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

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

  1. elisedance

    elisedance New Member

    I think what you are saying dancepro, is that the most effective dancing is not really an activity, a hobby or a profession - its really a way of life. One of the best threads on DF is the one 'you know you are addicted to dancing when..." as in it we list the things we do to improve, maintain or simply keep in contact with dance - sometimes to our own amazement.

    Its particularly interesting to me how your accounts and advice seems to only fall on receptive ears, be they the most right (and not surprising) or left brained ones. I think we all sense that what you say has fundamental truth to it. The reason for this, I suspect, is that we get hung up on 'dancesport' or 'social dancing' or 'dance certification' but inside we all know that when you get down to it dance is an end in itself - and that end is only achieved by 'whole body' and 'whole mind' immersion.

    But now I am taking the liberty of speaking for others, which is a 'sin' of forums. So please take the above as my opinion alone ;)
  2. dancepro

    dancepro Member

    Dance is a way of being. You will often hear people saying "I am a dancer" or "I am a ......". If what you like to do really becomes part of you, you start saying it as a "I am a ....." sentence. I have said it before in one of my other posts, "dancing is an illustration of life and life is a dance on roses". It a short version of the same I would say "dance is life and life is a dance". So yes, I would say it is a way of life.

    The Chinese have a saying that I think is very valid here...."when the student is ready the teacher appears". Everybody is on their own path. They each have to choose what is right for them at any given moment. My teacher used to say that "dancing is dancing. Whether you do social dancing or competitive dancing, you are still working with the same body mechanics and basic principles".

    The people that are ready to read what I say will read it and those that are not, will look at other posts. I think that is why DF is so popular, there is something for everybody.

  3. emeralddancer

    emeralddancer Active Member

    Well ... I am hoping this is appropriate to post this here ... Re-reading all of this again, it is MAJOR helping me. I had a lesson tonight and totally decided to

    1. check my ego, pride and dignity at the door when I walked into the studio tonight.

    2. just get onto the floor and dance (or rather "practice" but is it REALLY practice if it is dance? LOL) I decided not to think about anything at all and just feel what I was doing. (it is amazing when you just feel and have no worries, ya know?)

    3. when pro and I actually started the lesson and went thru what he had been teaching me, mid way through he said "drastic improvement" and "two thumbs up" (shocked the poo outta me, :D and I think he was shocked as well, I was just delighted not to think so much and just FEEL) then he stated "do you want the good or the bad first" honestly it didn't matter to me because

    4. nothing bothered me, I was grateful to hear the praise of course, but I know that was not WHY I was there. I was there to learn and to improve upon each skill I am learning. I (for the first time I think) really did not mind the corrections or criticism. These are the building blocks to being a great dancer. (they really were not that bad.)

    5. By the end of lesson and on the way home, I felt I learned more today with opening my mind AND body to take in whatever it was my mind and body felt it needed to learn and grow.

    I do not think dancing while sick is very wise, but I felt great for awhile, now totally drained!
  4. dancepro

    dancepro Member

    Bravooo, you are on the way to experience great things. Well done:)

  5. emeralddancer

    emeralddancer Active Member

  6. elisedance

    elisedance New Member

    The reason what you say resonates with me dancepro, is that it describes the state I am in when I dance my best - when, as EM is describing, you release your personal control over dance and let yourself become an extension of the lead. From reading your posts (and KaMs) I can now 'classify' this state and 'take possession' of it.

    The bigger challenge fo rme is the best method of growth, feeding this 'dance state' with new information and trainng so that it grows and intensifies. To do that I still have to step out of it, add new information (left brain) and then graudally iincorporate that information so that it becomes seamless. What I gather from your posts is that there is a shortcut that permits the addition of new information without necessarily slipping out of the right-brained dance mode. If I could master that I think I could learn exceedingly fast indeed.
  7. katandmouse

    katandmouse New Member

    Google "Stamina Gyrotonic Transformer" and you'll find home versions. Gaiam also carries them, but they cost more there. Still less than 5 sessions with a personal trainer, though. In San Jose there is a studio that has a roomful of machines that you can use for a monthly membership fee after you fulfill an initial 10 private lesson requirement.
  8. katandmouse

    katandmouse New Member

    I second the emotion - BRAVO!!! That's it!!! Keep it up! And please let us know what you learn along the way from the experience.
  9. katandmouse

    katandmouse New Member

    I'd like to know dancepro's take on that as well.

    You might also try reframing information into right-brain awareness. Forgive me if I said this already but when information is presented to you, instead of trying to memorize facts, imagine what it would feel like to do it. Form a mental picture of you doing it.

    I have to say that since I started taking lessons this way, in the right brain mode, I stopped having to take notes. Before then, I'd have pages after each lesson. Now I go home and think, "What's there to write - on paper anyway. It's already written in my bones."
  10. katandmouse

    katandmouse New Member

    Thank you

    Just have to say, me and mouse have enjoyed this so much.
    Thank you all for participating in a very exciting discussion!
  11. elisedance

    elisedance New Member

    Thanks -I'll give that a try - or rather more of a try. IMO all learning involves both processes - a 'characterization and breakdown' together with an 'absorption and idiation' (if you forgive my terms). However, I am trained (probably most of us are) to have more faith in the former because, well, its accurate. Once you have all the elements down you feel comfortable that the lesson has been contained. Of cousre at that point you don't know it at all, its just a first step to knowing it. As you say, if you knew it why would you need to write it down at all?

    So maybe that is my key (sorry if I am being a bit dense here!) - place more reliance on the 'idea' of the movement and less on its mechanics. I doubt one could replace all of the latter - some aspects of each type of dance must surely be learned. An analogy is language and poetry. We have to learn language before we can write or understand poetry. But you can not write (meaningful) poetry by mechanics. You really have to forget the language itself and permit the mind to create ideas. However, returning to dance, once the mechanics of movement have been well and truly learned (the language) it should be possible to dispense with 'charactraization and breakdown' almost entirely.

    There, I'm talking myself through the process. I'm sure others got to this point way faster than I can - but I have a lot of Left Braininess to contradict ;)
  12. katandmouse

    katandmouse New Member

    I used to do it that way, but now I do it differently. I do not feel I have to intellectualize it to get it into my body. Instead, I take the details and conceptualize them. When I have my REAL "ah ah" moments, it's not that my brain has finally comprehended something. It's that my body has. And what's not accurate about that? That's where all this information needs to get to eventually, and the faster it gets there the better. There is no need to hold it up in the brain. Sometimes it doesn't even need to go there at all!

    One day in a practice with my partner, I asked him to let me backlead him in a weave. I wanted him to smooth out his movement and demonstrated to him what it should feel like. He followed me well and I exclaimed, "That's it! Well done!" Then he looked down to the floor like he was in deep study. I asked him what he was doing. He said he was trying to figure out what he did. I said, "Why? You can do it. Why put back into the brain what's already reached its destination?"

    The point is there was absolutely no need for him to figure out in his brain what he did if he already figured it out in his body, is there?

    But someone might say, "I need to figure out what I did so I can recall it later." There is value in that, certainly! But the best approach would be to do it a few times so the body can recall it.

    Well said!!

    For me this is true. I do, however, learn the mechanics without spending much time analyzing them. I learn by doing.

    Someone sent me a link to a right brain test. In that test there was a question about how you'd go about hanging up a picture. The left brained person would get out the level and tape measure. The right brained person would eyeball it and then adjust it and do it again if need be.

    My husband represents the left brain. He'd get that picture hanging perfectly and he'd tell me I'm wasting time eyeballing it because it would take a few times of moving the nail to get it just right. Maybe. But what I do know is that when I got that picture hung, I'd sit back and enjoy the beauty of the picture. He'd be admiring the fact that it was level and that it was hung equal distant between the door and the window. I'd like to think that the judges are more drawn to the pretty picture. ;-)
  13. Casey

    Casey Member

    Warren told me how to quote a msg, but I still can't. Anyway, dancesportinfo has the most incredible info for left-brained research -- Adele Preston danced amateur w/ David Griffin.
  14. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    I have been trying to instill in students, and some here on the DF, this concept of learning for a long time. I'm glad to see it finally being recognized/realized.
  15. katandmouse

    katandmouse New Member

    Please share with us your ideas!
  16. katandmouse

    katandmouse New Member

    Inner Game of Dancing workshop

    I just 'spoke' with Barry Green, author of Inner Game of Music. He will be doing a workshop for dancers on this topic in February or March in the SF Bay Area. I'll let you all know how it goes. He travels to other parts of the United States giving workshops, so I would not at all be surprised if any of you can get him to come to your area as well.

  17. mamboqueen

    mamboqueen Well-Known Member

    oh lordy...can you time it with the SF Open??? :)
  18. elisedance

    elisedance New Member

    I am trying to apply these principles to both my dancing and my violin at the same time.... with the latter instead of just listening to the music I am trying to learn (on CD or whatever) I'm imagining that i am playing it. So, no learning passages, just straight to the product. I suspect that thats also what the top musicians do - much as the slalom skiier imagines her way down the hill before setting off...
  19. katandmouse

    katandmouse New Member

    What a great idea!! I'll do my best.

    Are you going to City Lights Ball by any chance? They are trying to set up a workshop with Mirko and Alessia. Maybe we can combine them.
  20. katandmouse

    katandmouse New Member

    Can you copy and paste the url? I can't even find his handle in the member list to find it that way.

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