Ballroom Dance > What should we think?

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by macha, Sep 24, 2005.

  1. macha

    macha New Member

    Last night, we attended another studio's dance party. A waltz came on, and we were getting up to join everyone else on the floor, when the DJ said "Ok, this is a Silver Syllabus waltz (sounded like strauss to me). This one's for people who know what they're doing. If you haven't danced our silver syllabus, then you don't know what you're doing. Stay off the floor."

    On the floor were four couples. Two were very smooth and very beautiful. One was bumpy, lurchy, and... well, very much like us- beginnery- still finding feet, still unsure of twinkles, etc. The other couple was a very elderly couple who were just doing basics with rotation around the floor.

    At the end, the DJ said "And there are our finest couples, thank them," etc. etc.

    So, without sounding like some of our one-post wonders, I hope- I'd like to assume that we were somewhere in between the lurching couple and the elderly shuffling couple. I lack sufficient confidence in our craft to say we're good- because we aren't. It'll be about two years of weekly private lessons, hard work, and actual practicing our dancing before we're "good"... but I do think that we could have done all right on that floor. In fact, later on, we did. We were doing open twinkles, closed twinkles, and a few other elements we'd learned. We were weaving in and out quite well, and the only time we had to stop was when the same elderly couple swayed out in front of us, and then, without reason, stopped dead. When we moved to one side, they did the same, and vice versa, so we had to stop, and wait for an opening.

    But... were we (and not just us- I didn't mean to personalise it- others stopped, looked disappointed, and left the floor, too) so awful that we didn't deserve to "share the floor" with silvers?

    Is this a regular protocol for a DJ to say "if you suck, get off the floor so our regulars can showboat?" at the place we attend, there's the unspoken "Aww, look! It's Jack and Terri's samba!"... and everyone will step off and watch (slackjawed- Terri's a stone FOX, and Jack's a million feet tall with more moves than an OLena-bred cutting horse)...

    But.. NOBODY would ever say "get off the floor so they can do something important that you can't do"... in fact, if you asked anyone, they'd be glad to show you how. I know that all four and a half feet of Danielle would personally gut-stomp someone being condescending- I watched her once- ME-OW.

    I'm too beginner (2 1/2 months) to really know if I have a valid complaint, I know, so I was just wondering if this was "ok" or "not"? What do you think? It just kind of made us feel dumb to have to actually stop what we were doing so others could do the exact same things we were doing- some much much better, others on par, and some worse. I would NEVER ruin a dance for someone- we ALWAYS get out of other people's way, if we have to improvise or just stop, shuffle quickly away and start over, or whatever, and we always apologise profusely and personally- and mean it.

    Gods, I hope I don't sound DF1PT-esque..
  2. swan

    swan Member

    hmmm...I don't think this is a normal protocol. I think it's rather rude! Social dance parties are for social dancing. Why restrict to people who know what they're doing?
    It'd be interesting if some advanced couples trying to peeve the DJ & just going up there doing all bronze steps & see if the DJ would boot them off the floor!

    In any case, what's the definition of 'know what you are doing' anyway?

    Knowing Silver Syllabus 'steps' doesn't necessarily mean 'you know what you are doing'....

    I could be going thru 4 weeks of bronze group class & just finishing up with 4 weeks of silver group class, does that make me 'know what I am doing'? I think NOT!
  3. macha

    macha New Member

    I was going to say- I've read how to do a lobotomy, but that doesn't mean I A- know how, and B-CAN DO, Lol.

    It seemed kind of "tacky", but then, the whole party was. The owner's son was so buzzed he introduced himself to us twice, an elderly lady tottered past us with an empty Smirnoff fifth bottle, and toward the end, they played uncensored rap music (before that, this is a "ballroom only" studio, mind you- they played nearly all COUNTRY. Ok, I am seriously allergic to country, I think...). The last dance, there were twenty people at least still sitting at the tables. They played a cha-cha. We got up to dance with two other couples on the floor. They left the floor, and by the time the song was done, we were the ONLY ONES LEFT.

    Ok, i am a militant etiquette fanatic (this means that I TRY to keep it up, and I read about it a lot in hopes that I can be... good... or whatever... NOT that I try to police people... I hope you know what I mean... gah, that frontal lobe damage... nevermind..) and I am almost fearful of being The Last Ones Out like that. These people- all of them... just LEFT. Of COURSE we weren't paying attention- we were trying to count "one-two-cha-cha-cha, now-turn-cha-cha-cha".... and so forth... but when it stopped, we looked around and I whispered to J "Um.. let's GO... like.. NOW..." the owners/family were at the little makeshift bar smoking, and looking at us like we were... muggles... I think.

    It was a very awkward experience. Emily Post's spirit was flogging mine with a very heavy book on "It is tacky to be the last people to leave a party, because it's over-staying your welcome,"... gah... I feel as if points have been deducted from some invisible score somewhere.

    I need a brownie. I might even have something fried after this- I hope to gods nobody from our studio was around... I hate feeling like a dork... and I've done that all my life in social situations (ever heard of school bullying? Ever been the butt of it every single day since you were five? Issues Ahoy!)
  4. Laura

    Laura New Member

    What a weird night for you. I've certainly never been to a social dance like that, where they've limited who could take the floor. Really, the most that has ever been said covered a saftey issue: they were playing something you could dance either Lindy Hop or Quickstep to, and the DJ said "Lindy Hoppers in the center, Quicksteppers go around the outside!"
  5. Rosa

    Rosa New Member

    Macha, I would vote with your feet. Just don't go back. And tell all your friends not to, either! :twisted:

    Rosa :)
  6. mamboqueen

    mamboqueen Well-Known Member

    That does seem a bit rude. If they had certain dancers they wanted to showcase, then perhaps that's how they should have presented it. I probably wouldn't go back a second time...
  7. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Amen. The DJ was rude, dude. That's pretty weird, IMO.
  8. cocodrilo

    cocodrilo New Member

    I would like to say "You wouldn't see that at a salsa dance" (in finer print because there MAY be a VERY REMOTE possibilty of it happening)...Can't work the controls for fine print...
  9. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    no macha...IMO this is very rude and silver syllabus waltzers know that waltzing at parties is an a$$pain....those that even bother are getting good practice at floorcraft....again, I think it was quite rude...even though in my own private fanatsy world everyone always clears the floor when I want to waltz 8)
  10. liangjz

    liangjz New Member

    That sounds really rude. Was the place really that crowded? Did their students really get in each others way that much?

    I think if someone is going to make a dance open to the public, which I assume this was, then they shouldn't do things to exclude people from dancing.

    If they wanted to limit traffic problems, they should limit the number of people they allow in. I've been to dances where they put the limit at 200 people. The first 200 get in and the rest were asked to come back (earlier) next time. If you get in, you shouldn't be asked not to dance.

  11. Indiana_Jay

    Indiana_Jay Active Member

    So far, our only experience is at studio practice dances, which at our studio, are closed (only regular students and their guests are welcome).

    Never have the instructor/DJs are our studio done anything but encourage people to get out on the floor.

    But even with that limited experience on my part, I'd be shocked by the behavior you described and as other's suggested, head for the door.

    BTW, our practice dances are dry. The only refreshment is the water fountain.

  12. cornutt

    cornutt Well-Known Member

    macha, that is bizarre. I've never heard of any such. At our studio, and other studios I've been to, they will occasionally call a break during the social to allow a couple or a group to present an exhibition dance, and naturally other couples will clear the floor during that. We always do these just before or after the mid-party break, when everyone is going to sit down or drift off to the kitchen anyway. We would never, ever call a general dance and then say that only certain people are allowed on the floor.

    I'll admit that I have at times wished for a silver-only waltz. I have made myself stop dancing silver on a very crowded floor, because I pick up bad habits when I try to do that. However, even if we were going to do something like that, I think we could come up with a more graceful way to do it. Introduce it like: "For this waltz, we'd like to make room on the floor for our silver waltzers. So, if you don't do silver, please wait a few minutes, and right after this we'll play another waltz for our bronze waltzers." Then, at the end of the silver waltz, thank the other dancers for being patient. The other possibility would be to organize an impromptu silver waltz exhibition, which I actually think would go over pretty well. As it is, if I feel the need for silver, I just wait until later in the evening when some people have left and the floor isn't as crowded.
  13. macha

    macha New Member

    Thanks for all the input. It was decidedly strange, and as much as we're looking for anywhere to dance, I think we'll just scratch that one off the list. We don't need to feel like dummies THAT bad, and we can do that on our own! :lol:

    I thought at first he might have been just joking, or giving a friendly warning to people who didn't know what they were doing- but no, people started leaving the floor to sit and watch... the one basic couple and the other ones stayed... I almost feel like going back the next time, and if they do that, just stay on there, but that would be in very bad taste. The best thing is to just avoid them and give time, money, and participation elsewhere.
  14. Throwaway Overshare

    Throwaway Overshare New Member

    I can think of situations where announcements like that could be needed to give everyone a chance to dance, but this doesn't sound like one of them. If two dancers got married, the announcement might be needed the other way - this dance is for the relatives, all you friends of the couple either sit down or ask grandma. But you can also do that just by playing music at the wrong tempos.

    Might want to review your cha cha timing by the way.
  15. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    I've heard this sort of advice at ballroom dances where teh dj advices those who are doing stationary dances to use the center etc, but nothing like what you got macha! Sounds like a scene to stay away from..your description of it.
  16. cocodrilo

    cocodrilo New Member

    At salsa parties I've been to, they've told everyone to clear the floor for "performance time" but that is the entertainment the sponsors hired and everyone was game on seeing it.
  17. macha

    macha New Member

    Did you see us there? How do you mean?
  18. clave

    clave New Member

    Happens all the time in salsa clubs here: the dreaded BIRTHDAY DANCE! The less evil way it's done: the band or the DJ plays at most ONE MINUTE of the godawful birthday song and invites all celebrants to come out and dance, circle or not. The more common and more evil way it's done: the DJ kicks everyone off the floor and asks for a circle to be made for ONE birthday girl/boy, proceeding to play a ten-minute mix until the entire circle has gone. This pi**es me off because a) it invariably happens just when I'm in my peak form for the night, and b) it's terribly rude to all the OTHER people who have birthdays around that time but aren't a part of the "in" crowd.
  19. sunderi

    sunderi New Member

    That's been more of my experience, too.

    And occasionally, the DJ at our parties will say, "This waltz is Viennese tempo. If you don't know Viennese Waltz basics, please sit this one out." I don't know -- maybe that's the same kind of tackiness?
  20. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Kinda, I think. :?

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