The stylistic mixing of Smooth & Standard -- current trend

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by samina, Dec 2, 2012.

  1. j_alexandra

    j_alexandra Well-Known Member

    Actually, I kind of like Gary and Susan. Talk about your 3-dimensional. But what's that got to do with Modern? It's part of what makes good Smooth. I believe completely that Toni Redpath would coach that. But can you point to something you see in S&M that reflects Redpath coaching? I envy you your work with her, and your ability to see this. 'Cos I sure can't. On second thought, should we take this offlist? B/c I'm not sure it isn't too far off topic.
  2. j_alexandra

    j_alexandra Well-Known Member

    FTFY alas... I loved them, too.
  3. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    Generally, this is my view as well, and I tend to love versatile dancers and the mixing of styles into hybrids. It's the beauty, feeling, energy & inspiration from the dancing that is my bottom line, as a viewer.

    However, there are accomplished Standard-dominant dancers who maintain a formality & sense of structure when they dance Smooth that leaves me utterly cold; it's like they just can't loosen up and exchange or express energy fluidly in the way that Smooth requires. I may love them on the floor in Standard, but their Smooth dancing feels sterile to me, and I do not enjoy watching them. The fact that there are dancers doing this and being rewarded with recognition is what I am puzzled and dismayed by.

    Clearly not everyone feels the same way, but that's just my take on it.
  4. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    Thank goodness for Youtube. :)
  5. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    I have not worked with Toni Redpath. I also would appreciate knowing more about the elements you are referring to.

    IAE, I stand by my point -- there is a distinct Standard look and skill-set which appears to me as a liability when switching to Smooth. I suspect Standard dancers who also dance latin or rhythm assume it will be a piece of cake to translate their dancing to Smooth, but I'm not seeing that it is so.
    j_alexandra likes this.
  6. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    smooth is smooth until you are in closed hold then its standard so a technically gifted standard dancer doing smooth may "look" more "sterile",as the diversity in their skill set may not have enough "grey scale" to the observer. hence it may look like two dance styles glued together. But in S and M s case close observation at thier use of emotion internal vs external movement, heavy vs light weight changes etc ( again redpath) fills in the gaps for me they are not as bichromatic to me as they appear to be to you
  7. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    perhaps Contemporary is a better term . the nature of this dance style is to move in all three planes at once where ballet tends to move more in two at once

    smooth has evolved from strong biplanar movement ie translate and elevate or rotate and elevate to rotate elevate and contract core all at once susan is great at this
  8. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    I would disagree...I would say that it becomes Standard at the point where Smooth dancers break closed hold and Standard dancers stay in the closed hold. Being able to maintain closed hold for the short amount of time Smooth dancers are closed doesn't make it Standard. It is exponentially more difficult to hold (or rather, renew, with grace and while maintaining nuanced, flexible and living connection with a partner) that closed position for another minute...another two minutes...another three. That is where the skill-set of Standard dancers is utilized.

    Sounds good. It's just not what I saw. And there wasn't anyone in the house who had a better seat or was watching more intently. :) Though I will grant that my knowledge of Smooth is quite rudimentary.
  9. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    just reviewed the results there were hardly any couples above silver in smooth so sample error plays a role here. and in silver, more routines have standard in them as good foundation in technique is the goal .
  10. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    so for you its a percentage thing?? if its 60/40 open its too much standard for you??

    most couples are around 70/30 or better and judges i have talked to seem to like that
  11. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    totally agree!!! but as a dancer i appreciate how these qualities can be augmented by solid trechnique great execution great floorcraft and great movement

    ohh and a pretty gown for the lady!!:p
  12. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    No, as I mentioned earlier my gripe isn't about the closed hold at all.

    ETA: I suspect you may have missed my point, or that I didn't make it well. Said another way: Smooth dancers dancing briefly in closed hold for a wall or two doesn't necessarily make it "Standard" or "Standardish". It's Smooth in closed hold.

    Herein ends my commentary on what is and isn't Smooth, as I am no expert. I'll leave that discussion to others with that experience. Standard is more my metier...
  13. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    It depends on what you mean? Socials, performances, or competitions?
  14. Groovology

    Groovology New Member

    That much I can understand, but I'm talking about couples doing actually nothing but standard amalgamations from the technique book around the floor. Were the other couples removed from the floor, I'd have no idea if I wasn't watching a standard event instead. While they weren't technically breaking any rules (as far as I'm concerned; to be totally honest, I'm not all that familiar with what specific syllabus restrictions were in place at BADC, since I know a lot of different schools of American style exist), they also weren't really exploring all of the different tools dancing smooth rather than standard allows. There are considerably more and different ways of expressing the music with the body in smooth, and I think couples that take risks and try to actually differentiate themselves in that way should be marked higher than technically sound but more conservative dancers, as long as they don't have glaring issues with their fundamentals.

    I'm not a judge, though, so I can't say whether that call is right or wrong. I just know that I'd prefer to see more adventurous couples do better as long as they also show that they have fundamentals. But maybe that's just because I'm too lazy to drill technique and mostly just prefer to put flashy and musical stuff in my routines... :D
  15. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    i totally could have written this until my pro made me get better technically;)
  16. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    ahh the internet, a conversation we could have had with clarity over the phone or in person at a comp,understood each other and derived valid input from one another is corrupted by heartless souless electrons and distance

    some days i hate this thing

    but then i play angry birds....:D
    samina likes this.
  17. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    In the context of my OP. Not for social dancing.
    opendoor likes this.
  18. j_alexandra

    j_alexandra Well-Known Member

    At the American Congress last fall, S&M spoke extensively about their training in Laban movement analysis, and demonstrated what you're ascribing to Toni:

    Dynamics in dance is a study in itself. It exists in Standard, Latin, all 4 styles ;-) and without light and shade, internal vs external movement, heavy and light, what have you got? Nuttin', honey. In Smooth, I look for it as a starting point, not the endgame.
  19. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    agree and for clarity i did not imply that it was the endgame . In fact, partner dancing has no endgame imo as improvement is infinite.
    j_alexandra and samina like this.
  20. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    This discussion is reminding me that there is a conceptual aspect to dance that generally precedes one's embodiment of a quality. These start as aesthetic concepts and movement concepts, but then the dancer needs to make them real...to embody them. Am, pro-am, and accomplished pros alike strive to embody "more", and may be able to speak eloquently on the subject, and conceptually understand them. But embodying them...now that's the ticket.

    Even acclaimed dancers have limits where their embodiment does not yet match their concept of what they would embody. Until they transcend that limit...

    I think this must apply to a well-trained Standard dancer making a shift into Smooth. There are things that must be embodied which may not be easily embodied for a time...
    Bailamosdance and singndance like this.

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