ever.

    in general, dancing in Europe is different than in here. there is no (or just in a few countries) a Pro/ am Couples and competitions. I actually never heard about pro/am until I got here. :cool:

    in europe is all about competitive dancing, and Amateurs have, i can say, even better status than professionals (except the first 6 couples)

    dancing camps are so good. after practicing all day, when we will go back home, i still wanted to practice. all the information were new and fresh.

    well, i miss that a lot. i hope that in a close future i will organize it here with teachers from England.
  4. elisedance

    elisedance New Member

    then please keep me on your mailing list MK. I'm actually astonished that there are no 'masterclass' retreats in N america. Its particularly curious since there are many such to learn musical instruments - I went to one last summer.

    IF anyone reading this wants to organize one please do let this intereted customer know.

    Also, you mention dance camps in Europe. Do you know how I might find out about these? England would be particularly great as then there would be no language issue...
  5. elisedance

    elisedance New Member

    By the way, I agree fully with your comment on dancepro's post. It needs to be read and reread ...
  6. wooh

    wooh Well-Known Member

    Her workouts are probably just not balancing the flexibility. I know a woman in her 40s with an absolutely KILLER body (after a few kids too.) She's very muscular but still very flexible.
  7. elisedance

    elisedance New Member

    That must be it Wooh. Unfortunately, she's not very friendly so I can't talk to her about it...
  8. Warren J. Dew

    Warren J. Dew Well-Known Member

    Possibly. If so, though, there are a lot of talented ladies. When Luca and Amanda split up and switched partners with the Sinkinsons, Amanda immediately jumped to second with Andrew Sinkinson had been, while Lorraine Sinkinson initially had to be satisfied with Luca's fourth. Charlotte Jorgensen and an American lady whose name I don't recall also made the British final dancing with Andrew. In the U.S., Kathryn Schaffer jumped to first place in less than a year after starting to dance with Victor Veyrasset.

    Meanwhile, no other man at that level has improved even as quickly as Luca with this technique. Tony Dokman's experience is probably more typical. You can say they are slow learners if you want, but if so, the evidence is that all men are slow learners.

    If this was also directed at me, I think practice is important, but there's more to it than that. As dancepro suggests, you have to give up your ego and preconceptions, and the practices and exercises must be focused on specific improvements, not just repetition for repetition's sake. Aside from that, I think what she suggests will work well for ladies, with the caveat that you need a coach and a partner that are at a level that will facilitate that technique.
  9. barrefly

    barrefly New Member

    For my daughter, and having trained many years in ballet,...."not" doing drills,...is "not" an option. It takes a patient instuctor that drills their students until they have it right.....but that is what it's all about,....right?
  10. Casey

    Casey Member

    dancesportinfo lists Adele Preston and Eleny Fotinos as dancing w/ Andrew Sinkinson w/ both making the final. Are you thinking of one of them, Warren J. Dew?
  11. Warren J. Dew

    Warren J. Dew Well-Known Member

    Yes, Eleny Fotinos, thanks. I think Adele had already done pretty well with a previous partner.
  12. dancepro

    dancepro New Member

    In my opinion he was the best, a true master. He was actually known as being one of the best teachers that have ever lived.

    Dancepro
  13. katandmouse

    katandmouse New Member

    Can you say who?
  14. _malakawa_

    _malakawa_ New Member

    well, i will make a thread here. i am thinking to do that around july or august when is not so many competitions and people are more focused on practicing.

    one of the coaches and teachers I am planning to have are Ralf Müller & Olga Müller Omeltchenko, barbara ambroz, ruud vermey, michael stilianos, beata,hazel fletcher .....

    when it comes to camps in england. i really don't know. I know about camps in slovania and italy. but language will not be a problem, because there are couples all over the world so all coaches and teachers are speaking english.
  15. katandmouse

    katandmouse New Member

    Holiday Ball and Dance Camp

    You just missed one in San Francisco, Holiday Ball and Dance Camp put on by Stephan Krauel. Google it as I'm not sure they allow URLs in these posts.
  16. katandmouse

    katandmouse New Member

    Being fit does not a dancer make.
    It only helps.
    One still needs to learn to dance.
    That's the icing on the cake (beefcake;)
  17. dancepro

    dancepro New Member

    The need to be fit is also a question of what school of thought you follow. Of cause you do need to be somewhat fit, but going to a gym is not necessary. My partner and I have never been to a gym. I have actually never been to a gym in my life and I am not planning to either. Many top standard dancer (latin dancer are a different story) that are using the Body school or the Square school never goes to a gym to get fit.
    You do need to be able to dance 5 dances in a row as you need to do that to do most semi-finals and most finals (the International is at least one exception). It is however easy to get fit enough to do that. It is funny to me to see people warm up and be flexible in all kind of ways and then they go on the floor and be as stiff as a board. Many of my fellow competitors, my partner and I used to laugh at that. None of us were as flexible as they were, but we made semifinals and finals, and they didn't.

    If people want to go to a gym, they are of cause very welcome. But it is not necessary to become a good dancer.

    Dancepro
  18. dancepro

    dancepro New Member

    Yes, I think fitness can sometimes be a hindrance. You will not learn to be efficient if you are fit enough to muscle yourself through the dance. All my teachers always talked about being efficient and not working hard.

    Dancepro
  19. dancepro

    dancepro New Member

    I have not heard of dance camps in England like that. They have them in Denmark, Germany and Italy.
    I did three camps like that here in the US. There was workshops in dancing, mental approach, pilates, nutrition, stress prevention (body), grooming and many other topics. It was however not well attended. Most dancers only wanted the dance part and as it was a weekend training it was sold as a package. They were not ready for it here or at least not in Los Angeles. It might be different now (this was 5 years ago). Maybe they are more ready for this on the East Coast.

    Dancepro
  20. katandmouse

    katandmouse New Member

    I started working with a private Pilates teacher after a debilitating back injury. The core strength I developed definitely helped my dancing, particularly my balance, but how I think my dancing benefits from my training mostly, though, is not the strength but the efficiency as you mention.

    My Pilates teacher was trained in "neural-muscular reprogramming." Through her I've learned how to target the exact muscles I need to get the job done and to keep the antagonists out of the picture. When you get the hang of that, you'll see that very little strength goes a long way. In fact, you can develop super-human strength with a minimum of effort, and minimum effort means greater endurance and less stress; both contribute to better dancing.

    Some people have efficient use of their muscles by birth, others like myself with an injury or who have had a lifetime of repetitive stress patterns and bad habits, may need training. Now we're getting into another passion of mine - that of achieving bio-mechanical harmony. Don't get me started (at least in this thread :)

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