Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by elisedance, Jan 1, 2009.
"Thinking is the biggest mistake a dancer can make" http://tinyurl.com/pwsnv4
yes, was gonna say: http://dance-forums.com/showthread.php?t=30809&highlight=quantal leap
has been discussed ad nauseum there. the thread is worth reading in entirety. twice.
whoops, etp beat me to it.
i'm tellin' ya...TC has competition! *grin*
The size of that thread is so daunting though, I've been meaning to read it for a couple of weeks now. One day... maybe two lol
I am recruiting the study group members for reading the thread. Who's with me?
I gave up at a certain point I think.
I popped in and out of it, when it was still active. It had a tendency to veer off the subject a bit.
I've been thinking about this thread a lot recently. One of my dance buddies, whose dancing I have always admired, and who I thought was a right-brain thinker, has done a complete 360 and gone to full left-brain learning. She has changed teachers and styles and tells me she is utterly delighted with the new regime.
I am wondering how someone who was so successful at the body-centric, feeling oriented way of learning has made such a huge change. In particular, I am surprised at the contrast between what she has chosen and what she had before. Her previous teacher was like the one described by one of the earlier posters pm this thread: he expected her to drop her ego, eliminate expectations, trust him, stop thinking, live in her body, and all else would follow. It seemed to work beautifully, but apparently, she needed something else.
For me, the struggle to learn to abandon my need-to-know and just Do has been very fruitful. Not easy, mind you. But I can't imagine going all logic/method/technique. Surely there is a balance?
Trying to edit above post but iPad is a PITA editing DF posts
Trying to abandon my need to know and just Be
I think there needs to be a balance...one without the other--either way--isn't likely to be good dancing, IMV...and I think the order in which one focuses on one or the other can vary greatly in emphasis, duration and number of times revisited...I am extremely leary of extremists on either side of this continuum...people are different...and beyond that, what they need to focus on from one point in time to another can vary.....all of it can be done well... all of it can be done poorly...I have seen dancers who are technically excellent who put me in a coma to watch them....I know people who think they are in the moment and being fully present who don't know what the he-- they are doing and are doing it poorly but are blissfully unaware of it and think they have arrived...and everything in between...it seems to me that what most of us need to do in our dancing are the things we know deep in our souls we need to do more of (and don't really want to do) in dance and the rest of our lives for that matter... whether that be learning how to relax, or developing a plan and executing it instead of letting life meander, going on a diet, being less anal, being more outgoing or whatever... each of those things requires a different emphasis, or side of the brain, or school of thought or dance, or however you want to look at it...it is impossible for us to ever really evaluate someone elses's journey...we may have our own hunch for them as well as for ourselves...but my suspicion is that neither way is the one "great white way" that only the truly enlightened choose to take
or...pick and commit
by that i mean, that even in adopting one perspective or another, we are making a controlled decision...edit to add; for a period of time
No other takers on this?
It could be that she developed a new way of digesting technical details, i.e., the left brain became a guide rather than the driver in control. When it does that, those technical details can add a lot of refinements to the quality of your dancing.
My belief and experience is it's all in the way your brain processes information. It's not necessarily what you are exposed to. My friend who is extremely left-brained has a teacher she loves. She tells me I wouldn't like him because he's too technical, too left brained, yet when I study with him, I don't find that at all. Does he teach me differently? Perhaps somewhat. I certainly don't ask him to break everything down into minute details, but overall, he's not different.
What's different is my friend turns his info into a left-brained, analytical exercise. I take all the details and put them into my body.
and there can be great pleasure in asking and understanding "why", especially after a long stretch of being right-brained oriented. whole-brain thinking does, after all, include both sides of the brain.
sounds like your friend is enjoying a new way of understanding and framing her dance experience.
I'm often told not to overthink things, to just walk and focus on my shaping and movement. One thing I've noticed that sometimes when I don't expect something, I would follow it, but it would come out sloppy (i.e. a ronde which I didn't expect tends to look sloppy compared to what I can do if I am just standing there doing a ronde). So I am thinking that one needs some left-brain technical approach to make things look polished, so that when they're lead unexpectedly, they still look polished.
I need both. I need to observe and repeat movement under supervision that corrects and adjusts as I go. Some days I need more of just movement, dancing to music, seeing if my body can figure it out. Some days I need detailed explanations of the technique behind the movement and I need an intellectual understanding of what and why of the movement I am trying to reproduce. I also think at different times, I need different things. Before a comp... I need to just feel and dance! In between comps, its time to dissect and discover.
Just "rediscovered" this thread from a comment on the Inner Game of Dance thread. I studied art for many years at top notch design schools and painting/drawing was taught "Right-brain" method in order to help you lose the judge/critic voice inside and get lost in the "Flow" (lots of threads mention the psychology of flow when you are in the moment and don't realize how much time has passed) in order to see what is really in front of you. It's possible that all of my art training has helped my dancing but, I think for the first few years of pro/am ballroom I forgot everything that went before and fear of failure made me spend a lot of time and money anxiously concentrating on the technical aspects.
I feel like I am only now reconnecting with the flow. I have a Standard coach and he said that what has changed my dancing is that I now have a grounding of sound technique(his description) and I needed this level of technique before I could merge it with our individual intuition and sensitivity to create a melding of partnership with him. In the Inner Game of Dance thread - the underlying instruction from the Inner Game of Tennis book is that technique is what you learn from repetition or intuitively grasp at some point and then you forget it during competition in order to let your body access the muscle memory and speed you have created. I was a high jumper and relay racer in high school and my coach said that she had never seen someone less likely to beat the field but, when I put my hair up in pigtails and stared down the track - it was apparent to my competitors and the spectators that I was in the "zone" and would win. I can still remember the level of focus I had was tremendous. Maybe I should start a new trend of pigtails for ballroom smooth hair. : )
bold red emphasis is mine...this exactly
Agreed. I have been struggling with the technique vs. relaxation/just dance concept for a long while. Technique has always been my stronger suit, or so it appears to everyone, but the truth is that I've just always been much more focused on technique because it doesn't feel like I *can* just relax and dance until I have that solid grounding of "I know what the he-- I am doing." *Finally* things are starting to click on the technique side...and I'm noticing, as a result, that I am thinking a whole lot less, and dancing a whole lot more. Not because I'm trying to, just because I'm comfortable with the technique for a change and don't have to think about it.
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