Ballroom Dance > Underturning in Viennese Waltz

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by Tenehill, Dec 12, 2007.

  1. contracheck

    contracheck New Member

    I took a group lesson with Luca several weeks ago and several yrs ago, also. It is my firm belief that Luca is a good hyptnosist. He makes his stubborn novice partner go anywhere he wants effortlessly without any resistence. I think that Luca hyptonized her because she was never so docile and obedient to me. To be a good dancer, I think one has to learn hyptnosis.
  2. and123

    and123 Well-Known Member

    Nah, this is nothing new. There are figures I can dance well with my coach, but not with my partner. Clearly something is not being communicated in the latter case.
  3. Ithink

    Ithink Active Member

    Yes!!! HypTnosis is clearly the answer! I think instead of getting off your high horse and actually learning how to lead properly, you should take a class in hypTnosis.

    Here's a clue: these ladies don't want to dance with you because what you are doing with them is NOT dancing. I too would run from you like the plague, especially since after we "danced", you'd probably blame me for pulling and lifting me... I see guys like you at the studio every time I practice there - that these women figured out that they don't have to take it is more than I can say for some women I see dancing with these guys...
  4. wooh

    wooh Well-Known Member

    Don't you love when all the leads FINALLY figure it out!!:D
  5. wooh

    wooh Well-Known Member

    Totally agree.
    From a lowly social dancer that's better at doing than describing:
    The biggest problem I see on the social floor is people thinking of it as a turn. (Sorry Josh, not talking about what it actually is, but how one should think it is.) As long as one thinks of it as linear, staying on a plank, pushing forward through your partner like a "bat out of hell" as one person I know thinks of it, and taking it easy on the backward, then it seems to work. It's when people don't do the pushing hard forward straight through their partner that it gets messed up. And if on top of not pushing hard, they try to go AROUND their partner, then it's a big ol' heapin' mess of trouble.
    Since the OP is asking for things the guy can do, I know that something that hinders me from doing my part is if the guy is pulling me into him with his frame. If he's pulling his elbows back and making my upper body tip into his, then I can't get underneath him to push through. So I'd recommend to guys having trouble to make sure that their frame is as forward as it needs to be so they aren't crowding their lady.
  6. wooh

    wooh Well-Known Member

    If HypTnosis is another term for "knowing how to lead" then I'm pretty sure one can take lessons in that!:p
  7. ChenLing

    ChenLing Member

    problems with reading the book

    So....a thing you probably should realize about the technique book (and why it's almost useless).....1) the orientations only talk about foot positions, 2) it only shows the ending foot position.

    For example, for the forward part of a reverse turn in VW, the 2nd step is forward. However (if you can imagine), if I keep going forward w/o turning I'll separate from my partner, so at the end of the 2nd step, I rotate to stay facing my partner, and my foot will end up either side, side and slightly back, or back and slightly side depending. The book will only mention the ending position, and not how you get there.

    For the person going backwards, the position of the 2nd foot doesn't matter, as you aren't taking a step (yet)...just pointing it. Where does it go? right next to where your partner's right foot lands (just like on natural turns, your right foot on the 2nd step ends up between your partner's feet). Your job (going backwards), is to help your partner take two foward, linear (non-rotational) steps. As they go past you, they'll have to turn to stay in the don't have to try to turn the step.

    Regarding amounts of turn -- yes, I like to delay the turn as much as possible, which isn't "by the book" per se, but what every good teacher will tell you to do eventually.

    Josh: Regarding helping your partner across, I really do mean it. Note to Contracheck: this does *not* apply to you (yet)...more on that below. As the person going backward, you can do one of three things: 1) move less than your partner (and block their movement), 2) move exactly as far and as fast as your partner, or 3) try to move more / faster than your parter. #1 is not ideal. #2 is almost impossible to attain if you're trying to. #3 is left. The idea is to help your partner take a larger step than he/she can do on their own (total more than the sum of the parts, etc). Of course, this actually cases the person going forward to take a larger step / most faster, and you achieve #2 by trying for #3.

    Contracheck: It's always hard to talk about a physical movement over a forum, but here goes: 1) if they're complaining of you "lifting" them, you're doing something horribly wrong. Any driving action for the first step should be downwards as you move, and across on the second step, never up. 2) You're probably using your arms separate from your body. Any movement of your frame should come from moving your body.

    Some suggestions:
    1) When the lady is going forward, try letting her 'lead'--i.e., don't try to force the step. She probably already has an idea of where to go. Follow her and see where she wants to go. I think it'll be really insightful.
    2) Try following VW sometime, esp with another guy who has a similar reputation for pulling on the ladies, see what you want it to feel like vs how it actually feels.
    3) If you're "The Guy Who Yanks Us Around", then the ladies are probably tense when dancing with you, and are actively fighting you. Try just dancing without pulling on them at all. The lead should be very subtle in any case. It's social dancing, right? If you only turn 1/4 instead of a 1/2, no big deal. Just do another closed change and keep going. Eventually (say, oh, 6 months from now, depending on how often you dance with them), they'll relax enough to actually accept some subtle leads from you. Trying to pull them harder will only make it worse. Remember: you want a clear lead, not a strong lead.
    4) Ask your teacher why this is happening, and how to fix it. If they are saying you are doing it perfectly, find a different teacher immediately.
    5) If you are ever in Boston, MA, come find Larinda or I and we'll set you straight. We'd much rather have a guy who leads well and nicely than the alternative.
  8. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    Its from the Yippa T doo dah school of thought
  9. ChenLing

    ChenLing Member

    That is excellent advice wooh, and worth repeating several times. :)
  10. pruthe

    pruthe Member

    Thank you for this description. I was aware of forward progression required during and after end of 1st step, but wasn't quite sure when step 2 turned into a side.

    pruthe :)
  11. madmaximus

    madmaximus Well-Known Member

    Here's what you can do for a social situation (as opposed to dancing with your pro):

    1. Always dance to your partner's level--whether that's up, or down. (see #2).

    2. Forcing a lady to dance at a level beyond where their skills are at the moment is truly ill-advised--worse, other dancers around you (even just as a discussion like on this board) can see it for what it is.

    3. You can only be responsible for your dancing--and correctly.

    4. Finally, realize well that a lady can only follow PROPERLY if you lead PROPERLY--if they are better than you, they might see through your error and decide to follow properly anyway (after all, that is their prerogative to do, not yours to impose).

  12. contracheck

    contracheck New Member

    Your point is well taken. I did notice that the foot of these underturning ladies do not go through enough to end up well behind my back side in a big stride. Once the ladies become more aggressive in this first step I have less underurning problem. I've noticed that good female VW dancers and pros take big forward step clear through my body. Most social dancers take timid baby step. I'm not crazy enough to pull or lift a lady who keeps proper orientations.
  13. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    that is what happens for me when i under-turn my own VW... not driving hard enuf or long enuf in that first step.

    also, i discovered that if i don't move my center fully over the receiving leg of that step, even if i've driven hard & long i am still "short" because i'm not fully over my standing leg. two pieces that, for me, make the difference... when i occasionally do get it right.

    i recently hit the floor with someone i know who'd never tried VW and for the brief time we took a stab at it, i was my own worst nightmare and completely uncharacteristic of myself... i started with the common "i go... YOU go... i go... YOU go" to convey the flow of things, but he took no initiative on his own... so there i am practically tossing him past me as i stress "YOOUUUU go!!!" it was ridiculously comic, and i would never have done it to a stranger... but it instantly highlighted for me how frustrating it is for a lead who can't get his lady to MOVE. :rolleyes:
  14. Kortgawain

    Kortgawain New Member

    I was dancing last night and my LW and I danced a couple of VW's with no trouble, but then I danced with another lady who started the underturning. I started trying to determine what was happening, and I discovered that she was stepping (on her 2nd) step outward instead of forward.

    I was giving her plenty of room to go forward, but our lack of experience made it difficult for her to break her stepping outward and me to assist in smoothing out the steps. I held a normal frame (not more firm than normal) and after a couple of times around the floor, she started coming more forward and her turns (I know I know it is not a technical turn) became more complete. Also, she and I started out with some distance between us, but as we danced more, she and I were able to close the gap some.

    I am a complete novice, but it seems to be better when I don't get too worried about it, and just have fun. I don't have my technical standards out on the floor to convince my follow she is doing something wrong (as if I am not part of the problem usually), and with some of the discussions here, I don't believe any standard can be totally agreed on (mainly due to semantics). In other words, I keep my mouth shut, because it is better to be perceived as a bad lead, than to open my mouth, probably be wrong, and be known as a jerk horrible lead.
  15. Tzah

    Tzah New Member

    Didn't really read the rest of this thing, but I remember these things: It's linear, not circular, it's forward, forward, together, on the other side, think side instead of rotating and forward.

    All of the people judging us at the socials always seem to enjoy it.
    We're just happy that when a band does one of those ridiculous melody dances that last for seven minutes, that we can, in fact, VW for seven freaking minutes.
  16. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

  17. cornutt

    cornutt Well-Known Member

    I understand perfectly what you're talking about, becuase Mendy had to beat it out of me. It's that sort-of-half-cocked position that I used to end my first step in, giving my partner way too much of my right side, and with my right foot already turned for a side step even though I haven't brought the leg through yet. And then the leg swings out towards the side instead of driving forwards.
  18. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Oy. All these words are making my brain hurt. :) I guess I just learn so much better from a visual demo and hands-on teaching. This words to describe motions just confuse me to no end. *sigh*

    ...time to retreat to the comfort and simplicity of the AT boards, I guess...
  19. cornutt

    cornutt Well-Known Member

    I've had this problem. Still do sometimes, but I'm working on it. If you tip your partner forwards, it partly locks the hip joints and then she can't take as big a step, which compounds the problem.
  20. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    I would imagine it can also severly compromise her balance, if pulled hard enough. And, if her balance is compromise, she's going to end up doing all kinds of wonky movement things to try and deal with the situation. (IME, at least. For what it's worth.)

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