Ballroom Dance > the quantal shift - good to great and fast?

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

  1. dancepro

    dancepro Member

    So your dance camp is a latin camp not a standard camp. I think elisedance does standard as far as I can see on the picture.

  2. _malakawa_

    _malakawa_ New Member

    not only latin. muller is for ballroom, ruud is dance psychologist, barbara & natasa ambroz are great for both.

    i also need to check with slavik whom else. he knows almost all standard coaches from europe. i don't know them that much, because i start dancing standard quite late.
  3. Corne

    Corne New Member

    Ischia-Capri Open ?

    I know about the Ischia-Capri Open that is held annually (?) in Italy in April timeframe. Would this be a good example of a training camp for dancing ? Pity they don't have a schedule of events on the site.

    The link is to 2007 event, page is in english.
    h t t p : / / utenti . lycos . it / jerryabrate / page17 . html
  4. waltzgirl

    waltzgirl Active Member

    Elise, I'd second the recommendation for Pilates. It not only is a great workout, but it increases body awareness. And the find of fitness it creates is totally compatible with dance.
  5. dancepro

    dancepro Member

    I only ever saw Ralph and Olga dance Latin, so I have no idea what their quality of standard is. They were good in Latin.

    IMO you need to make sure you don't bring in too many coaches that has conflicting ideas. If you do you can make students more confused then helping them reach new and higher levels of dancing. This is just my opinion, of cause you can do whatever you want to do.

    Good luck with your camp.

  6. _malakawa_

    _malakawa_ New Member

    i know. don't worry. this is just an idea for summer.
  7. dancepro

    dancepro Member

    I am not worried:). I am sure you know what you are doing. I was just thinking out laud.

    Once again all the best with the camp.

  8. elisedance

    elisedance New Member

    why don't you ask dancepro :roll: ;)
  9. elisedance

    elisedance New Member

    oh, and DP is right - I only do standard.
    [so you saw my pics dancepro :roll:]
  10. elisedance

    elisedance New Member

    thanks for the link - it looked interesting but, as you say, it seems to have been only offered in 07
  11. ashybang

    ashybang New Member

    I remember Adele dancing with David Griffin. They had excellent results.
  12. elisedance

    elisedance New Member

    hi AB - have you heard of any advanced (adult) ballroom 'camps' in England?
  13. Josh

    Josh Active Member

    There have been some good and interesting posts, and I have enjoyed reading them very much...

    All thinking and understanding with no resulting action (and hence feeling) does not a good dancer make. Similarly, while all feeling with no knowledge to support the feeling may get a dancer to a certain level, at some point a lack of understanding is bound to present stumbling blocks about how to develop further. Perhaps both might be good? Knowing the "whys" is essential, IMO, but besides just knowing, we obviously have to DO something about it in order to actually improve.

    This is just based on my own experience, and yours may differ. But when I have obtained logical direction about what to do and how to do it and why I should do it that way, and then when I work hard and smart based on that, I get dramatic results in short periods of time. It must be internalized into the muscles, and that's where the feeling comes into play for me. After it's internalized and being felt, then the thinking stops. But IME, if there's no understanding behind the feeling, the progress will be short-lived and temporary. Again, ymmv, and everyone's different...

    As far as technique and the understanding of it goes, again, people have different ways of learning. Technique should, IMO, support good dancing and not restrict it. Ignoring standard technique as a general rule is bound to cause more harm than good, but following it as "gospel truth" would also be harmful. If the technique supports good dancing in a particular case, use it--if an unconventional approach supports good dancing in a particular case, go that route.
  14. katandmouse

    katandmouse New Member

    Having just had a discussion on this with a friend of mine, I've come to realize that this is easily misunderstood. Learning with the right brain and with awareness does not at all mean having no knowledge! It's how we put that information to use that makes the difference. Do you strive to acquire perfect feet and perfect posture, or do you strive to acquire beautiful dancing? That, I think, is the difference in approach. One puts much attention on the details, while another puts awareness on the entire package and the final result. Of course, everyone here will say, "My goal is beautiful dancing," but I would venture to say that some who say that actually don't work towards that goal primarily because they, unfortunately, get too caught up in the details, and in the process make this all much more difficult than it is.

    To each his own, though. It's difficult for left-brain learners to switch to the right side and vice versa. It took the brain scientist, Jill Bolte Taylor, getting a stroke to make the switch! (Interestingly, she now purposely does activities each day to stay on the right.) From my experience and the positive results I've gotten from a right-brain approach, I think it would behoove everyone to give this approach a try. Problem is I'm still having a hard time explaining what this approach is to left-brain people. They take my explanations and left-brain it! :)
  15. katandmouse

    katandmouse New Member

    awareness vs analysis

    Try this. On a nice day, sit outside in a rocker and rock. Close your eyes and listen to the sounds around you. Don't analyze. By that I mean, don't even put labels on anything. If you hear a bird, don't think crow or duck, don't even think bird. If a car honks, don't think car. Just be aware.

    Once you can sense and be with your environment without the distraction of analysis, tune into what your body is doing as it's rocking. Again, don't analyze. Just observe and notice that you can continue rocking purposely without analyzing it.

    Then pay attention to which muscles are engaging as you rock. Which one engages first? Which one second? Where does the movement initiate? What do your feet do as you rock forward? What do they do when you rock backward? How about your arms? If they're sitting on armrests, are they involved? How about your back? Is it involved? And what about your neck?

    Finally, did your rocking become harder or easier to do after you started to analyze it? Was it better or worse?
  16. elisedance

    elisedance New Member

    Perhaps there is a real difference here between leaders and followers? I'm generally a left brained (for want of a better term) person - relying on observation deduction and rigorous conclusion - thats what I do for a living. However, under that I'm also very right brained and can not live without letting that part of me have free range - indeed, I think its that part that distinguishes me from my competition in my career. I have always approached dance training with the part of my brain that I am more confident of (the left is by its nature easier to rely on at least in our western society). However, when I read the posts by dancepro and KaM it resonates very deeply since effective following demands that whatever I have learned I have to put it second to my partners lead. Frankly, I don't think many leads realize this - if you do something wrong its actually my job to also do it wrong! This goes from timing, step directions, foot rise, body sway - just everything - as a follower I must do that to the exclusion of my logic or training. And, not only that, I must do it subconsciously, automatically.

    Even when the lead is as good as I can dance (I avoid the term perfect since at my level I have no (left brained) idea what that is) my body is still reflecting (and I hasten to add building on since following is not a passive activity) the mood generated by the lead. I am at my best following when I am NOT left brained when dancing is just that, a body experience.

    I suspect that at its epogee this is also the case for the lead but that getting there may take longer than it does for the follow (which touches on the earlier point about how long a lead and a follow must train but I hasten to add it does not finish there.

    How much does one have to learn in order to let 'right brained' thinking take over? I don't know I suspect more than some of the discussion above but also less than suggested in your post. Indeed, the first moment a follower senses the glory of partner dance she has probably just entered right-brained thinking - and that could be from the first well executed step...
  17. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    I think there tends to be an ever increasing muscle memory, and what someone is ready to learn is based on what they have working well for them now. For example, there are several things that need to go right in order to do a decent reverse turn. Then to do a double reverse turn, even more need to go right. Then to do a double reverse turn, overspin, reverse pivot and contra check, even more needs to happen correctly. It might be possible for a student to get to this last step relatively quickly, but to do it well would involve a process over time. I don't see a quick way to do that.

    In addition, especially as one gets more advanced, there can be a good deal of breakdown, where something has to be reset into the muscle memory. For example, you might do the most advanced combination above, and someone tells you that you are lot left enough in the partnership, so you go about staying as left as possible, only to realize another problem has creeped in such as the right shoulder is getting stressed, or you are getting too high through the feet.

    I think one can get good to great faster if they get the right information. I can remember several times where there was a great dancer coming to town, and I asked if someone is planning to take lessons from them, and the response was "I am not ready for them yet". I believe this is the wrong thinking, and if anything, people should do their best to seek out the people with the best information about dancing. Deciding who truly possesses that information is another story for another day.

    So in closing, I would say that "good to great" is something that would take at least a few years. There are things that will give you a "lift", such as the right dress, or fixing the posture, but it still takes time to acquire the knowledge and muscle memory needed.
  18. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    Was that person Russian? ;)
  19. dancepro

    dancepro Member

    Yes, David and Adele were very successful. David was a great guy. He helped me a lot when I first moved to London. He was great at making you think and see things in a different light. I still miss him.:(

  20. Josh

    Josh Active Member

    First of all katandmouse, thanks for the great posts--I truly love ideas that cause me to try new approaches.. it helps me grow and get more outside of my comfort zone.

    While I believe that much personal interpretation is involved in becoming a dancer, the essentialy problem I see (and forgive my left-brained analytics ;-) ) is that each person may feel a "beautiful posture" but produce something totally different, often something that just may not really work. Of course I want to feel beautiful posture, but what if my feeling of beautiful posture is, well, all wrong? Often things which are very correct for dancing are not things we would actually try and certainly not feel were correct, unless someone who we trusted told us to do it that way. It's sort of like if I asked you to "produce a body shape that resembles that of a widget"--of course, you would first have to see a widget, know its basic shape, and many other details about it first to form a visual in your mind of what a widget is, and only then can you really begin to feel like a widget. Similarly, I think that to produce beautiful posture, you first have to visualize what it is, and know certain details about that image in order to reproduce it. I hope you understand where I'm coming from.

    Often when being coached and when teaching I use word pictures to describe something, to produce in the mind a visual image to then try to feel. This can be very helpful, and is very different from saying something like "pick up your right hip." This is somewhat like what you're talking about I think, but I believe still a different approach.

    Of course the only way to actually try a simple approach is to not do what I'm doing, which is analyze it, and just try it. I will do this a bit, though with no one to coach me in it, I am bound to need some help.

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