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

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

  1. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    I may not post all that often, but I try read everything you write, and my wife often calls from the other room with an "aha" moment after reading your post, and we discuss what you said.

    So keep rambling, and we will keep reading. :)
  2. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I too am grateful for all of these intriguing concepts that I would have otherwise not considered
  3. dancepro

    dancepro Member

    I totally agree. That is why I was told that I was not allowed to feel or judge my feeling for the first year with my main teacher. He said that, as I was not a world finalist, how would I know what a world finalist felt like. He would have me do things and then ask me if that was "different'. If I said "yes" he would then tell me to record that feeling. To this day there are still things that I feel one way but know as a fact is totally opposite to what is the truth. When the teacher/coach says that looks right then that feeling is how it should feel, until it will be improved on further.

    There are a little over 400 rules on the 3 level (the Body school of thought) and over 8000 on the 5th level and too many to count on the 6 level. Are you able to think of all of them while dancing? I don't think so?

    I know of champions that actually only knew about 120 rule when they won. They won the dance competition and not the "written" test ha ha. Sorry I just couldn't help the joke...
    The rules are nice to have but they are just like the skeleton of the body. There is so much more to the body then just bones. Most great dancers do have knowledge of a lot of rules, but it is the excursion that get rewarded in a competition.

    Children learn to walk much the same way. The fall down on an average 264 times before being able to walk a few steps. Lets just think about this one for a second....
    How many times have you done a 1-3 of Natural Turn (Waltz), Feather Step or anything else for that matter. There is only three steps in a Natural Turn (OK, 4 or 5 counting the pre-step] and only three in the Feather (a rumba walk is 1 step, max 2 steps). Why can a child learn to walk with under 500 try's and we do 1000's of Feather's. We analyze the steps so much that we end up not being able to do it with easy and grace. There is a time for analyzing and a time for dancing. I do think there is, as my teacher call it, an epidemic going around of analyzing things so much that nothing happens.

  4. dancepro

    dancepro Member

    Thank you, for the compliments. I appreciate your support. I will keep rambling...just tell me when you had enough;):)

  5. waltzguy

    waltzguy Active Member

    As others have mentioned, and I have already as well, I fully appreciate all your insightful comments. I take the time to read them all. As for your question to me, I don't practice enough because I cannot seem to practice at home without either killing my feet (with socks only) or scratching up my floor as a result of doing heel leads with shoes. Any advice? There's another thread on this, and someone wrote that dance sneakers don't scratch the hardwood. I have yet to try this. Are there other alternatives?
  6. emeralddancer

    emeralddancer Active Member

    Dancepro ...I value and have learned a great deal from your posts. Many of which lend themselves to discussions with my pro. :)

    Now question to you is this ...(or maybe a statement really) ...

    You should consider doing a something or other (like get with Malawaka) and teach like a 3 day "camp" or something.

    Would be most fascinating and informative. So much of what you discuss would be beneficial to many of us. Especially to put it into use!

    If you do ... sign me up to attend! :D
  7. katandmouse

    katandmouse New Member

    They call that the "Paralysis of Analysis."
  8. katandmouse

    katandmouse New Member

    I have tried gyro and would be doing it if there was an affordable studio in my town. My friend swears by it, as do some pros I know. I recently almost bought a home machine. Big 5 Sporting had them on sale for around $150 I think, but I was afraid of the quality. Some of the things we do in Pilates is similar in nature, but not quite the same. You can also go gyrokinesis at home or anywhere.
  9. dancepro

    dancepro Member

    Thank you, for you positive comments. You are all very encouraging. Thank you. I will keep giving my 2 cents worth, when I have time.

    I got a few options for you....

    1) Sit down and use your mind to dance. Imagine yourself dancing everything that you want to improve.
    2) Use your fingers or two sticks to dance.
    3) Paint your Waltz and other dances with crayons and/or paint.
    4) Dance in your garage or in your garden with tennis shoes on.
    BTW you should be able to dance in any pair of shoes. It doesn't need to be dance shoes. I actually never saw my teacher in a pair of dance shoes. He always used normal street shoes. He had me practice in every pair of shoes that I owned. It was great when I got back to my dance shoes. My dancing had really improved.
    5) Practice your divisions using a chair.

    I am sure others can give you more alternative ways to practice.

    I know of a former US champions that only practiced (in a dance studio) twice a week. They did however practice every day in their heads. Lack of floor time is not a valid excuse;).

    Keep working on the dancing. Keep up the good work.

  10. dancepro

    dancepro Member

    Thank you to you as well:). I am glad that you find my posts of use.

    If somebody would arrange it I am totally willing to participate. I just don't have that time to organize something like that at this moment in time. I will however do training like that in the future sometime, I promise. I will let you know if I have something like that coming up.

  11. dancepro

    dancepro Member

    Yes, I couldn't think of it when I needed it. Thank you katandmouse. This is proof that two minds work better than one.:)

  12. katandmouse

    katandmouse New Member

    I do what I call "kitchen practices." It's where I work on a pattern (perhaps only 3 steps) over and over again while I wait for the water to boil, fish to fry, or where I happen to be taking a break (I work at home).

    I go barefoot. That is a requirement. It helps me to really feel the floor and what my feet are doing. However, my teacher saw me practicing barefoot at the studio and he lambasted me. Told me I'd injure my feet. I can't see how so I still practice barefoot at home. Lars Odegard (? sorry, not sure of the name) has his students dance barefoot, so I figure that's good enough for me.

    It's here where I'm most successful at right-brain dancing. There isn't much room so I have to be most focused on not running into a cabinet or a wall. That gets me out of the details and just into the movement.

    I've also learned a lot about sway as well because I have to bank a lot to make turns so that I don't run into cabinets. Go ahead laugh. I know that sounds funny, but this really works. You learn there is a purpose for all that sway and then suddenly your dancing goals change. Instead of thinking HOW to create sway, you do it out of necessity. Your body finds what works, and in turn, you start to learn to trust your body more.
  13. mamboqueen

    mamboqueen Well-Known Member

    sure makes cooking rice a bit more interesting ;)
  14. skipper

    skipper New Member

    You can sign me up as well.
    Everything you say makes sense--especially when it comes to NOT asking questions and just doing it.
    I KNOW my feelings are not accurate, because they are always change. What happened in bronze is certainly not what happens in silver, gold or open.
  15. katandmouse

    katandmouse New Member

    I hope I don't give the impression that right brain activity comes without knowledge. I get a lot of knowledge handed down to me from many coaches that is not only helpful, it's necessary. It's how I process that information that makes it either left brained or right brained.

    When I'm in my right brain, all that knowledge, all those details become tools to achieve the bigger picture. They come into mind when I observe something not working or when I'm trying to explore new options, but they are never that for which I strive. I don't go for perfect foot placement, for example. I go for perfect movement. The feet will find where to go. However, if I'm locked in the left brain, my feet have a much harder time figuring it all out because my brain is caught up in all kinds of chatter and won't let my body just go and explore. The Inner Game of Music discusses this principle.

    Teachers sometime get overly detailed because they are grasping at straws trying to help students get it. But good teachers really don't want you to make rules out of those details. That happens a lot now and is why there are so many clones out on the floor. Instead keep those details in their place. They are only suggestions. If you have that frame of mind, it's easier to keep them in their place and thus keep you on the right side.

    Found this other post I made on this subject in another thread:

    I hope this has been helpful.
  16. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    the machines cost 5 grand, so i'm not sure what that was...mebbe a gyrokinesis chair?
  17. katandmouse

    katandmouse New Member

    Here's the machine:

    They'll break the link though. In case they erase it, search on Stamina Gyrotonic Transformer at Amazon. These machine are affordable for home use.
  18. waltzguy

    waltzguy Active Member

    I'm definitely not laughing. In fact, good posts, KAM.
  19. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    huh, interesting. said they're currently unavailable. i wonder if that's a much older model?

    this is the mechanism most use for their training...

    https:// www
  20. dancepro

    dancepro Member

    I used do very much the same thing. I made rules for myself to help me practice ideas of body movement. I used to call it "home work".
    1) I would do my heel turn in the kitchen while cooking.
    2) I would do ankle stretch exercises in the bathroom while brushing teeth, doing hair or washing hands.
    3) I would walk back wards down the stairs to make sure I used my toe (Body schools "Ballet Toe"), and didn't reach backward with the legs.
    4) When I was sitting down, I would practice "the rule of turn" or devision exercises.
    5) I would also practice while shopping for groceries (like my flexibilities and my mobilities).
    There was a lot of little things like that, that I used to do. Every little movement was used to practice something I could use in my dancing. I actually still find myself doing many of these exercises even though I have been retired for many years.

    Recently I spoke to a former student of mine. He hasn't danced for a couple of years now. He danced from he was very young and created a lot of (wonderful) habits (for a dancer). He told me that he would still catch himself "taking a hold" and checking it in the mirror, when doing things at home. He actually asked me, how stop doing it, as it was no longer of use to him. Funny how so many want to do what he does and he is ready to get rid of the habit.

    I don't see a problem doing it barefoot as long as the floor is smooth. I have been teaching a student here on my kitchen floor as the studio has been closed over Christmas. They have taken all their lessons either in socks or barefoot. We have done just fine with that.

    I think you are thinking of Lasse Odegaard.

    Most people that are successful are willing to do what others are not willing to do. I think good dancers don't only dance the few hours they spend in the studio. Dancing is a big part of who they are. They think dancing and find ways to practice, that to some may find unrelated to dancing. I for sure don't laugh at you. I applaud you. You must be a great student. I wish all students would do like you. I must say, that many of my students do practice at home. I am very, very fortunate to have great students.


Share This Page